I was walking aimlessly in the mall looking with nostalgia at all the things that I could effortlessly afford in December.
In this hardship month of January they look so distant and alien.
My heart wanted to buy them just like I carelessly did during the festive season when I spent up to the last coin with abandon, but the wallet is not cooperating.
In order to make myself appear relevant and not just enjoying free Wi-Fi in the mall, I stumbled into a station that displays massage seats for hire and sale.
As an enticement and pre-sales service, they offer you unlimited access to the seat so that you can have a taste of what you are buying.
After my experience with the free trial that I will try to describe here, I concluded that the massage seat must be the devil's invention.
He must have created the seat in order to lure happily married men from their matrimonial beds in order to go and get married to massage seats in the big malls and beauty parlours.
The massage seat has all the signs of innocence from far. It has the demeanour of an abandoned seat used by a senior manager who has disappeared for lunch from 11am to 3pm.
But underneath the upholstery lies the devil incarnate.
Because he knows that most of the prospective buyers have never encountered such an item of luxury before, the vendor is very considerate and tolerant.
He doesn’t employ your regular beauty contestant to man the seat and lure customers with their physical appeal.
Rather he poached a lady called Mary from a remote place called Ruthigiti.
She is well mannered and she looks away shyly when you start to remove your jacket and shoes as per the user instructions.
The exercise starts politely as Mary requests you to remove your socks as well and step on a flat pad.
You feel like you are entering a holy place and it reminds you of the burning bush.
In one moment of fleeting religiousness, you half expect to see the sacrificial lamb and hear a voice telling you to step away.
Your arms are held in some form of restraint, same for your head.
They probably use the restraint to prevent you from running mad or breaking something in the throes of pleasurable sensations.
But it is a safe bet because for once are assured that you are in a secure place and Mary is well brought up.
In a different setting, the attendant may be attempted to check the contents of your jacket as you close your eyes and get lost in the moment.
Mary knows what to give to each customer. All her customers happen to be men.
Her maternal aunt in Ruthigiti taught her about treating men well.
She can gauge your level of emotional and physical turmoil from a mile, and she holds a control panel in her hands from where she dispenses the massage sensations based on her assessment.
The session starts with some slow but firm caressing on the back and the lower posterior region as the machine warms up.
Then the foot massage kicks in, this one literally throws you into a spin.
The machine is quite methodical. It works on your bottoms and temples, then releases the temples and now you get the bottoms plus shoulders.
As the tempo increases, the bottoms are released and you get shoulders and lower back.
You want to let out a moan, but you know that moaning is for the weak, so you hold it in.
The session is timed for one hour, but I did not last beyond fifteen minutes.
I motioned Mary to terminate the session just as she was about to unleash a fresh wave of sensations.
There are no eggs and hooves' soup for recovery, so you just smile sheepishly at Mary and go back home like the prodigal son who has just repented after a life of debauchery.
Next time you are hovering around the big mall and you have some time to spare, just pass by the station for a free session, then come and we compare notes. And tell Mary that I send my warm regards.