Last week I sat back reflecting on how my last three contracts were all jobs working for women named either Susan or Suzanne, so it came as no surprise when I got a call this week to do some work for a woman named Alice.
My visit with Alice was a unique experience, she was a woman in her mid-to late seventies, had an abnormally large head and freshly curled blue tinted hair, a doppleganger for Mrs. Doubtfire or Dame Edna.
She invited me in, and proved to be a rather sympathetic woman.
She proceeded to show me her highly outdated and hermetically sealed plasticized furniture, adorning her antiquated 'museum piece' home.
She asked me if I wanted to take a look at her office far in the back of the house, off the kitchen.
Alice asked that I view the room with "one-eye" as it was, after all, a bit of mess. When she turned around, she was startled to see me staring back at her with one eye closed. Slightly 'confused', she laughed, and conceded that I had frightened her with my facial sarcasm.
She then implored that I go 'take a look at the basement', despite the fact she had already presented me with an overwhelming amount of work to this point.
She kept asking me, almost naggingly: "Are you brave, Are you brave??" proposing that venturing down to view the basement would require some amount of courage.
When we arrived downstairs she directed my attention to a grey leather reclining chair with a remote control resting on it's seat. "Do you know what that is? she asked, "Have you ever sat in one?" Before I could answer she said: "Would you like to sit in that chair?" I realized by the forms in the footrest, it was a 'massage chair'. I politely declined and then suggested we continue on into the basement to assess the work that needed to be done.
Upon returning from viewing the work, we once again passed through the room with that menacing 'massage chair', and once again she inquired: "Have you ever tried a chair like that, would you like to???"
At that point I realized that there was little chance of landing this job if I didn't at least TRY her fucking 'massage chair'. So I took off my jacket, and promptly sat back in the chair. She came over and perched herself on the sofa next to me, while seizing the controller.
Her first assault on my senses was to make my pillow 'flutter', followed by an abrupt raising of the leg-rest. A 'mechanical whine' accompanied the slow raising and subsequent gear grinding massaging from the leg-rest.
After her successful near crushing of my lower leg muscles, She then fussed for several minutes whilst trying in vain to make the chair recline, but to no avail. The best she was able to do was 'flutter' my pillow, and then lower and raise the mechanical leg-rest, up and down (mechanical whine), down and up.
As I sat there, I reflected upon the sentimental memory of how it had been a year ago to the day that I had arrived in India to embark on a spiritually enriching and mystical life experience, and was now, one year later, held leg-locked captive in the basement of some geriatric joy-seeker.
I knew at this point, that extrication from the chair, and the house, was an absolute imperative. I somehow managed to wiggle out, stand up and announce that we would have plenty of time to 'experiment' with the chair should I ever return to do the work.
We soon said our goodbyes, leaving now the possibility of any future 'massage chair moments' to the capricious whims of chance.
Fortunately for me though, shortly after arriving home from my meeting with Alice, I got phone call concerning other potential work from yet another female client, and her name, of course, was Susan.
Dirty CT February 2012
Alice's House: The Psychedelic Furs
Alice's House: The Psychedelic Furs