I was fevered and bright voluble at the salon. The Salon! It sounds like Madame Gertrude Stein’s rooms in Paris, like a pot of stew bubbling day in and day out, intellectuals simmering, growing stale, leaving, new blood & lobsters entering, fresh from Greenwich Village, each bringing with him the freshness of– not a mind– but the outside. Sweet sweet Susie Asado! There is nothing new under the sun except for everything under the sun. Not people. We’re all scripted. Even the children are scripted and my Annie follows her role so charmingly.
I met a doctor at the Salon. He sat beside me in an ugly brown chair, pleather covering the aggressive machinery underneath that’s meant to soothe. Every particle of me ached, was alive. Deus ex machina punishing the flesh. Locust tree. The thorn in my thigh from hauling brush, the millionaire making my sandwich. Saltwater pool, blood, dust, iron nails from a mold, muscles, sweat dripping salt eyeballs. I wrecked with a sledgehammer, I felt force and learned how a house is made by how it comes apart. Doctor in the Tropic of Cancer. Herman Miller chair. I licked a forever stamp, forever stamp licked. The doctor was fragile, the doctor was vulnerable. The lady at his feet wore white and not him, in a reversal. He was hairy and his nails were a little too long. He winced at her ministrations. The fever hurt everywhere. Korean, she spoke in tones, not words, and her touch hurt my skin. He told me he had cancer. I didn’t know what to say. It’s my birthday, I said.