The sign read, “Fantasy Massage,” and I drove by it every once in a while. It hung over the side door of a run-down building. The front of the building used to be an adult bookstore many years ago, although I'm sure that had no bearing on its current business. For me, the phrase “fantasy massage” holds a special meaning, but what did it mean to the current employees? What's their limit on fantasy? I had to find out. So one day, out of curiosity only, I stopped in.
My eyes took a few moments to adjust as I entered this respectable, dimly lit establishment. After which I found myself staring at a wall covered with what appeared to be the velvet equivalent of leopard skin, in a light shade of purple. A curtain of plastic multi-colored beads blocked a dark passage to my right and there were several pictures on the wall that accentuated the fact I was standing in a feng shui nightmare. But all of that quickly vanished from my mind as my attention turned towards the women in front of me.
Three, very attractive, scantily clad women, sat on a bench beside a desk. One of them smiled at me. I quickly checked to see if my fly was open - that seems to be the only reason a woman would look and smile at me; I was fully zipped. I looked back up to see one of the women approaching. I began to sweat.
"Hi, my name is Cupcake," she said seductively.
Well, it may not have been that seductive, but when a scantily clad, very attractive woman talks to me, anything she says sounds seductive.
She continued, seductively, "Have you been here before baby?"
I was appalled at her implication. Did I look like the type of person who frequents a place like this for some perverted fantasy? Did I appear to be one of those desperate and pathetic losers who would have to come to a place like this? Well, unfortunately, yes. Nevertheless, I replied in the sophisticated articulate manner that I do so well. I said, as I swallowed my dignity, "Um, Nope."
"No problem honey, the room rates are on the wall and the girls work on tips. Let one of us know if we can help you."
She leaned closer to me, put her hand on my shoulder and began to whisper in my ear. Her touch and the feeling of her warm breath caused my pulse to quicken. My heart felt as if it was going to beat out of my chest as she whispered a rather personal statement regarding the monetary value of a really good time.
As she stepped away from me to return to her place on the bench, I started breathing again. As I wiped the sweat from my face, I looked over at the handwritten poster of room rates Cupcake had so beautifully pointed out. The rates were listed by the half hour or hour, and by bench or waterbed, with the latter of both being the most expensive.
My mind was racing between Cupcake's sensual commentary and how much cash I had in my pocket for tips, when a phone rang. A woman at the desk, whom I had not noticed before, probably because she was fully clothed, answered it.
"Thank you for calling Fantasy Massage, how may I help you?” There was a long pause as she listened to the caller before she spoke again.
Her reply was only eight words, but those words echoed throughout my entire being. I was no longer thinking of Cupcake or how much money I had to spend; all I could think about was those eight words. There have been very rare moments in my life when someone's words moved me - this was definitely one of them. After she spoke, she said goodbye and hung up the phone. Our eyes met, I smiled and let out a little laugh. I gave her a polite nod, turned around and walked out the door. I got what I came for. Fifteen years later, the words “fantasy massage” still hold a special meaning for me, but not as much as those eight words.
And to this day, I can still hear her voice saying, “Yes, but you have to tip them both.”