For a really obscure reasons I’ve always loved being pricked with needles. Needless to say I’ve had my share of acupuncture sessions. It started with auricular acupuncture, at the private practice of some rich guy from the Netherlands. Today I would simply call him a quack. But I was young and naive and I wanted to believe there was something out there that would rid me of my chronic pain, both physical and mental. The Dutch guy did auricular acupuncture, which means sticking needles in your ears. I don’t remember which ear and it doesn’t matter. But I dimly remember it mattered to him for some strange reason. He pricked me at several so-called energy points, or meridians, or whatever. Now it reminds me of tropic of Cancer, or Capricorn, but I prefer cancer, obviously. Just because it sounds so dramatic. The first session went really well. It’s funny that I don’t remember which language we spoke. But I trusted him and he asked a lot of money for hurting my ear, so it must be therapeutic. Back then I still had a private medical insurance. I thought I was really lucky and clever, but now I know it was just a tragic opportunity to fuel my already ramping hypochondria.

I had less pain after the first session and went back to see him full of hope. His office was in his living quarters, a luxury flat in one of the privileged neighbourhoods of the city. I had never set foot there before, but it inspired immediate trust. The irony. During the second session he told me I had an energy problem and fell in love too often because I drained the energy I was lacking from my boyfriends. That made sense. I used to fall in love quick and hard, and lose myself completely each time. I almost lost my life over one of them, but that’s another story. I think we all have. I remember I cried when he told me that, because it felt so true. Things suddenly made sense, just like they do now. That’s the part that frightens me a little, even today. That feeling of total understanding of what’s fundamentally wrong with my life. I might be wrong each time. I’ve had these insights many times in life, but they always turned out to be dead ends. I feel like today the feeling is real, there is a new paradigm coming into life and I’m lucky to be there to witness it.

I think that’s when my love for needles started. I have been pricked since many times, I’ve been getting intravenous perfusions every month for over five years now. Before that I self-injected my medicine into my stomach area for ten years twice a week. Never missed injection day, looking forward to the needle softly tearing the skin. That slightly painful sting, the sliding in, the liquid getting into my tissues, then the relieving retrieval of the needle. I always hoped there would be a drop of blood and there usually was. I’m always happy to see the nurse panic because my blood spills over her gloved hands, however skillful she might be. Or he. Blood is warm and it proves I’m alive, some part of my body is still functioning the way it was designed to.

Almost ten years back I filled in an online form made by a nurse student who inquired about the use of needles. I wrote about the affection I felt for them. I added my e-mail at the end even though it was anonymous. She wrote me a reply, telling me she had never heard anyone talk about needles the way I did.
Maybe she was really young, or naive, or inexperienced, or both.

Or maybe I’m just weird.

Needle in the tattoo

Okay (okay, okay, okay)
Just a little pinprick
There’ll be no more, ah
But you may feel a little sick
Can you stand up?
I do believe it’s working, good
That’ll keep you going through the show
Come on it’s time to go

Pink Floyd, ‘Comfortably Numb’

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