If I were a rich man (or woman as the case may be) I would have a massage every week.
So today I just pretended I was rich and had one anyway.
Some people don’t like massages.
I don’t understand them.
What’s not to like about having sixty whole minutes to yourself with someone kneading out all your stress and tension and nothing to interrupt you but a quiet ‘turn over please’.
Nothing but your own thoughts that is.
That’s right folks. My ability to self-sabotage puts the NSW Labor Party to shame.
There I lie, - naked body and naked mind - and while the masseuse bruises my back, I get to work bruising my self-esteem.
I start off with my performing career.
Why aren’t your Tony and Helpmann awards being used as doorstops? I ask myself.
Never mind that I lived 7 years in the States without a Green card, thereby making me ineligible for Broadway and obviously also a Tony.
And I’ve only been physically able to audition for Australian theatre over the last month or so.
No, never mind all that.
Then I move on to my writing.
Why aren’t I published? I ask myself, pounding my ego in time to her back slaps.
And then I list all the people I can think of who are my age or younger and already published, and all the women I’ve heard of who keep blogs and have landed themselves a publishing deal through their cyber-genius.
And how about helping others?
Surely someone as privileged as you are can pull your finger out for someone less fortunate.
Yeah, you sponsor a kid and donate to anything to do with cancer and kids, and drop a coin or two into Red Cross every time a humanitarian crisis strikes, but seriously, is that the best you can offer?
Stop it Hart, I say to myself. You’re spending bloody good money on this massage, now lie here and enjoy it dammit.
Which then brings up the topic of money and how I don’t earn
much any. And savings and superannuation and how will we ever afford to retire. And how will we ever afford to buy a house in Sydney? Forget that.
How about how will we ever afford to rent in Sydney?
And now I’ve got parenting to add to my list of stressors.
Am I good enough? Am I doing enough? Am I doing too much? Is she doing enough? Is Gregory? Should we be doing more together?
I tell you, it’s a real treat living inside my head sometimes.
And so I try to relax.
Relax and enjoy and focus on the experience.
But then all I can concentrate on are the snores coming through the curtains from the bloke next door and the incessant three beeps from the washing machine out the back that indicate it has finished its cycle.
I know that’s what it is because our washing machine does the same thing and it drives me slightly bonkers.
As if it’s not bad enough having to do two loads of laundry every day, without having the stupid thing cheerfully bleat at you right after Miss Q has finally taken a nap.
It was an hour-long massage, so I had time to work my way through the whole gamut of concerns - my marriage, my friendships, my relationships with my family, Q, how many children I want...
It was an existential crisis of the worst sort.
An existential crisis while lying face down on a hard mat, being stood on by a small Thai woman, wearing nothing but a g-string and faintly aware that I hadn’t shaved my legs.
There’s a word for people like me.