Poked and Prodded Part 1: Physically
Me: “So I’ll just take my shirt off?”
Him: “Leave your bra on.”
Me: “It’s a workout top.”
Him: “Put the straps under your arms.”
Me: “Okay … but not the sweat pants, right?”
Him: “Yes, take those off, too.”
Me, avoiding eye contact: “But I haven’t shaved my, my, well—anything, in 4 months.”
He shrugs, “Me neither.”
Cut to next scene—I’m lying on the therapeutic bed in the dim light under a whisper thin sheet hoping that, when he returns, he won’t see the salad poking out from under my lacy panties. (If you’re going to wear sweats, ladies, wear some decent underwear; do this for you.)
I’m wondering if the worry furrow etched in my forehead is visible and briefly consider going back to Botox. (I’m still on the au natural kick, obvi, and I haven’t even worn deodorant in weeks—don’t worry I’m using silver water¹ instead and so far it’s working. I think.)
But anyway the bigger issue at the moment is why I didn’t think to tend to this hair garden sooner. I knew I’d be lying here—exposed. At least the room is warm.
He returns and hovers over me. I close my eyes—I’m sure he’s dissecting me with his.
Him: “I can do it through the sheet, but it’s easier if …”
I open one eye, glance at him briefly. He’s looking at the sheet covering my thatched patch, waiting, expectant of a ‘yes’ answer. I quickly ascertain this is not Mr. Perfect-For-Me, so—okay, fine. Sigh.
Me: “Um, okay, yeah, no, I mean—sure, no problem.” Shallow breath, “No sheet. No sheet is fine.”
He whisks it away as though a magician dramatically fanning open the disappeared temptress. I close my eye quick and in my imagination, my pubes emphatically fluff out exaggeratedly singing, “Here we are to save the daaay!” I pray it’s too dark for him to see my flaming bush (or face.)
Next thing you know, he’s poking around my belly, then lower … then lower … then—well, yes, he’s tucking back my barely-there-hardly-worth-it-Victoria’s-Secret hot pink thong. Oh. My. God. I’m dying of em-bare-ass-ment!
Me: “Right.” Shallow breathing.
Me, jerky deeper breathing.
Him: “Okay, you’re going to feel this in your uterus.”
I try to smile while audibly breathing: “In through my nose, out through my mouth, in through my nose, out through my OW OW OW OH MY GO—”
Him, gently: “Breathe through it.”
A sharp, shooting pain delivers a surge of unpleasantness straight through my uterus to my vah-jay-jay, and I find myself doing involuntary kegals. Good God, I hope he can’t tell. But he’s right—with some focused breathing the ache subsides to a dull drone.
Acupuncture. Several more needles are stuck in me from my navel to my knees and I lay still while he hooks up some electrodes to a few of the little pricks stuck in my inner and outer thighs. He sets it to stun and leaves the room while my thighs vibrate and my vah-jay-jay joins in erratically, preventing me from dozing off, which I can almost do. (Remember, I have a high pain tolerance: “Oh, no, the wax isn’t too hot” followed by “Oh, I have no skin left and second degree burns.”)
Did I mention he’s supposed to be working on my neck? Okay, to be fair, he also worked on my neck (side effect of too much computer work—okay, fine—too much Facebooking, but whatever.) And yes, when we were first assessing, I did happen to mention I have this hip issue.
Earlier, while lying on the table, I demonstrate: “See, when I lay on my back and relax my right foot splays open more than my left.”
Him: “Does it hurt?”
Me: “No. But it’s not even. I’m OCD, Doc.”
Him: “Hmm, it’s likely from an injury. Do you remember when it started?”
Me, distracted by and frowning at my foot while trying to forcibly turn it the other way in a take charge. ‘take-that-you-imbalanced-leg’ determination, nonchalant and absent-mindedly: “Doing party tricks at a dress up party, the splits actually.”
Me, suddenly aware I’d let my filter slip: “That was a few years ago. At the start of my mid-life crisis, or perhaps the middle …”
Oh, great, now I’m trying to explain myself all the while thinking, ‘Shut up, Anna, he’s looking at you funny’
Me: “…I think I’m over it now …” I peter out, “mostly …”
Alright, so I pretty much gave him the go ahead to fix me from my folly. He leaves me pincushioned and exposed while I listen to the soothing sounds of some new age lullabies and, in short order, I feel pretty good. Totally chillaxed. (Don’t hate me for using that slang.) He returns at last to unpin me and, since it’s still relatively dark, he runs his hands over my legs without touching me to make sure he hasn’t missed any, but I can feel the hairs tickling from his touch and I can’t help myself from saying, “Can you find the needles in the haystack?”
We both laugh.
Poked and Prodded Part 2: Metaphysically
I go for my mental health consultation with my Metaphysical Counsellor/Intuitive Shrink/Fine, Card Reading Psychic (don’t tell my LMLotFM). This time, I have a list of questions, which include but are not limited to:
Will I make a living as a writer?
I’m not in a rush, but when will I find love? Will I find love??
Will I ever meet the Gerry? (and I thought he had an addiction problem)
Somehow, in our conversation, we get sidetracked, and I fail to ask the first question! But I do manage to ask the important questions: yes, I will find love and, no, I likely won’t meet the Gerry (Gerard Butler). Eh, I’m kind of over him anyway. See how the ‘T’ is not capitalized, as in ‘the’ Gerry, not ‘The’ Gerry? (Well, okay, mostly over him.)
