The Zen of Heat

“Ahhhh….it feels so good!” she sighs, letting her towel fall softly down in response.
PP nods, agrees, “Yeah. I’m so needing this. My neck has been killing me all week and I think it’s cause the sauna’s been closed.”
“That’s right!” Relaxed Towel Woman says, “We don’t need pills. We don’t need doctors. All we need is this sauna……it feels so good….” she sighs again.

And so does PP. Her neck, back, and shoulders all begin to melt. The constant nagging pain begins to evaporate.

Was all she needed this entire week was an afternoon in the sauna?

But what about the Zen Springs? Why didn't its magic last longer?

DHBF was so sweet. On New Year’s Day, PP was in Neck Agony. Whining and whining. DHBF comes up with the idea to go to some hot tubs, but of course all are closed, except the skanky ones on University and the Zen Springs in Downtown Oakland.

Zen Springs?

PP was dubious, but what the hell, it couldn’t hurt any more right?

“You have sit,” the soft-spoken young Asian man motions to a wooden bench when they walk into the quiet Zen of the Springs. “I make room ready.”

“Okay,” DHBF says, but doesn’t take a seat. Neither does PP. She has to go to the bathroom of course.

When SSYAM returns, she asks where the bathroom is. He looks at her, embarrassed. “It is occupied,” and nods toward a closed door in the little hall.

This distresses PP just a little. Only one bathroom? And how many ‘spa rooms’ were here at Zen Springs?

Well, it couldn’t stay occupied forever, right?


So in the meantime, SSYAM shows them their readied room. It’s super cute with soft lighting, a brand new spa type of hot tub, and a little sauna room.

“You push on Red Button for the jets,” he instructs. He’s already started the water running into tub, then asks, “You want Sauna too?”
”Yes, please,” PP’s eyes light up. She can’t wait to get some HEAT!
He turns on the sauna. It’s stone cold now but hopefully will heat up between the time PP uses the bathroom and when she takes the first plunge into the hot tub.

She takes another peak out into the hall. Whew! The bathroom opens up.

Relieved, (almost) PP hurries in. It’s all oriental. (Yes, she knows this is politically incorrect, but it is.) With a greeny bowl for a sink, bamboo in a tasteful planter, a welcome cat on a shelf underneath a tasteful print of pink and blue kimonoed ladies playing lutes in a gazebo.

Now relieved, (really) she heads back to the room, and fiddles with the new agey sound system. She chooses the most flutey recorder-like sound track and turns the volume just right. Greensleaves. Of course. Then messes with the lights. A dimmer switch up and down. Soft and loud. She chooses soft.

DHBF is already undressed and in the small tub. He’s very tall so he takes up most of it. This is okay, though, since PP is small. It’s a cozy tub. And it’s hot. As she sinks into the tub, soaking her poor aching neck, the hot water begins to work its magic. She thinks back on the day: the chocolate cream pie for breakfast; (Nations was the only place open on New Year's Day); the little nap after the pie (pie will do that to you); and now this: Zen Utopia.

"Ahhhh…....." she sighs, grinning over at DHBF as she slides her legs under his.


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