I put our friendship to the test.
‘This massage is free today, isn’t Ariff?’
He looked at me. His lips wanted to move but he was in shock.
Over the two hours, he had chain-smoked my cigarettes, eaten my free breakfast and drank my coffees.
I had the cash, but I wanted to test if he really was a friend.
He had probably massaged me for about twenty minutes of the two hours.
The look on his face said that he had massaged me for two hours straight.
But I knew most of the time was spent watching sexy dangdut girls and bugging me to play porn.
Only fucking with you, I said and handed him over the cash.
He does offer a service. He wasn’t like my Muslim Batak motorbike guy in Medan who just turned up for the free food and cigarettes and his payment at the end of the day.
At least Ariff doesn’t abuse me like Mr. Batak did in Medan. He’s cultured, my man in Medan was a drug fiend barbarian who sucked me dry for three weeks.
My back and neck is feeling worse, not better.
Ariff was great the first few days but now he’s in self-preservation mode, get as much cash out of the white guy for as little work as possible.
I’m reassessing our friendship. It seems a bit one way in my books. I think my cash is better spent elsewhere.
From being a shit hot massage man, he’s now slightly elevated from the humbugger. I don’t even find his jokes funny. After a session with him, I feel drained and ratty.
What kinda of black magic is he playing at?
That’s the kind of question I’m asking.
‘He only deserved 50 000,’ said one of the hotel staff who knows I paid 100 000, two days wages for a full-time staff working eight hours a day, which Ariff got for twenty minutes work. (No wonder he was creaming in his pants). And he mimes Ariff’s technique, a half-assed attempt at rubbing lotion on the arms and hands.
‘Anyone can do that,’ he says, if I didn’t know I was being hoodwinked.
I gotta say, that whitening cream is doing wonders for my back and neck.
It’s never felt so fucking smooth.
Ariff says he’s a stupid man. I’m really starting to question that.
It’s really not Ariff’s fault. My injuries were sustained elsewhere. He’s trying his best, and that’s all I can ask.
‘You are softening.’
Who was that?
Perhaps I am. I might even use his services again, and push hard for a discount, again.
So he gave you a discount?
I’m balancing the scales. Moans can sometimes eclipse the goodness of people.
And I believe Ariff is one of the good guys.