I’m performing acupuncture on Levi. His right knee is bothering him and has been since our run on Sunday. He’s unfathomably confident that my putting needles in him will help.
We’re in Harmony, the third in the suite of treatment rooms at my office. This one has a batik on the wall. It’s printed with an image of women in conical hats stepping barefoot in a rice field. Ducks stand amidst them, and in the background is a water buffalo that I interpret as looking sad, although I don’t know much about animals. It’s possible the expression I view as expressive of depression is simply the water buffalo’s neutral gaze.
While I place needles into arbitrary places around Levi’s knee and calf, I pump him for information. This is fruitless, I know, but I can’t help myself—when I have a man in a vulnerable position, I tend to take a teeny-weeny bit of advantage.
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.