Not wanting to part with too much of my cash, I was going for broke when Veronica showed me the herbs container to buy. I looked around the living room, at all the unsynchronized pieces just thrown together without grace, even hiding the beauty of two tapestries from a Peruvian tribe in the Amazon over which we bonded the previous night when we met, and from whom the not-all-together-unpromising herbs derived.
A lack of grace and a promise impelled me to hand over six twenty dollar bills for the session and the herbs.
Veronica a cup of herb tea and instructed me how it should be served: “no metal objects. Just use another cup to pour.”
Not sure, I would remember that, and not sure that made much sense, but hey, I had conviction that maybe the herbs would be helpful. At least they’d be cleansing. Also, I knew that Simon was well acquainted with the Shipibo tribe from yearly travels to their pristine Amazon jungle location. On a daily basis he took a supplement from the region with the undignified name “cat’s nail”.
Simon refused a cup of the tea. He gestured when Veronica wasn’t looking ‘let’s get going.’
In the hallway to the door, cluttered between two large pieces of furniture that looked like bureaux dressers that belonged in a bedroom, we said our good-byes. Veronica said, “thank you for this,” and brought the money to her lips. Almost like she was going to kiss it.
Simon was reading the label of the herbs container. “It’s so irritating when people can’t even properly represent things with accuracy. Look how they spelled the name of the tribe.” His right thumb was pointed. I kept my eyes on the road, though we were virtually parked in a massive traffic jam that obtains on Pacific Coast Highway near the center of downtown Santa Barbara. Getting stuck in this was my fault for going north from the Institute before heading south for Los Angeles—for my blood analysis.
He didn’t complain about the traffic like I expected. He did point to the lack of evidence for microscopy, “I’m suspicious,” he said, “of things that lack any scientific data.”
“I know, I understand. But I wanted to look at my actual blood. Science sometimes just tells you everything you ever wanted to know about what you don’t care about.” Simon smiled.
“Can’t tell you, Simon, how many blood tests have been done that said nothing other than take vitamin D. I really wanted to see my blood. It’s reassuring that it looks alright. It was worth it to me.” I suppressed thoughts about dubious claims Veronica made.
And I have to admit, that seven months later, I still haven’t touched the herbs. Maybe Simon just jinxed me.