I always seem to get sick this time of year. As much as I want to blame it on the Mexico City air (which does not help I’m sure), I do remember this time last year fighting a virus. And Monday morning, with no voice,  I went whispering into my classroom, and let the parents take over with activities in the afternoon (they did an amazing job!).

If I was disappointed that I might miss out on Halloween fun, I didn’t have to be. At the end of the day, a friend, made an appointment for me with her Acupuncturist and M.D., Jarra. “She lives on the corner of X Street, in a Frida Kahlo style house.”

The cab dropped me off at 6:30, and since it was Daylight Savings Time, the streets were pretty dark. He stopped in front of a bright blue house (this I could see even in the dark) with a round door. A robust woman answered the door, and led me to,what I might call, the parlor to sit next to my friend who had made the appointment.

“The house is under renovations,” my friend explained to me. I looked around at the lack of furniture, and the makeshift plastic sheet that separated the “patient room” from the parlor. Even devoid of furniture,  the house had a lot of character (perhaps more?). The house had tall ceilings, and two winding staircases with a rounded ceiling above each one. An excited dog, came barking and bounding down the stairs. And, not wanting to be left out, the cat, Benito,, soon followed. “Benito’s skiddish,” said my friend as she pet him (he squirmed).

Finally, it was my turn. I was led through a door, that was pretty bare except for a bed, and the surrounding shelves that were filled with books and various medicines. Lying down on the bed, I faced a chandelier directly above me. I could see the wires, and I wondered, how long I had before it would crash down on me. After listening to my complaints, and examining my symptoms she gave clipped instructions to her robust assistant and carefully looked through her boxes of anti-biotics and various herbs (literally boxes).

The cat sat neatly on my friend’s lap, the dog beside her. “They know,” my friend said, “which patients they can be with. Sometimes the dog will lie beside me when I’m getting acupuncture.”

All of this, as I try to describe, a somewhat haunted atmosphere, with all but a lightning strike and a power outtage, may not give the reader the greatest confidence in this woman’s ability to actually practice medicine.

Perhaps I’ve read too much magic realism over the years or, have a likeness towards characters, or was just desperate for anything to get better…but I think almost because of her character, I put my faith especially in her cures.

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