Acupuncture

by Pierce Nahigyan

Rebecca had made the long drive to the shady side of Culver City three times to see Dr. Lind. Each time he had asked after her health. Was she sleeping well? If not, how often was she sleeping? She slept in fits and starts. Then he prescribed her more homeopathic tea that tasted terrible. Then he got her on the table and stuck the pins in her. And for a little while she felt better. But by the next week she needed to see him again.

Rebecca had never put much stock in acupuncture, but since moving to Los Angeles the billboards, her yoga instructor, everyday acquaintances, business associates, and the pins and needles its casual frippery daily put her on, had finally outmaneuvered her natural defenses to flimflam. It was cheaper than buying health insurance.

But while she was willing to give Dr. Lind and his practice the benefit of a long harbored doubt, she did not like driving to Culver City from the Valley. As she drove south on the 101 towards downtown, she imagined the brake lights and the orange beacons of the work crews to be chakras on a big concrete body. It burped smog and was pinned by billboards that advertised boob jobs, dental perfection, and bad, bad movies about needy, needy women and their bad, bad boyfriends with perfect teeth. Rebecca’s skin tingled as if the billboards were poised just above her own tan shoulders.

She exited the freeway on Sunset and decided to stop for a fast food monstrosity and reconsider her priorities. Maybe she would meet a bad, bad boy of her own. More likely, she would eat a greasy burger, feel guilty, feel good, feel gassy, and then go home. For the first time in four weeks, she could deal with that.