Do not be alarmed by the soft sound of Tibetan bells. The Spa Locker Room music is here to relax you. You may or may not have been given a tour of the locker room by a woman with a top bun in a black polo shirt. Either way, you will not be able to locate the toilets. They are not in fact behind the shower curtains, but around a corner near the self-serve cucumber water station. In your assigned locker, you will find a robe that doesn’t fit and plastic slip-on shoes that are a half size too small and look like the sandals your neighbor wears when he’s outside smoking. Place your belongings on the shelf and try to secure your locker using the keypad. It will not work and you will want to punch it, but then you remember to press the C button before entering your code.
Four women are in a huddle whispering. They are not talking about your butt. One of them is getting married or turning 40 or getting divorced, and her friends have brought her to the Spa Locker Room to eat chocolate covered almonds and use the spray deodorant. There is free stuff all around, and you might be tempted to take the eco-friendly bamboo toothbrush wrapped in plastic. Instead, moisturize your entire body with the white lotion that smells like sour peaches from Shaw’s Candy. As you rub your belly, do not fall into the trap of thinking about your younger body. You are alive and you are in a Spa Locker Room. Acknowledge your privilege and moisturize your elbows.
You might overhear the following:
“And then he said his girlfriend’s a slasher.”
“Model Slash Actress.”
“What a douche.”
There might be a basket of green apples and a selection of tea with names like Margaret’s Hope, Vive Le Thé, and Paris For Her. You can sit by the gas fireplace, on the beige patterned couch, surrounded by beige patterned pillows, and read articles like Change Your Life In Seven Days and Your Best Abs in a magazine called Women’s Health. Toss the magazine back on the coffee table with the small wooden Buddha and consider women’s bodies as property, containers, vessels, weapons, cradles, and caskets. Vigorously scratch your thigh. Recognize your body has been itchy lately. Perhaps it is angry with people who are trying to control it. Think of your body as something to protect fiercely, like a child.
A woman in a cotton wrap shirt the color of a fresh bruise will enter the Spa Locker Room and call your name. You will follow her to a lavender-scented room and undress.