A TYPICAL TUESDAY
by Adrian Miro
The fit forty-one year-old man looks about the waiting room. They always look the same, Derek thinks to himself: The cold fluorescent lights, the white walls that amplify their brightness, the artificial ficus plant in the corner between the entryway and the receptionist’s desk, the coffee table with a disheveled mass of expired magazines on top.
At the end of the day, the only way to tell any of these places apart is by what kind of magazine you find in the stack. Dentists and pediatricians stock Highlights for Children, gynecologists subscribe to Parent and oncologists, in an attempt to make people forget about their own mortality through temporary escapism, will have back issues of National Geographic on hand.
“Mr. Oakhart?” Derek lifts his head from his thoughts at the sound of his name.
“Your masseuse is ready for you.” The receptionist must be a high-schooler hired for the summer; Derek does not recognize her. She is a young blonde stylishly dressed in this season’s American Eagle-brand stonewashed jeans and an untucked blue long-sleeved blouse with vertical stripes. A chic pair of black high heeled boots rounds off the girl’s outfit.
“You’ll be in room number six. Denise will be with you shortly, sir.”
“Thank you, miss. I haven’t seen you here before. What is your name?”
Of course it is. “Interesting; I would have pictured you as a ‘Stephanie’ or a ‘Tiffany.’ Something that ends in “-ee.”
Skyler titters delicately. “My mother’s name is Stephanie.”
“Ah, so I was off by a generation. One of the drawbacks of aging, you’ll soon find.” Derek flashes the girl a friendly smile. “Skyler, where is room six?” He winks. “Another drawback of aging.”
Skyler smiles in return. “Third door on the right, Mr. Oakhart.”
“Please. ‘Derek.’” He smiles once more, lightly touching Skyler’s shoulder with his fingers as he concludes: “Thank you, my dear, you’ve been very helpful.”
Room six is pleasantly dim, lit completely by lamplight, with a navy blue Persian area rug sitting below the massage table. Derek disrobes as he waits for Denise. He notices the way the walls, gold on the top and burgundy on the bottom half, separated by a wooden trim, compliment the hardwood floor (cherry by the look of it) and the way the various paintings hung feng shui the carefully orchestrated décor and furniture together.
No sooner had he settled in on top of the massage table, face-down and nude, with a bed sheet over his sculpted buttocks, that he hears a light knock on the door.
“Derek, hun? Are you ready for me?”
“Come on in,” Derek replies to the blue Persian rug.
Denise enters room six. Or, at least her feet do, as far as Derek can see.
“How are you doing this afternoon, hun?”
“Famously, except for the soreness, but I’m sure you’ll help me with that. Are those scrub pants you’re wearing?”
The New Balance tennis shoes momentarily face the bookshelf and an instant later flamenco guitar music playing low fills the air. “Why yes. I love them—they’re so loose and comfortable! That’s important when you’re on your feet all day.” The tennis shoes approach the side table beside the door. “What can I do for you today, hun?”
“The usual; there’s a lot of tension on my back, over my right shoulder blade especially.” Heh. Blade. “I’d like you to loosen it for me.”
A pair of hands begins probing Derek’s back. “These muscles are hard as bricks again. What have you been doing since you saw me last month, Derek?”
“Not much different… mostly gardening,” with my machete. Derek stifles a chortle.
Derek feels warm massage oil being poured on him. The scents of eucalyptus and lemon rind find Derek’s nostrils. “Okay, let’s get started. Let me know if the pain is too much for you.”
“Do what you must.”
It’s a small price to pay… a little pain and discomfort. This is the part they don’t bother showing in the slasher flicks. The audience never gets a feel for how hard it actually is. Good cardio.
He begins to laugh out loud again, but it soon turns to a grunt as Denise gets to work.
Adrián Miró began writing creatively as a hobby in July of 2011, and was prominently featured in the 2012 issue of the University of Puerto Rico at Ponce’s yearly literary magazine, “ Fragmentos.” Currently, he works as a freelance chemistry tutor. Adrian’s micro, A Typical Tuesday, appears in the January 2013 issue of HelloHorror.
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