I figured I would make a habit of dumping a bunch of old stuff on here, mostly tiny old things I can’t be bothered to edit into something more meaningful, so with that in mind:
She lays the needles on the table, digs two fingers into my pulse. Show me your tongue. It’s what I thought. Your tongue is orange, like the belly of a slug. I ask her how bad this is, and she smiles with her hand over the needles. It just means, she says, that your heart is broken in several places, all mending together badly. I tell her to treat it, make it go away for a while, take off my mind this badly mending heart, like a face reconfiguring itself after a crash. If I treat it, will you still want to know what’s coming towards you? I tell her I will. I have no way of proving this. I thought so, she says. You’re that kind of person. What kind of person, I ask. She pulls out a ruler and measures my forearm. The kind, she says, that’s afraid to be forsaken. She measures, scratches notes onto loose paper. Relax your hand, she says, why are you so tense? A finger, then a needle, pokes between my tendons. You body, she tells me, is full of holes. Wind and heat. Wind and heat are holes, and everything inside you is too thin. There is nothing to dam the growth of emptiness. She punches another needle in a few points above the first one, then looks up as I rearrange myself on the table to shift away from the pressure on my spine. Again and again a man will destroy you, she says, though not the same man, and never completely. She sniffles and observes the pattern her needles make on my skin. Lie still. Your Qi is all over the place. In fact, you are all over the place, leaking out of yourself like crushed entrails, it’s disgusting, keep it together. I think I laugh at her words, why shouldn’t I? It’s a miracle that sound can escape me at all. Her eyes pull her head towards the window. It was supposed to rain she says. I know, I say, it never rains. They ought to fix the roads, she says, on my way here I ran over so many dips in the tarmac. If only it rained, it would fill them up. If only it rained for days. A rain thick and dense like glue.