DAY NINE: Acupuncture

9 Sep

This is NOT my back.

YOU know how sometimes you don’t want to run into the object of your desire because you suspect if you do things might not go so well, whereas if you don’t run into them you can surf on in blissful denial for a while? It’s like that with me and acupuncture. I’ve been viewing it with deranged optimism, as though it will right my wrongs, cure my ills, save my soul and buck up my ideas all at once — so I really should try it some day, yah.

Well, that day has come. After quizzing me on my relationship with my father (I give off that vibe), the practitioner massages my back excruciatingly with her nubby thumbs over soothing whale music, and then sets to tenderising my flesh further with some kind of scrapey ‘Gua Sha’ spoon. “You will have some marks for a few days,” she observes cheerfully.

She taps a needle into my freshly pulverised shoulder blade groove and immediately one kidney sings out in horror… followed a second later by the other. Oh god, it’s like last year’s kinesiology all over again, when I unexpectedly cried so hard that my ears filled up.

I start to experience that sense of dread and rising panic one feels in a screaming kidney hangover when one considers the prospect of getting up and going to work the next day, before one sensibly pushes the thought aside and flails pathetically for the pizza menu. There are also heady notes of childhood “don’t leave me” agitation and claustrophobic “what if I can’t get up off this table?” alarm.

After the needles are set on fire (or something — she’s a bit vague) I’m left alone to “get in the zone” and immediately the CD gets stuck on one warbly note, at which point I discover it really hurts when I laugh. I raise my head out of its towelly nook with difficulty, a thin strand of drool connecting us still, but decide that calling out feebly for assistance would just be too much to take.

“I don’t have my diary on me at the moment,” I bluff, once safely upright in reception. The practitioner looks at me sadly, as though she knows we are never going to see each other again, despite me executing my most sincere “sure, we’ll stay friends” smile.

Keeper? Not if I’m going to be such a wuss. Try again later.

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