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Damon – Unexpected Propositions

CRAZY PERSON
Image by Andrew Poynton from Pixabay

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Unexpected Propositions

Before I started to write seriously, and before I started teaching English online, I was a massage therapist in London for about 10 years. I trained in Shiatsu, which for the uninitiated is a fully clothed, acupressure massage from Japan.

There is a lot of firm pressure to tender pressure points. It isn’t very sexy. It’s very therapeutic. There is no skin on skin contact, no oil, no towels. It involves thumbs, elbows and sometimes feet. I also did a lot of onsite, corporate massage. Which also isn’t very sexy. It is also fully clothed and consists of lot of elbows in tight shoulders. Onsite massage takes place in a special kind of massage chair, often in a spare office or empty meeting room, and occasionally in stranger places like the back corner of the cafeteria or in a large disabled toilet.

Over the years I’ve had a few unexpected advances or propositions. I would usually arrange the booking by email or messenger, often without speaking to or seeing the person until we were face to face and about to start the treatment.

I became an expert at detecting when expectations weren’t in line with what I was offering.

One such near-miss was when I got a message requesting a midweek, afternoon treatment in a suburb of London (I would travel to see clients when I had the time, but I preferred when they came to my clinic). We agreed the time, place and price easily enough, but there was something in the back of my mind that didn’t feel quite right. He always used the word ‘massage’ and not Shiatsu. I asked the client where he’d found my details and rather than saying my website, he mentioned a massage listing site that I wasn’t on (well, to my knowledge I wasn’t on it).

So I asked him who he was expecting. His answer was a ‘hot blonde lady’.

HOT BLONDE LADY
Image by Claudio_Scott from Pixabay

Well, I am blonde, and my wife thinks I’m hot… But I’m definitely not a lady.

That was a potentially disappointing situation for both of us. Successfully avoided!

Fast forward a few years, to yesterday. I stopped providing massage myself when I left the UK in 2016 and settled in Greece. Since then I’ve focused on teaching English as a Foreign Language, but I kept the massage business and website running until the pandemic hit London in March of 2020 and shut it all down. Until then I had clients and therapist friends, and an amazing virtual assistant who was managing it all.

I also kept my old phone number from the UK for ‘just in case’ situations. The SIM card is wedged into an old iPhone 4 with a terrible battery so needs to be constantly plugged in.

Yesterday I noticed that someone was Facetiming me on that number. I didn’t recognise the caller so I hit the automatic reply of “Sorry I can’t talk right now”.

I’m a bit shy and don’t like talking to randoms calling an old phone number.

I also noticed that the phone number was from ‘+1’ the USA.

Maybe a sales call?

The call stopped and unplugging the phone, I sat down and looked at it.

The first message read 

‘Hiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiey I’m Damon would love a massage from you’

Then 16 more messages and several missed calls that went something like this:

‘Are you there’

‘Please answer me’

‘Hello are you there please answer me please thanks’

‘Are you there please answer me please thanks’

‘I’m Damon by the way could you please answer me please thanks’

‘Please answer me please thanks’

‘Are you there please answer me please thanks’

‘Please answer me please thanks’

‘Are you available to chat (bubble)’

‘Please answer me please thanks’

‘Are you there please answer me please thanks’

‘Could we please chat (bubble) text me back please thanks’

‘Are you there please answer me please thanks’

‘Please answer me please thanks’

At this point, I had sent my ‘Sorry I can’t talk right now’ message

Quick as a flash, I get a reply message 

‘Okay could we chat (bubble) when you get time please thanks’

I explain in my next message that due to the pandemic I’m no longer giving massage, but perhaps I can connect him with someone I know. I asked for his location.

MASSAGE IN LONDON
Image by Angelo Esslinger from Pixabay

I’m thinking that maybe Damon is visiting London and just really, really needs a massage and is also extremely polite.

‘Colorado’

‘United States’

Hmmm… I don’t even know anyone in Colorado, except for this one guy from MySpace, called Antenna10, he was an experimental electronic artist from Denver. But I have no idea if he does massage. Here is his Youtube channel in case you’re interested. His rockier side project was called Tummy Pills. 

I proceed to tell Damon that I was based in London and don’t even know anyone in Colorado. I decline to mention Antenna10.

‘Okay but after the pandemic are you going to go back to massage just wondering’

Now, I like that Damon uses proper grammar and spelling but his lack of punctuation was bugging me a little bit. I am an English teacher and a pedant, after all.

I tell Damon that it is unlikely, as I did it for 10 years and needed a change. And that we’re still in different parts of the world. I decided to leave out the part about my relocation to Greece. I don’t want him jumping on a plane or anything like that.

‘Yeah okay just wondering want to be friends’

GODDAMNIT MAN PUNCTUATION!!!!!

I don’t answer

‘Do you want to become friends’

‘So would you like to be friends’

I like how he rephrases his questions in case there is a lack of understanding on my side. He’s thorough!

Meanwhile, I’m relaying the exchange to my wife who listens with mild levels of tolerance to the unfolding story and my growing amusement.

My reply ‘Sorry Damon, I don’t think so.’

‘Okay’

I go on,

‘I’m sure there are better ways to meet people in your area or online? With Common interests…’

‘I know you don’t do massages anymore but just wondering do you like money and getting paid’

I think about this for a moment and decide to take the risk of making a potentially dogmatic statement.

‘Everyone likes money, Damon. But just for the record, I’m a 43-year-old married guy… So I might not be who or what you’re looking for…’

‘You don’t have to do much’

‘There’s just a little thing’

‘Do you want me to tell you about it’

Hmmm, persistent little bugger, but at least he’s polite and I’m not being subject to whatever this is without giving my permission. I kind of get how women might feel about getting sent an unsolicited dick-pic. Wouldn’t it be nice to be given the choice?

‘Dick-pic?’

‘No thank you!’ 

I contemplate a moment, but the temptation to know gets the better of me. And besides, he’s being so darn polite!

‘Sure, go ahead’

‘It’s kinda weird but do you want to hear about it’

‘Ok, but I’m probably not interested’ I write back

I say probably because, you know, if the money is right… Maybe he’ll pay my expenses too. I do feel the need to switch it up a bit with the teaching, and the money isn’t exactly rolling in from the writing yet. Perhaps he’s loaded and just wants a really good massage from a guy on the other side of the world?

Damon continues,

‘So like all you would have to do is sit on a chair [?] and I lay underneath you and [all] you do is rub my bare back with your bare feet

To be honest I was a little disappointed in Damon. Rubbing his back with my bare feet… That’s not so far off what Shiatsu actually is. Ok, so less rubbing and more giving strong pressure. But if this guy really wanted to he could probably find a local Shiatsu or Thai Yoga Massage therapist in his area and not have to do all of this silly messaging.

My reply,

‘Well, that’s not so weird, but we’re still in different parts of the world… Probably you could find someone local who could do that…’

‘Yeah I know but would you do it though’

‘Like if I came to visit you’

Now I’m glad I didn’t tell him where I live.!

‘I think not. But thanks for the offer.’

‘But would you at least try it though’

Time to end this.

‘No. Sorry.’

‘Okay byeeeee’

And then my phone died.

So I didn’t get to say goodbye to Damon. And when the phone charged up enough to reply I didn’t feel the need.

Do I miss being a massage therapist? Not exactly.

Part 7 of the Adventures of Kiwi in India – My Travel Companion in India Part 2 – is coming soon!

But until then, why not sign up to our newsletter and be informed as soon as the next post is published!

 

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