I'm Dale Favier. I’ve been a massage therapist for many years now. I know what people look like.
People have been undressing for me for a long time. I know what you look like: a glance at you, and I can picture pretty well what you’d look like on my table.
Let’s start here with what nobody looks like: nobody looks like the people in magazines or movies. Not even models. Nobody. Lean people have a kind of rawboned, unfinished look about them that is very appealing to our society. They are not in the norm. Everyday people have padding - they have character. Every BODY is different - not shaped like the cookie cutter the media idealizes. (And that’s very appealing too.)
Woman have cellulite. All of them.
It’s dimply and cute. It’s not a defect. It’s not a health problem. It’s the natural consequence of not consisting of photoshopped pixels, and not having emerged from an airbrush.
Adults sag. It doesn’t matter how fit they are. Every decade, an adult sags a little more. All of the tissue hangs a little looser. They wrinkle, too. I don’t know who put about the rumor that just old people wrinkle. You start wrinkling when you start sagging, as soon as you’re all grown up, and the process goes its merry way as long as you live. Which is hopefully a long, long time, right?
Everybody on a massage table is beautiful. There are really no exceptions to this rule.
At that first long sigh, at that first thought that “I can stop hanging on now, I’m safe” – a luminosity, a glow, begins. Within a few minutes the whole body is radiant with it. It suffuses the room: it suffuses the massage therapist too. People talk about massage therapists being caretakers, and I suppose we are: we like to look after people, and we’re easily moved to tenderness. But to let you in on a secret: I’m in it for the glow.
I’ll tell you what people look like, really: they look like flames. Or like the stars, on a clear night in the wilderness.
About Dale Favier
Dale Favier has taught poetry, chopped vegetables, and written software for a living. Nowadays he writes in the morning, does database work (for a wonderful non-profit promoting literacy) in the afternoon, and does massage in the evening. It’s pretty much the perfect life, and while he’s uncomfortably aware that he’s running an unsustainable karma deficit, he plans to keep it up as long as he can. He blogs about massage and health at http://dalefavier.blogspot.com.