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Wearing a pair of grossly oversized sandals, I shuffled through an opaque glass door into a large granite-and-marble shower room. Five huge shower heads — the ones the circus uses for hosing down elephants — adorned the walls, and a steam room and sauna were nearby. With the Japano-futuristic look of the place, the gaggle of uniformly dressed Asian beauties around and the perception that I was several miles below the Earth's crust, I started to believe that I was living out one of my numerous James Bond-inspired dreams: Trapped in the belly of an evil corporation's lair, treated with the utmost courtesy while my movements are monitored by a team of beautiful-yet-deadly double agents.
I made my shower last. The water pressure at my apartment provides little more than an occasional moody trickle, so I took advantage of the high-pressure jet and used every soap, shampoo, conditioner, exfoliating body scrub, washcloth and loofah at my disposal. Feeling fresh as a daisy, I left the changing room and was assigned a masseuse. She was one of the older women, possibly in her late thirties, short and slight with a bob haircut and dressed in a clinical white uniform. She led me down a hallway to a small, demurely lit room, then told me to disrobe and lie stomach-down on the table, where there was an opening for my face. I skimmed my hand against the starched white tablecloth to see if there was a corresponding hole for my unit. Until this point, I hadn't really thought about how the pleasure would be administered. Simultaneously, all my daydreams about being on her majesty's secret service evaporated as I realized how quickly I crumble under questioning.
"My name Jung, what your name?" asked my inquisitor as she began to rub my neck . "Er . . . Jeff," I replied. Jeff? Where the fuck did that come from? "Oh," she said, sounding surprised and skeptical. Had she been through my locker and seen my ID? I started to sweat. "You live here, work here?" she asked as she covered my body in a thin, crisp linen sheet. "Yeah, I said, "in . . . Soho," "Oh," she replied. "What you do?" Butcher, baker, candlestick maker — any of those would have sufficed, but instead I blurted out, "I work for a magazine." Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! What a total fuckwit. I might as well have told her that I was with the NYPD vice squad. I quickly followed up by qualifying that I worked for a publication about fishing. "Oh ma gah!" said Jung, sounding disturbingly interested. Christ! Who was Soho Jeff from Rods and Reels? What's with the third degree already? I decided that as long as Jung didn't start questioning me about the ins and outs of koi carp, I would shut my stupid mouth and get this experiment back on track.
Jung went to work, digging her fingers into the painful nooks of my neck and shoulders.
I heard a muffled guy's voice in the room next to mine. First, it sounded like the teacher in the Peanuts cartoons, but after a few sentences, I could pick out certain words. "Wah wah wah Wall Street," "Wah wah banking wah", and, most memorably, "wah wah you're a very beautiful girl wah wah" Ew. Other than that, all I could hear was the purr of the air conditioning and the popping sounds emanating from each of my joints that were subjected to Jung's digitry. During a few neck adjustments, I thought I could hear an offensive line prancing over ten yards of bubble wrap.
Jung rubbed my body through the sheet, first with her hands and then with her feet. She walked on my back, steadying herself by holding onto a ceiling-mounted pole. I couldn't enjoy her mastery; my mind was too preoccupied with the impending transition from massage to handjob. At one point, she stopped touching me for about fifteen seconds, and I couldn't tell where she was in the room. Out of nowhere, she grabbed my thigh, and I flinched. "You nervous!" she chuckled and gave me two firm pats to the buttocks. She wasn't wrong. I could hear my heart pounding in my ears. Jung's touch felt great, but I wasn't turned on in the slightest. She removed the sheet and traced her fingers up and down my legs, bum, inner thighs and any parts of my undercarriage that she could get her crafty fingers on. I could hear the door to the little room open and close. Being face down and looking the opposite way, I couldn't see what was going on. Was Jung exhibiting some unnoticed birthmark to her co-workers? "You sunburn!" said Jung, and she started picking at the peeling skin atop my shoulders. "Oh ma gah!" she whispered.
That's not sexy. For a second I thought she was going to have a pick at my bacne too. She turned my head to inflict some more pain to my neck area, and we saw each other face-to-face for the first time in forty-five minutes. Jung was very attractive and kind looking; she wore plum-colored lipstick. "Oh ma gah!" she exclaimed. "You just boy! How old you?" Jeff, like me, is twenty-five.