Here is how the afternoon of the Saturday before last began.
I had an appointment for my first massage.
The address the masseuse, Josie, gave me turned out to be a grange hall. (For those who don’t know, that’s a community hangout for farmers.)
Due to the nonexistence of a parking lot, I parked my car on the front lawn.
The front door was locked and Josie was M.I.A.
Josie showed up one minute before my appointment.
She escorted me into her massaging room – a 10’x6′ room with painted-that-day walls.
Wrinkled and grungy purple sheets covered her massage table. And, I soon learned, were also to cover my naked bod.
Josie’s relaxation music sounded like bugs and people peeing.
Her lavender and lemongrass incense smelled like bugs and people peeing.
The children at the house across the street played a raucous game of hide-and-seek. Each new round of their game started with “Ready or not, here I come. I’M GONNA KILL YOU.”
I learned I do not enjoy massages.
Here is how the evening of Saturday before last ended (poorly).
Feeling pretty certain I had contracted a couple different communicable diseases from Josie’s soiled massage table, I ran home and took a shower. By the time I was done sterilizing my skin, it was nearly 6 p.m. Being freshly showered on a weekend evening is rare for me, so I decided to make the most of it. I called my friend DJ and planned to meet him at his big city apartment. We were going to have ourselves a Harry Potter marathon.
There are few things I enjoy more than consuming Harry Potter media – mostly, haunted hayrides, scaring people, and wearing sweatpants. When I got to DJ’s house and saw how close my friends Katie and Tyler lived to him, I saw an opportunity to do at least two of my favorite activities. We were going to scare them, and we were going to wear matching sweat suits while doing it.
I asked DJ to change into an outfit that matched mine – gray sweatshirt, black sweatpants, white T-shirt, and brown sandals – and to get ready to do some spooking. Lovely him, dude did just that. After checking to make sure our outfits coordinated well enough, we left his apartment.
After less than five minutes of creeping around the neighborhood we were at Katie and Tyler’s. At first I was just planning on knocking loudly on their door and running away, but when I saw their apartment I was overcome with inspiration. I told DJ we were going to the back door.
“They never lock the back. WE SLINKING IN.”
And we did. Just as I’d guessed, the back door was unlocked. DJ, convinced we were crossing a line and probably a law, refused to go past the mudroom they shared with their upstairs neighbor. I, on the other hand, strolled right in. The worst that could happen, methought, was that Katie and Tyler would be really scared. And honestly, that was exactly what I was aiming for.
For the first 30 seconds after breaking and entering into their house, I gave up on the hope that I’d scare them at all. DJ and I were laughing so much I didn’t make it more than two steps past their door before hunching over in a high-pitched fit of inhalation laughter. Sadly, two steps were enough to get a perfect view of the bathroom hallway. And, at the 31st second, two steps were enough to get a perfect view of Tyler in all his glory. Clearly, he hadn’t gotten the matching outfit memo. He hadn’t gotten any outfit memo, actually.
Tyler was buck naked.
We made eye contact for half a second, Tyler said “Oh shit” in a very defeated, very violated kind of way, and I ran out of the house.
Later, when DJ and I got back to his place and I called them to apologize, Tyler told me not to be embarrassed and invited us back over for guacamole. We accepted, partly because if I didn’t it’d only make things weirder the next time I saw them, and partly because I really like guacamole.
Strangely, though, the first thing Tyler offered us wasn’t guacamole. It was pickles from an industrial-sized tub of pickles.