Acupuncture After The Apocalypse

Right Next To It

I swam in Lake Michigan at six o’clock this morning. Now that I’m right next to it, I could do this every day if I wanted.

The cold water works like liquid nitrogen: not just your skin, but your core self is cooled. You are transformed from one state of matter to another. In your hot form, you were a soupy, melty mess, with a mind next to useless. You were, for all practical purposes, a stick of butter left sitting on a stove. But after a swim in the lake, you are transformed to a state of inner cold. The lake makes you firm again, rectangular. Your rational mind puts on its crisp white shirt and blue blazer—you are ready to do business.

I saw three clients today. I took pulses. I looked at tongues. I inserted needles briskly and efficiently.

One of my clients says a cougar or mountain lion has been spotted in his neighborhood.

Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.