They Can’t All Be Happy Endings
April 9, 2009 by Legal Tease
I’m not completely delusional. I popped my Big Law cherry long enough ago to realize that this job—this life—isn’t for the faint of heart. I’ve come to expect that on any given day, the Big Law grind will leave me ravaged with exhaustion. It’ll leave me straining to remember the faces of my family and friends. It’ll leave me ranting at inanimate objects in the middle of the night and craving even just the tiniest hit of sleep, sex, style, sanity. What I didn’t quite expect, though, was that it would leave me lying naked on a table in the middle of a hotel with some guy’s latex-covered hand crammed halfway down my throat.
Let’s back up a bit, no?
It’s no particular surprise that things in Law Firm Land have been a little less sunny than usual lately. In the past couple of months alone, my firm has chucked out pretty much everything but the furniture and then, just in case the remaining suckers associates were getting too used to showering at home on a regular basis, the powers-that-be have made sure that we’re now racking up the billables at a near-inhuman pace.
So, when a new deal that I’d been hamster-wheeling on for eleven straight days died a sudden death late last week, I figured I’d take advantage of the lull, reward myself for the pain of the past few weeks—months? years?—and treat myself to something over-the-top luxurious. Something that makes me feel grateful that I still have a paycheck. I wanted it to be ridiculously indulgent. I wanted it to be stupidly expensive. I wanted it, more than anything else, to be relaxing.
That was the first mistake.
Being utterly incapable of relaxing on my own, I decided that my big treat to myself would be a $395, two-hour “Ultimate Body Massage” at the most resplendently posh hotel spa in town. From the minute I walked in, everything was perfect. The lilac-scented steam room, the heated pool, even the free slippers were conspiring mercifully to make me shed my Big Law stresses, even if just for an afternoon. And to top it all off, the massage therapist, David, was easily one of the hands-down hottest guys I think I’d ever seen—and no, I’m not talking about lawyer-hot; I’m talking about no-holds-barred, real-world, aspiring-actor hot. So, lying there face-down on the massage table, naked and covered only by a silky, thin sheet while this Adonis started running his hands across my tired, broken little body, I shoved all thoughts of proxy statements, prick partners, and billable hours out of my head and settled in for a perfect two hours.
After the first hour of bliss, David rolled me over onto my back, placing a buckwheat eye mask onto my face to block out any light. “Sooo,” he purred, “How are we feeling?”
Oh God, his voice is so soooothing. Mmmm.
I was waiting for his hands to start going at it again, but there was nothing. I tried “mmm”-ing again, but didn’t hear any movement. Finally, his honey voice broke the silence.
“So, can I ask you something?”
I croaked out an “mmm-hm.” Please God don’t let this be a legal question.
“I’m wondering if you’d like to try something.”
Oh. That was unexpected. Why would he ask me— oh hey, WAIT, is he getting at what I think he might be getting at? Could this actually be one of those hush-hush “happy ending” massages for ladies I heard about a while back—the ones I’ve never had the time (or the nerve) to pursue? But wait, aren’t they usually at, like, hidden day spas in Chinatown where you have to ask for “Sved” and navigate some sort of secret handshake to get the party started? I don’t think I gave off that kind of vibe when I introduced myself to David. Hell, I don’t even think I made eye contact. But maybe I seem so tightly wound that he can just sense the need? Hm. Well, either way, I’m…I’m game. I think.
“We don’t have to do this if you don’t want to, of course,” David continued, all calm.
“No, well, it’s—”
“But I actually used to be in medical school, so.”
Medical school? What the hell does that have to do with anything?
“It might feel…strange at first, but if you give in to it, I think you’re really going to experience something.”
Huh. This isn’t quite going where I thought it would.
“Um, well, what…what is it?”
“Let me show you!” I could feel David smiling, his energy rising. “Let me just put on some gloves real quick.”
And now, friends, I’d like to take a moment to reiterate the obvious: The part of your day that finds you lying naked on a table, blindfolded, listening to the snap of latex gloves sliding on when you’re not, say, about to undergo abdominal surgery, is the part when you fling yourself off the table and get the hell out of the building. But lo, I just sat there, frozen and blinded by buckwheat.
That, clearly, was the second mistake.
Before I knew it, David was hovering next to me, explaining that he was about to perform a “mouth massage.” He started by gently poking a latex-covered finger into my mouth —“I know it sounds weird, I know it feels strange!”— and telling me to, yes, lightly suck his finger to “get my mouth loosened up.” Unbelievably, I went along with it. From there, he proceeded to stick a few more fingers into my mouth, rubbing my inner cheeks and gum lines, while I lay there with my mouth open as far as it would go, speechless and paralyzed. Within minutes, he’d managed to work his whole hand and part of his forearm into my mouth and was starting to “massage” the back of my throat—which, wouldn’t you know it, feels remarkably like being choked. OK, enough. This is beyond insane. I let out a faint protesting moan, the kind you might make at the dentist.
“Just give in to it!” he softly urged.
I tried to close my mouth—without much luck.
“Give in to it!”
Um, no, sorry, still not happening, guy.
“GIVE IN TO IT!”
Oh Jesus Christ, give in to what, you lunatic? The fact that you have a hand the size of my leg jammed into my mouth? Or the fact that I’m such an unbelievable goddamn loser that I’m actually paying $400 to let it happen?
Finally, I just sat up, pulled my throat off his hand, swatted off the eye mask and hopped off the table, sheets and all, and waddled back to the changing room in disgrace. Sitting in the locker room, six hundred times more tense than I was when I walked in, I couldn’t figure out why I’d let myself stay glued to that table, fully allowing this surreal oral assault to play itself out. In my “real” life, my Big Law life, I’m a confident, assertive pain in the ass, if anything—why did I suddenly become so meek? Or was I just trying to prove something to myself—that I actually am capable of “giving in to it,” of relaxing against all odds (the least of which being a scenario that involves some idiot pawing the back of my throat)? Are things truly that bad in my world? Have the slithering fingers of Big Law really reached out so far that they’ve finally choked the last breath out of any sense of self I used to have?
The only thing I can say for sure at this point is please. Just please, the next time you’re lying around with a little time to spare, cash to burn, and a jonesing for some hard-core pampering, do yourself a favor and learn from my mistakes: Just go back to the office. At least there, when you find yourself with more than you can handle suddenly crammed down your throat, you can be sure that you’ll have plenty of company.