Posts Tagged ‘Seattle


Hot wax

Never let it be said I would ask my girlfriend to do something I wouldn’t do myself.

There we were, on the corner of Bumpkin & Vine, in Seattle. In town for the annual 3-day Bumbershoot Festival of art, music, comedy and beer garden lines, we—well, I—decided some personal grooming was just the thing we needed to do to celebrate the Labour Day long weekend. So, on Sunday, a mere two days ago, I charged into a place called Wax On (shouldn’t it be called “Wax Off”?), just around the corner from our room at the elegant and somewhat retro El Gaucho Inn, and said,

“Give me a bikini wax.”

Actually, what I said was, how long does it take, do you have an opening right now before I change my mind, and does it hurt? 10 minutes, yes, and no, were the answers (in somewhat fractured English) given by Helen, my Asian wax person. (Waxer? Wax goddess? Waxarista?) How she kept a straight face for her last answer, I don’t know.

With visions of Steve Carrell getting his chest waxed in The 40-Year-Old Virgin, I followed Helen into a small room in examination-room white, but with a giant Bumbershoot poster on the wall. Did many people, on their way to the festival, come in to get waxed? I wondered.

“Panties on, or off?” she asked. Did she really say “panties”? Ahem, I was wearing manly briefs.

I asked what was easier for her, and she said “off.” She told me to get undressed, and left. Before she did, she handed me a washcloth to hold over my privates. Just as I lay back on the table, my cell phone went off.

“Hey,” said my cousin. “Do you know any good places to eat in Seattle?” He was visiting the city too, with friends.

“Uhm,” I said, fully aware of where I was, and how there was no way of explaining it at the moment. “Yeah…”

After giving him a few suggestions I got back on the table. Helen opened the door. Was it too late to change my mind?

“First, one side,” she said, placing my hand and protective washcloth on top of my manhood, and to the right. She told me to bend my left leg, and she held up a wooden stick covered with a greenish substance. She blew on it to cool it off, and applied it to the inside of my thigh.

Now, I’m no expert, and in truth I didn’t know what exactly a “bikini wax” meant, i.e., what area it covered. Or uncovered. I soon found out.

She applied the strip of adhesive paper, pressed down, and pulled off. About a million hairs were yanked screaming from my flesh. I howled. “I thought you said this wasn’t going to hurt?”

“I lied,” she said.

She went to work on the area just above my groin. I stared up at the ceiling fan, feeling the hot wax, then the adhesive, followed by intense, searing pain. “Owww!”

“Sorry. You okay?”

I asked if she got a lot of men in here, and if a lot of her clients were adult movie performers. I’m not sure she understood the question, but she said yes. I replied it would be a good place to work, but at reception, since I didn’t think I was cut out to–


“Almost done,” said Helen. The thing is, they don’t warn you when you’re about to do something, because then you get anxious about the pain and it hurts more. At least, that’s what she told me.

“Do you want to leave some at the top?”

Uhm, I don’t know—do I? I guess so, considering the pain involved in getting rid of more.

In all, the waxperience took about 10 minutes, and was definitely painful. However, all the rest of the day I could think about nothing but my newly cleared path, and how I couldn’t wait to show it off back at our room… and at the nude beach.


The Pounder

We were at the Lava Lounge when we caught the Pounder’s eye. Actually, I spotted her latest victim first, a punch-drunk-looking dude swaying near the bar. “What happened to you?” I asked.

“She gave me a massage,” he said, nodding at a young redhaired woman at his side. The girl smiled, then placed her order. “Two rum donkeys,” she told the bald, bespectacled bartender, who looked like a featherless bird. Then she eyed M. and I. “Make it four.”

It was Friday night, and we were in Seattle. The five-hour (counting border delays and stops at Walgreen’s) road trip was a more or less spontaneous decision made that afternoon when my L.A. trip was postponed. M. and I love our Seattle trips–the open road, the cheap and plentiful alcohol, the hours spent picking apart other people’s lifestyles. One glimpse of a happy-looking hipster couple with a baby stroller could fuel a three-hour rant.

This trip was a little bit different in that neither of us was undergoing an emotional crisis. Not like, say, New Year’s Eve last year, when we found ourselves at an abysmal “’80s party” in Capitol Hill with some socially inept Microsoft types, and tried to make conversation while waiting for our respective hopeless causes to call. Or the time before that, a drunken debauch at the height of summer when we were, yep, waiting for our respective hopeless causes to call.

No, this was a care-free trip, more or less, so we didn’t object when the crane-like bartender poured a mixture of Malibu and Captain Morgan’s rum with pineapple and orange juice into four glasses. M. and I toasted our new American friends–who, immediately after downing their rum donkeys, got into an argument about how much the guy should tip the bartender ($15, claimed the girl, who had paid for the drinks). The guy left and the girl stayed to talk to us. Her name was Elizabeth, she was from New Orleans by way of Tennessee, and she worked in Seattle as server. While she talked she pushed her pillowy bosom into M., then positioned herself behind my friend and travelling companion to deliver a shoulder-and-back massage that made M.’s eyes pop out. “Oh yeah,” said M., taking a sip of her Jameson’s (the rum donkey long gone by then). I was next. Elizabeth the Pounder violently pushed my head down on the bar and began pounding my back and shoulders with her meaty ham sandwiches. Now I was finding out why the guy had looked so shell-shocked–she was using my back like a punching bag. “You’re so tense,” she said.

“Well, I had a girlfriend for two-and-a-half weeks,” I said, only half-joking.

“Doesn’t he ever relax?” she asked M. Then she leaned into me to ask, “This might be a weird question. But do you love yourself?

Okay, enough was enough–a good pounding was one thing, but I didn’t come to the Lava Lounge in Seattle for psychoanalysis. We finished our drinks and headed back to the hotel, the always welcoming and budget-priced Moore.

We spent the next day, a warm, cloudless Saturday, engaging in Seattle-ish activities–shopping at Nordstrom, lunch at McCormick & Schmick’s, browsing at Elliott Bay Books, oohing and awing an R. Crumb exhibit at the Frye Art Museum, filling up on the happy hour bar menu at Brasa. In the evening, we headed east towards Capitol Hill to Neumo’s. Indie-rock act the Mountain Goats was halfway through its set when we squeezed into the packed bar, its unventilated air hot and heavy with the scent of hipsters in Value Village wear.

And who should we run into on our way back to the hotel but the Pounder herself, just off work from the restaurant next door, sitting at the bar of the Six Arms brewpub. We sat with her and she told us all about her Mexican boyfriend before catching a ride home with us in our cab. After we dropped her off M. and I both agreed–the Pounder was a nice enough girl, but she was way more fun when she was drunk, horny, and pounding our backs.

August 2020

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