This is partly why I love this card-reading woman:
She has amazingly radiant skin and great eyelashes, and she’s in her sixties (lest you don’t know, I’m vain).
Her Rat Terrier is my animal soulmate and sits on my lap during sessions. (Sometimes he farts: SBD—silent but deadly.)
She is guided by what she sees as a positive spark in her subject. In other words, she draws out my own intuition and desires and makes it safe for me to be comfortable (excited even) to follow my intuition, dreams and desires.
The cards. Yes, sometimes they can be interpreted based on what she senses I want (need) to hear, but I’m telling you sometimes they are just damn accurate.
My mother would agree with the damned bit (Tarot cards are definitely a sin) but would be (will be) appalled to know I’ve done this. (She is strictly a by the book, er, The Book, The Bible, card-carrying Christian, bless her heart.) Sometimes, I test the waters with her. We often have these philosophical conversations during meals between reruns of The Murdoch Mysteries (4pm and 6pm PST).
Me: “So, Mom, you know how you believe in the power of silver water¹ as a healing agent for almost everything even though you can’t explain how it works, it just does?”
Mom: “Yes, if you have a cut put some silver water on it. You can put it in your [she points down] to freshen up—”
Me: “—yes, right. I know, you’ve mentioned that—but anyway, you believe it works without questioning it, right?”
She nods, sorting through an arsenal of supplements in a by-the-day vitamin vat.
Me: “And so God made man, and He made the man who invented silver water, right?”
Mom: “God is good.”
Me: “Yes, He’s awesome … anyway, so maybe God sends messages in other ways or makes people who have other talents. That’s possible, right?”
She nods, but I’m losing her somewhere between Ginkgo Biloba and Calcium Magnesium.
Me: “Remember when Dad died and he came back after, so to speak, and tried to talk you into joining him, but you said you had to stay and all that?”
Mom, after a brief smile: “That was before I was a real Christian. It was my mind playing tricks on me.”
I evaluate and decide not to push my luck. She’s not open to these things—and that’s okay. I figure I’m still going to heaven because I’ve checked off the must-do’s on the How To Get To Heaven list², so for anything else I just ask for forgiveness, carefully wording it, “Dear Lord, please forgive me of my sins, the ones I know I’m doing and the ones I’m not sure of.” Bam! Covered. (I should note that whilst my mother was figuring out which denomination was the real Christian religion, which according to her is Church of Christ BTW, I got dragged along and baptized—at least three times to my count. I’m in, for sure!)
The gist of my psychic session is thus: I’ve paid off a karmic debt being with Mr. Sexy Pants (California dude, see “Memoir”). Check. I’m paying off a karmic debt staying here with my mom even though I want to—and have found a way: school—to get back to California sooner than fall. Check. (In process—the karmic payoff, not the schooling.)
If my book (“Memoir”) is going to be successful, I have to get over my shyness and fear of exposing myself (emotionally) in public and to author it under my real name. Oy. It is a book about a journey to authenticity after all. As well, I’m to stay away from Mr. Sexy Pants, we’re simply no good for each other. Check!
Oh, and the cards were bad for love right now (there was no misreading them, I assure you)—but I may meet someone within 5 months (maybe two someones.) Hmm. That doesn’t bring me to a back in Cali timeframe. I’d kind of had my heart set on having it stolen by someone there. Win-win: he’ll get my medical system, and I’ll get his sunshine. (I’ve decided the next man I date is the final answer so I’m going to be uber careful, hence the rebel non-razoring of legs et al. Check check check!)
So, I figure my acupuncturist has already seen my unsightly leg (and other) hairs and since I’m now saving myself for The One, or similar facsimile, I’ll just grow with the flow! Next time, he’ll just have to weed whack his way through my Chia to get to my Qi! At least until I have to wear shorts. (Or in 5 months time.)
What have I (re)learned?
God leaves us loopholes—it’s a psychological cache to be discovered (or stumbled upon) along the way. There is no map. Also, He’s a funny Guy.
Louise Hay (Author, You Can Heal Your Life): Hip issues—fear of moving forward. (Frick.) Neck issues—stubbornness, inability to see other sides. (Frick, frick.) AJ Note: Acceptance of self and others’ is the surest way to inner peace.
Rockstar splits as a party trick: bad idea.
Add automated repeat reminder to iPhone: I trust God and the process of life. I enjoy the journey. (7am PST.) (Fricken journey.)
Add affirmation to morning meditation: I am in perfect balance and move forward in life with ease and joy. There are endless ways of doing and seeing things. (I’m resisting this already.)
Continue with poking and prodding in case #1 and #2 are ineffective. (I am stubborn, after all.)
¹Silver water is distilled water that has been treated with silver sticks, so it has electrically charged silver particles in it and is amazingly effective for treating all manner of ailments. If you drink too much you’ll turn blue, no joke. I’m not a doctor, use at your own risk.
²How To Get To Heaven according to Church of Christ/my mom: believe in God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit; believe Jesus was sent to die for our sins; be baptized properly (total submersion). I know, right?! Easy breezy! Feels good to me and I’m not hurting anyone so there you have it. And since, to me, the rest is gray area, I still get to do all the metaphysical stuff cooleroni!
A portion of this instalment was published in elephantjournal.com