“He told us through Kenneth that we should each pick a girl from the group. To tell you the truth, I was pretty nervous. It’s not every day that a big group of girls looks you up and down at the same time,” Alex said.
Alex turned to Ray, who also seemed slightly nervous.
“Which one are you choosing, Ray?” he said quickly.
“Man, I don’t know, does it even matter which one you choose? I have no idea how this works. I thought I was getting my hair cut. I hope I don’t pick the strongest girl who leaves me with a bunch of bruises.” He fidgeted with his watch.
Kenneth quickly chose a girl. She slowly stood up and took short deliberate steps over to him. Kenneth seemed indifferent. The manager looked impatiently at Alex as Ray then pointed at a girl. Apparently tired of waiting, the manager then motioned for the girl at the end of the couch to come over to Alex. She walked over and the three young men followed the girls up a set of stairs to a large, dimly lit room with two rows of massage tables. Only one or two of the other tables seemed to have people on them.
Kenneth said something quickly to his masseuse and they walked to a table toward the back of the room. Since they were nervous, when their masseuses tried to take Ray and Alex to tables on opposite sides of the room, they motioned that they wanted tables next to each other. The girls laughed and Alex and Ray climbed onto the tables.
“Here goes nothing,” Ray said.
“If you hear me scream, come over and rescue me,” Alex replied.Their masseuses closed hospital-like curtains around each of the individual tables.
“Alex, you’ve never had a real massage before right? Is this what they usually do?” Ray’s voice came from the next table. The masseuse with Alex motioned for him to lie on his stomach. She wore a shiny, silver colored dress which struck him as a little unusual for a masseuse. Oh well. When in Rome, he thought to himself.
“I don’t know, man. I guess this is how it works,” he said back to the curtain. The girl began rubbing his back and Alex closed his eyes. Her hands moved from his upper back to his lower back and from side to side. Then she closed her hands into fists and began to pummel his back. She roughly rubbed his upper back and then his lower back then she quickly moved her hands down to knead his buttocks and his legs all the way down to his calves. This is a little rougher and more rushed than I thought a massage was supposed to be, but it’s not terrible, he thought.
After only a couple of minutes or so, she motioned for him to turn over. He rolled over onto his back and she said something to him in Chinese and motioned for him to take off his shirt. She looked a little bored but smiled at him. He took off his shirt and she placed it on a chair. As he lay back down, she again began massaging him. This time, however, she seemed to take her time rubbing his shoulders, and then his arms and then his chest, and then his stomach. Her hands moved expertly back up to his chest and she glided her hands back and forth, applying a little pressure now and then. Then she moved down to his legs. He laughed as she rubbed his feet since he was ticklish. Then she quickly massaged his calves and thighs. Something was a little bit fishy, he thought to himself as she massaged his thighs. She looked at him and smiled.
Should I tell her to stop? He wondered. Perhaps I should ask Ray what he thinks. He turned to say something through the curtain as the girl continued to squeeze his thighs.
“Oh wow! Uh,” he heard suddenly from Ray’s side of the curtain. At that moment the girl placed one hand on his most sensitive area and smiled at him.
“Yao bu yao?” she asked. She smiled at him again. Alex froze
“Hey….man, is something weird happening over there?” he heard Ray ask.
“Uh, yes,” Alex replied.
Ray’s face appeared as the curtain parted. He looked down at Alex’s waist and then at Alex.
“Oh, yeah, looks like the same thing that’s going on over here,” he said. The masseuse working on Ray appeared also and said something to Alex’s masseuse. She shrugged and looked a little puzzled.
“What do you think, man? Time to go?” Alex said.
“I think so. I’m not in the mood for a disease,” Ray replied. He jumped off his massage table as Alex did the same. Each grabbed their shirts and threw them on as the girls said something to them. They seemed a little annoyed.
“Kenneth!” Alex called down the row of tables to the one at the end covered by a curtain. There was no answer. A sound of a muffled giggle drifted to them from behind the curtain, however. Alex and Ray looked at each other.
“Okay, let’s just go,” Ray said. Alex followed him down the stairs to the lobby area. They quickly paid the man at the front and hurried out the door, leaving Kenneth behind. When they were out on the street, Ray stopped and looked at Alex without saying anything.
“Man,” he finally said. Then they both laughed.
“That’s one of those experiences I’ll always remember and be able to laugh about,” he said with a smile. I shook my head and chuckled. Our cups of coffee had long since become cold.
“That’s pretty crazy man. So what happened to Kenneth?” I leaned back in my chair. The other customers in the coffee shop were gathering up their belongings and I wondered whether it was too late to order another cup.
“I’m not entirely sure since I never brought it up with him again. But I think I can guess,” he laughed. It was the first time I’d seen him laugh that night.