In the twilight I saw a bed. The lady handed me fleecy two-piece pajamas and told me to change into them. Since they were about ten sizes too small, I stood there dumbly, until she realized the problem and took them out of my hands.
- "You can keep you dres-s o-n..." Her child-like accent calmed me down. I mean, I knew that, people with the same accent (as all people) can be capable of unspeakable atrocities, but I was glad of my tiny victory over the dress and readily looked at her for further instructions.
- "Lie down, ple-e-a-s-s-e!"
The bed was too tall and oval because of the extensions for a person's arms. I raised one of my stumpy little legs and my butt, but was unable to mount the contraption. With a lot of the huffing and puffing I managed to, finally, get on it, but not before breaking one of the extensions (I prefer to think that, it just folded under my bulk). "OK" - I said in hot embarrassment.
My heart was thudding from exhaustion and apprehension.
- "You lie the-e-eh, I get ready foh yo-u-u!"
The ceiling was far above and dark. I began to relax. The worry was replaced with an inner chuckle.
I felt cold, refreshing cream on my forehead. She then spread it all over my face and wiped it off with warm, moist pads. I was still blinking in the dark, getting used to this new development, when she put warm, moist little ?cotton balls? on both my eyelids and continued her ministrations.
The sensations replaced one another and were not altogether unpleasant. My caretaker used on me a polishing mechanical doohickey and then - a rougher one. I couldn't open my eyes, so it took some adjustment of my control-hungry mindset to relax completely.
It came to me then that, this could be a great opportunity for personal growth. I had to let go of control and preconceptions in order to have a good experience.
- "Let go, forgive (I thought of other things on my heart than the facial), love. Let go, forgive, love." I chanted soundlessly, and busy fingers moved on my face. I heard the wheels on the floor: she pulled something over, and suddenly the warm steam waffed over my skin.
We were both silent. Contrary to my nature, the weight on my eyelids also prompted my lips to remain closed.
A clang of some instruments in a tray. I winced, thinking of all the visits to a dentist, when this sound meant another, different torture.
And - torture I got!
The little fingers used something to scrape my face of the decades of crud. She didn't know mercy, but I knew, it was for the best!
After awhile, it was over. The cool cream smoothed my stinging cheeks, chin and forehead. She moved to my arms, put lotion on them and strongly massaged them from shoulders to the tips of my fingers. I endured pain in silence.
The lady then put a gauze over my face and ladled some concoction on top of it. It was a mask. After painting the gauze with it, she left me, so to speak, to stew in my own juices.
The tension fled. I dozed off, not worried anymore about the impending meeting with my relatives or the kind of an impression I will make on them. If they want to keep the connection, they need to see the real me. What kind of a relationship would it be, if I have to keep on impressing them in vain?
- "Ah you OKa-a-i?" My caretaker was back. She removed the mask from my face, washed the skin and put some more lotion on it.
- "Se-e-e? No r-e-d! I to-oh-d yo-u-u!"
I touched my cheek. It was so smooth that, my fingers slid off! I forgot how tight the skin on the face should be!
- "Yo-u come ba-a-a, I'll take care-e-e o you-u-u" With that promise, I was led out into the light.
Do you think, there could be a lesson somewhere in this?