Mind Massage

geralt. Pixabay, mind massageNancy stood out on the deck as she savored the smell of hot tar and car fumes. Overlooking the parking lot, she could see as well as hear the roar of the highway in the not-far distance.


Escape from a distracted husband, a screaming 3-month-old, a demanding 2-year-old, and a house that needed cleaning weeks ago. Escape from bottles of expressed breast milk, of small sharp Legos that found her feet in every room of the house. Escape from a garden that needed watering and a refrigerator that needed to be filled.

Escape from her life.

Here was where she escaped – in this small beige room with one dirt-paned window, one soft-mattressed double bed, one decades-old desk with non-matching chair, and one woman. Just herself. Nancy twirled around the room like a queen in her castle. KELLEPICS, Pixabay, queen in her castle

This motel room, only $19.99 for all these queenly accoutrements, was Nancy’s castle once a week when her mom drove 30 minutes to Nancy’s house and said – “Go, this is your day.”  The grandmother babysat for six hours. And each week Nancy’s mom thought her daughter headed to a friend’s for a cup of comfort, to the hairstylist for a cut, to the salon for a manicure or a massage, never noticing the bag Nancy packed in her car with the real essentials for her one-day of freedom.

Nancy opened the paper bag, purposely using something nondescript to cover her real reason for racing out of the house with a gleam in her eye.

writing, notebooks, writersShe pulled out  her notebook and two pens and placed them lovingly on the well-scratched wood desk that faced…nothing. She sighed as if in the middle of intense lovemaking.

Nancy picked up the pen and began a poem. Within the hour she’d written three poems and began a short story.

About a queen in her castle. 

Three hours later she pulled out the last two things in the paper bag. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a now-warm can of Coke. She continued writing as she chewed. Think and sip. Chew and digest the words.

The queen was commanding her subjects, and they obeyed.darksouls1, Pixabay, writing, mind massage

The story was completed.

Nancy packed up her essentials, found her car in the almost-full parking lot, and drove home anxious to hug her darlings, fill the refrigerator, clean the house, water the garden, and tell her mom all about the great massage she’d just enjoyed.

143 thoughts on “Mind Massage

  1. Who would have thought to go to a motel to write? I never thought of this during those early years–the local diner was the only place to go (and all the locals looked at the notebook-scribbler like she was crazy). Great story again my friend!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Diner/cheap hotel. The idea is the same, yes? Young creative moms find a way to keep their creativity alive amongst the urgent constant needs of their young children. In my case, I never thanked my mom enough for that one day a week she gave me. ❤


  2. What a great escape of body and mind! She is fortunate to have her mother able and willing to do this babysitting.

    When I was trying to finish my dissertation with a baby in the house, I hired a local high school girl to come over for a few hours in the afternoon to take care of my daughter while I sat upstairs and worked.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What I love most about this story is the comparison between Nancy, the writer, and a queen commanding her subjects. It is so apt. But I also love the secrecy of getting away, the love of a mother for her daughter, and the love of the daughter for her own family. Thanks for sharing this, Pam.

    Liked by 1 person

      • I feel that people I know in my professional capacity and who know I write are completely amazed about it. I think they think it is extraordinary that I can write books as well as do my job in corporate finance. They are generally not creative. I think I write when no-one else is around because I want peace and quiet.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. This story whisked me away far beyond a bottle of Calgon. Remember that commercial? Like you, I would choose a library to a Motel 6 any day!

    I love, love, love the frame for your story.

    You stay fueled by your wondrous imagination, Pam. Right now I feel a quart low. This story was a pick-me-up. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh my gosh… Calgon. That takes me back. I can’t imagine you being even a pint low on imagination, Marian. But I’ll take any credit for revving you up to a gallon or more of creative writing. ❤


    • Thanks so much, Patricia. Yes, if a young mom is desperate enough (and a lot of young moms are) an escape even in a cheap hotel room to write and BE is s saving grace. She comes back an even better mom, then. ❤


  5. What a wonderful story, Pam. I got all choked up for some reason. The grandmother’s kindness? The feeling of freedom? Creativity? That fantastic “mind massage” that comes from being immersed in the imagination? The self-care secret all for her? The feeling of being ready to go back and love the real world that follows? Ahhh. Maybe all those. Loved this, my friend. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Good stuff, Pam! I think any of us can relate to that “wanting to escape for a brief time feeling.” That was a great hook! One of the lines I liked the most was “She savored the smell of hot tar and car fumes,” as those would be things most people wouldn’t enjoy. I immediately thought of my wife, who grew up on a ranch. Sometimes when we’re back visiting, we’ll be walking along, and she’ll say, “God, I love that smell!” She is referring to cow poop. That totally cracks me up.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. We all need this massage on a regular basis. Well done, Pam. I write better even if I’m 20 minutes away from home, sitting at Starbucks, with faces I could recognize. I’m alone but not really alone. I could tune out all the sights and sounds.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I remember when we had just adopted our 6 year old son. I needed some time by myself. I started yoga classes and that helped. What happened to all the energy that we needed in those years to survive. I love your story. Gerlinde

    Liked by 1 person

    • YES, I discovered yoga around that same time, too, Gerlinde and it was a great survival technique (and still is). As far as the energy? Well, there’s a reason most people don’t have young children when they’re 50 or older. 🙂 🙂


  9. Oh, I absolutely loved this!!! I raised four children, and I know that feeling of wanting to leave dishes unwashed and the whole laundry-list of things to do from time to time. It does ‘wait’ for us! This was just wonderful…escaping to the the run-down motel for a chance to write and collect ones thoughts. Great story!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I remember those days! (Except for me it was off to a library, county courthouse or cemetery.) Your mom was wonderful to do this for you! 💙 With so many children attending school at home during the pandemic, I bet there are even more mothers needing “massage” time these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Well done, Pam! Even though I don’t have children, a house, a garden, or a full-size fridge (I do have a husband), I totally get this feeling of peace and escape. We – writers – all need that place and time to be one with ourselves, our minds, and write unobstructed and undistracted. Too bad Nancy had to pay for it. But, then again, I assume hairdressers and masseuses cost more than $20. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I could sense Nancy was desperate for a getaway if she “…savored the smell of hot tar and car fumes…” Oh, wow, wow, wow, Pam, soooo relatable! I am embarrassed to say what I have done to escape, especially in my past life. Well worth the $19.99.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Erica, please, please, sometime write a post about what you’ve done to escape! Hey, we all relate to these escape stories. Although Mind Massage is fiction, more than half of it is based on fact. And I am forever indebted to my mom for the once-a-week mornings she gave me to “escape” and write poetry.

      Liked by 1 person

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