I have started this blog with a gratuitous picture of my cat, Coco Divine. Though she looks adorable, don’t be fooled. She is not very friendly, at least not to anyone except me and my partner (and yes, he is the one who named her. I was thinking of something like ‘Butch’ but lost the coin toss). Coco worships my equally furry partner, probably because he brushes her every morning in what we call the ‘love spot’ on top of his Ikea dresser. During this intimate event I make myself scarce in case Coco tries to pee on me. She has been known to squirt angrily on other people. One of her nicknames is, logically, Madame Golden Showers. Other less logical nicknames include Devil Dog, Sweet Baby Jesus, and Cocsatawny Cocs.
Besides being appropriately self-indulgent for the holidays, posting about my cat introduces the theme of this blog. After all, pets are considered therapeutic. This subject matter is a little lame, you are thinking. You are correct, but I experienced little of note this week and you are stuck with a handful of loosely related observations about therapy in what might be my weakest blog entry. So get ready! According to about.com ‘in the broadest sense, therapy is a term that can be applied to any form of treatment for any illness or disorder. For example, antacid is a form of therapy for heartburn, rehabilitation is a form of therapy for addiction, and exercise is a form of therapy for obesity.’ These days most people immediately think of therapy in terms of ‘the talking cure’ meant to alleviate mental illness, and come to think of it, exercise is another great form of therapy for the mind as well as for obesity. All the same, I will start with ‘slap therapy,’ an activity described to me by a friend who becomes increasingly enigmatic the longer I know him. My nickname for him is ‘man whore,’ mainly because I doubt that he is a man whore, despite his charming ways and best intentions. Just the other day, MW explained that it can sometimes be a good idea to ask a trusted friend to slap you across the face, in a ‘thanks I needed that’ kind of way. This hand-to-face contact should be hard but not injury inducing. Let’s say it should be a six out of ten, with ten knocking you unconscious inside a boxing ring. Hmmmm. I prefer an alternative I call ‘bitch slap therapy.’ It involves me sneaking up on someone who needs a slap but is unaware of it, and letting them have it. Then I run away.
The second kind of therapy is deep tissue massage, which I underwent for the first time this week. I have had a sore point in my back—my lower left rhomboid—for about eight months, ever since I finished my second book manuscript in a frenzy of hunching and focused concentration. Big mistake. DYT recommended her friend, a licensed massage therapist, and she wailed on my upper back and neck for a full hour. Holy shit! I was trying not to be a pussy by breathing deeply and enduring the pain. Madame Hands-of-Steel was quite lovely, informing me that although the pressure would be intense, it should never feel like more than a seven out of ten on the scale. In the end, my endorphin addiction saved me, for every time the pain threatened to surpass seven, I would get a sudden burst of natural pain killer, with waves of dizziness muting the agony. Well, agony is a bit of an exaggeration; that did not really start until the next day. When I described my face-down-oily-endorphin-haze to DYT, she suggested that bodybuilding had taught me to deal with discomfort instead of underestimating my physical capacities. ‘Yes I am stronger,’ I thought to myself, ‘and I can likely handle almost any terrible thing that happens in the future.’ This was immediately disproved, however, when DYT made me squat deeply on the bosu for two minutes, unleashing a torrent of f-bombs and cries of anguish.
I think that drinking is another form of therapy. It sure is on Coronation Street, when a stiff gin and tonic is the answer to almost any problem. I gave it a try yesterday, before, during, and after Xmas dinner at a friend’s house. I downed, in this order: fancy champagne with bitters, yummy red wine, an entire bottle of ten-year tawny port. I do not remember the ride home. Oh ha ha she must have had a massive hangover, you might be snickering to yourself. Actually, not at all, a fact I attribute to 1) the high quality of the booze I consumed, and 2) bodybuilding, which has increased by metabolism along with my narcissism.
And now you must endure a little more banality. I was thinking of pets because before getting drunk and eating lots of barbequed turkey my partner and I watched the Westminster Dog Show on TV; as usual, I began choosing the dog that I will purchase in the future, as soon as Coco dies and we stuff her body, displaying it on a red pillow. At first I thought I wanted that robotic lamb dog, you know, a Bedlington terrier:
But then I learned that they are hard to train, so I have made a more practical selection, pictured below. This was G-Smash’s suggestion, so shout out to her! She was also at the dinner last night, looking hot in a glittery poncho top. I must air one festivus grievance about her though: she was not nearly drunk enough.