pulsus tardus et parvus. pulso débil.
pulse. the word reminds me of pause. pause has been popping up in my world lately. i spelled it wrong in front of 100 lesbians. i’ve used it repeatedly in a piece i’m working on. i’ve mentioned it as a necessary action within a difficult situation. pulse. pause. pulse. pause. together they’re a heartbeat, right?
the older russian acupuncturist told me in a soft, deliberate voice, that i have a weak pulse. she went on to add that i must be the type that doesn’t run off or chase after what i want. that i plan my steps onward or ignore what is not directly in front of me. her fingers moved to various points on my arm, from wrist to elbow, then collarbone, then stethoscope to heart.
she said i have the type of asthma that decides when i need to slow down, given that it occurs from a multitude of things (weather, cats, forest fires, stress etc). how did this woman see me? was i flesh, veins and tendons, throbbing in different colors? could she see my trajectory laid out in dendritic branches, dots marking moments of importance, insertion points?
needle into flesh. tap. tap. needle into lungs. one two three. tap. tap. pulse. pause.
weak pulse. from her lips it sounded like the most important phrase uttered in reference to my body. weak pulse. there is something valiant, something noble in existing, thriving with a weak pulse. perhaps it’s the weak pulse that leaves me prone to melancholy, epic daydreams, wanderlust, romance, fairy tales or maybe it makes me slow. slow to react to other people’s needs, slow to understand reasons for conflict, slow to motion. weak pulse. pause. pulse. weak.
she didn’t seem disturbed by the weakness in my pulse. her words didn’t concern me either, it just made sense. most things don’t.
i almost didn’t make it out of the womb. i was born swollen, purple, fists tight. the retrograde back into my mother nearly wore us both out. maybe i needed more time. maybe i knew that.
maybe in that one moment the weakness in my pulse made me fight. 18 hours until surrender, until purple girl baby born.
the russian acupuncturist has two more appointments with me this month.