“Do you realize how much stress you’re carrying?” Lionel said, jabbing a thumb into her shoulder blade.
“Yes. Why do you think I’m here?” Harriet replied between grunts.
“Well, most people just come in with a few knots and think it’s the end of the world. But you? You’re like a scout troop on a camping weekend.”
Harriet laughed, then grunted in pain again as Lionel pushed harder. “Too much, too much,” she said.
“If you say so, but it’s what you need to get these things out. How’s your work life?” He could feel her tense up further as soon as he said work, telling him everything he needed to know.
“Oh, it’s fine. My boss is a bit difficult, and has been kind of…I don’t know if it’s hitting on me, or just telling me I have to do things to keep my job. I’ve resisted so far, but I feel like it’s only a matter of time before I’m looking for work again. But it’s fine for now.”
“Really? Because it sounds pretty abusive.”
“No, it’s okay. And there’s my – Ow! Oh, that’s a bad one – there’s my Mom, who keeps asking when I’m going to settle down and get married, but I’m not even seeing anyone right now.”
“Right, that’s a difficult one.”
“Yeah. I mean, I have this friend I’m kind of interested in, but he just started seeing someone else, so that’s nothing doing.”
“Well, Harriet, you need to find some way to relax, because right now you’re carrying everything in these knots. I’m doing what I can, but massage can only go so far.”
“Oh, don’t worry about me, I’ll figure out how to get rid of it. Everything will be fine soon enough, right?”
Lionel pursed his lips and kept massaging.