I am luckily not a lobster.
Hot water churns, jet-stirred. Lavender and lemon rise to my nostrils, I inhale deeply. I sip water. I read, check my messages.
I am supposedly here to relax but I cannot unplug myself. Turn off the phone, take in the moment.
Feet worked like sore knuckles, someone breaking their back for you to enjoy this moment. Be present. You’ll enjoy it more.
Like being told to relax. Corrective, shaming. Invite yourself into the moment. Leave the stress outside, don’t drop it into the foot bath with the salts. Angry legs, bludgeoned feet.
Soften yourself in the scented steam. Take the pounding from the chair, let it beat your mind out of your tangled muscles.
Close the book, shut off the phone, lean back, close your eyes.
The nibble of the clippers at your toes. It doesn’t have to be torture.
Decompress. Become empty.
Distance your thoughts and focus on your feelings. It’s okay to just BE once in a while. If not here, where?
Drop your mind’s workings. Let the drive defrag.
Open, empty, let it refill.
Only the woman at your feet will know. The world can keep on thinking you’re a normal ball of stress.
Author’s note: These snippets are unedited free-writing exercises that I use as a way to shift my brain into a creative state. I use Lynda Barry’s What It Is YouTube timed exercises (usually 9 minutes worth of writing) for these. They are handwritten in a composition notebook, and then typed up here. As I transcribe them, I do tiny grammar and spelling checks, but the overall “clarity” (if you can call it that) of the exercise is left as-is.