Press "Enter" to skip to content

Unsolicited Shoulder Massage Reveals You’re Really Tense

VENICE BEACH, Calif. — Life coach and retired engineer Howard Boyd was seen at the outdoor seating area of the Living Room Cafe on Sunday afternoon repeatedly telling you to “breathe” and “relax” after appearing behind you to knead your shoulders in a deep, unsolicited massage, queasy witnesses reported.

“When I saw you sitting here keeping to yourself, I had a suspicion you needed one of my massages. And look at that — sooo much tension in your shoulders. Where’s that all coming from? Something going on at work? Home?” Boyd asked while digging his fingers into your back. “I’m a bit of an energy worker, so I know that when someone recoils from my touch and shouts, ‘The fuck are you doing?!’ they’re processing being embraced by light energy for the first time. That’s why I apply enough pressure to keep them grounded until they accept my energy.”

A barista on shift during the massage you never asked for described watching the encounter unfold from behind the bar.

“Oh, yeah… that guy’s here a lot. We call him ‘The Masseuse.’ He scopes the place out looking for the right ‘energy,’ which he always finds in someone hot. Then he throws back his espresso and just goes for it,” said the barista, Lizzette Noyes. “We try to intervene before he makes contact, or at least before he gets to the lower back, but we don’t always make it in time. I got there right as he was leaning down to whisper, ‘Mmmm, so tight’ in your ear.”

Boyd’s reiki and massage therapy instructor Pablo Jorgensen noted that Boyd is a common type of student for the class.

“We see a lot of students like Howard: vigorous learners, who are maybe a little too quick to ask if they can pick a partner from the class to practice with,” said Jorgensen. “Normally I appreciate the enthusiasm, but with certain students, you’re almost afraid of how that technique is going to be used outside the classroom. I really, really hoped he wouldn’t show up to my foot massage class, but he sat right up front and filmed the whole thing.”

Other Living Room patrons reported that after you asked Boyd to stop massaging you, he continued to spread his “energy” by telling women working on their laptops to smile more.