The Last Session on 8th Street…

After New Jersey’s non-essential businesses were forced to shut down back in March, the bāsalt Studio put a lot of thought into it’s decision to re-open on August 1, 2020.

In the back of my mind, I knew that it was entirely possible that operations may need to be halted once again. However, I had anticipated that, if this were to happen, it would be related to someone contracting COVID-19—not because of an unsustainable rent increase. Despite my comtemplation, obviously, all of the variables had not been carefully considered.

…once past their personal threshold, every single person has the uncanny ability of refining themselves to their very essence.

It was only about four short weeks ago that bāsalt learned it was no longer realistically feasible to continue operations in their current location. A lot has happened since then.

Much like on that Friday the 13th back in March, bāsalt made another announcement to its clients that Halloween would be the last day in the Studio on 8th Street.

Unbelievably–after that announcement, bāsalt was inundated with appointments which completely booked up the month of October. I remember wondering (in jest) why I didn’t begin each month preceding October with this announcement. The turn out was overwhelming. Then I began to think… “how am I going to dismantle this place without disturbing the aesthetic and peacefulness for my massage clients?”

Well, during this process of performing demolition between clients, I relearned what I had always known: Although my clients come from all sorts of socio-cultural and -economic classifications, they leave it all at the door. And…once past their personal threshhold, every single person has the uncanny ability of refining themselves to their very essence. Their shared resilience and empathy abound, but what strikes me most is their ability to tune out sights and sounds.

Since the year 2018, my clients have endured the rumblings of garbage trucks so close they felt like the massage took place in a dumpster.

They have silently reminisced while listening to Ready’s patrons handling toddler tantrums with all the restraint one could muster.

They have let out humoring sighs as businessmen took business calls on loud speaker as well as when listening to the mutterings of the occasional tweaker.

They learned to be Lulled while skaters launched from the side walk lumps only to be Woke by their (thank goodness) safe-landing thumps.

They have successfully integrated the hammering–the methodical tap, tap, tapping– the endless search, search, searching..for studs in the walls.

Some turned off their hearing aids to tune out the squeals of old tile saws and dressing room girls.

I was silly to think my clients would be adversely affected by any in-house demolition. They had been preparing for this from the very beginning. And this made a seemingly dismal task a lot less dreadful and daunting.

bāsalt would like to thank every client for their enduring patience & understanding while we find a new home here in beautiful Ocean City, NJ. Hopefully, it won’t be long. In the meantime, remember to use all those coping mechanisms you have learned on 8th Street.


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