Long long ago, when I was a strapping young lad of 32 or so, I went through an episode so traumatic that it has taken over a decade for me to be able to come face to face with it. It's time, I have to confront this bitter episode and hope that writing about it is cathartic and I'm able to move on.
I went to a beauty parlour and I had a facial.
What can I say, I was going to get married, my fiancee (now wife) thought it would be a cool thing to do and I acquiesced, albeit a bit unwillingly. Now I'm no dinosaur, I am known to dabble in a bit of aftershave, the odd deodorant and I even get a head massage after my haircut but this was a new paradigm.
So we reach this place and I was seated in the reception tapping my foot nervously, looking longingly at the exit door. But before I could change my mind, I was moved to one of them fancy barbershop chairs in a dark cabin. One lamp hovered over my head menacingly and a tray of assorted items was next to my chair. Primary amoung those was what looked like a pair of dentist's drills.
It was spine chilling.
Was this a trick? Would I have to spill the gory details of my past? Was I to be implanted with a tracking device? Was my decades long escape from a dentist finally over? Despite the air conditioner, I was feeling rather hot.
The door opened, and the Lady walked in. She had a sneer on her face (could have been a smile but damnit I was nervous). She reached beside the chair and pressed a lever and I was now stretched horizontal. She took some paste and started applying it on my face, a cold concoction that felt like the icy calm before the storm, then slowly she wiped it away with a warm towel.
This was oddly nice, I could get used to this, I thought. She did it again, the paste felt soothing, and the seat felt nice and comfortable. I was nearly dozing by the third or the fourth time she did it. Not bad.
Then, I realised something odd, the paste she applied last seemed to harden around my face. My eyes flew open, she said was a face mask and asked me not to talk. I the skin hardened, along with it my anxiety rose. But soon she began peeling it off, leaving my skin feeling nice. I was sure that by now I was looking like Idris Elba.
Eyes closed and sinking back in satisfaction so much so that I didn't hear the buzzing noise. As it got louder, my eyes opened again, wide. She was slowly approaching me with those drills, rubbing the tips against each other, creating a crackling noise.
In my mind I think I enquired politely as to what that device was? But in reality it must have been "Whaasaassttaat???"
"Relax, Sir" she snarled and began applying it all over my cheeks. It stung. I was quivering, I was ready to provide any information she wanted, I'd sign an confession that I had stolen the crown jewels if she had asked for. I just wanted it to end. She could see me struggling. "Sir, it opens up your pores" she said. I wanted to tell her it wasn't just my pores that were going to open up but also my bladder! I was too scared to open my mouth.
And suddenly, it was over.
She took a bowl of golden goo and began applying it. It felt nice, my pores were enjoying it too. I sank into my chair, tension slowly easing off. Oddly, I felt like I was in Madonna's Vogue music video, conical bra and all. Hmm. Strike a pose.
The warm towel was back. All was well with the world.
DING DING DING! ALARM BELLS! HOLY MOLEY BATMAN!!
While I was relaxed in a state of semi conciousness, she had began scrapping my FACE OFF with something very sharp. Tears streamed down my face. I sat up and croaked "What are you doing?"
"Removing blackheads" she replied as she was trying to push me back.
"BLACKHEADS??? LADY! THIS IS A BLACK HEAD" I sputtered, pointing to my head.
She laughed and pushed me back and assured me she would do it slowly and proceeded to work on my nose, ignoring the tears streaming down my face. My nose, like Micheal's, has never recovered from that onslaught.
The warm towel was back, as a consolation. She added insult to injury by flashing a mirror to my face.
No Idris Elba. Just me, the now broken man, looking back defeatedly.
It was over. I was over. I needed a warm bed and therapy thereafter.