Dr. Levenfish was baffled. There was nothing more western medicine could do to pull me out of the depths of my depression. Feeling like my life had totally unraveled, I began entertaining thoughts of non-traditional methods of suicide like handcuffing myself to my mother-in-law. But I never had the courage to follow through with it.
“Well, since you’ve made the decision to live,” said Dr. Levenfish, “I guess we should start looking at alternative solutions. Have you ever thought about trying Chinese medicine? Maybe something that might correct your maligned Chakras?”
I gasped. Up until now, I didn’t even know I had Chakras, let alone the possibility that something could be wrong with them. Dr. Levenfish was concerned enough about my condition to rush me by ambulance to Dr. Wu Jian Huang. Dr. Huang was an esteemed practitioner in the art of Chinese medicine and had published hundreds of articles in respected medical journals like Good Housekeeping, Woman’s World and Redbook.
“Good morning, Mr. Smith,” said Dr. Huang. “I’d like to begin examining your Chakras, Chi and Meridians.” I had no idea what he was talking about. For all I knew, he could have been saying, “早上好， 史密斯先生。利文菲什博士給我打電話，是有關你的情況，所以我想與您的許可權，不浪費時間在探索你的脈輪，志和經絡” Which, of course, he was.
When he was finished, Dr. Huang shook his head and said, “I’m concerned. Your female kundalini has become disassociated from your male shiva which is negatively impacting your universal consciousness and unity. Your Manipura is producing conflicting feelings of fear, anxiety and panic attacks. Your Crown Chakra has completely shut down and is no longer drawing in energies from the Universal Life Force. The good news is I think we can correct most of your issues through out-patient Chakra therapy and working with a Feng Shui expert.”
“We’ll begin by re-aligning your Crown Chakra,” said Seeta, my therapist. “Have you been plagued by feelings of living in the past and being disconnected from the outside world?” I told her I had, so in addition to beginning a daily regimen of prayer and meditation, she instructed me to cancel my Facebook account. “I want you to stop focusing on how successful all of your high school classmates have become and what a pathetic mess you’ve made of your own life.”
My heart Chakra also needed extensive therapy. “People with mal-aligned Heart Chakras frequently distance themselves from physical contact with others.” I told her that made a lot of sense. During my ten years in San Quentin, the only time I hugged anyone was during knife fights in the showers. So she recommended I begin and end each day by hugging myself. She was adamant that I not touch anyone. I’d have to work up to that over several years. Then we moved on to Feng Shui-ing my home.
“Feng Shui stands for ‘wind’ and ‘water’ and is the ancient art and science that reveals how to balance the energies in your living and work spaces, insuring that they synchronize with your Chakras,” said Seeta. “Why don’t you show me your home?”
Since my divorce, I’d been renting a 6 by 12 house trailer parked behind my parents’ house. It’s not much, but it has everything I need. “Yin represents soft, passive rhythms with feminine energy. Start by surrounding yourself with soft music and the sound of gentle, running water. In your case, you can use your toilet with the annoying broken flap valve.”
“Yang represents strong, active energy,” said Seeta. So, she suggested that I paint the interior of my trailer day-glow orange and start inviting large groups of friends over for elaborate dinner parties. Within minutes, I could begin to feel the difference – my cluster headaches returned and I had three crippling grand mal seizures.
“Finally,” said Seeta, “I’d like to examine your Bagua.” So, without hesitation, I lowered my trousers. “No, no,” said Seeta. “Your Bagua is a map of the inside of your home. We’re looking for negative energies that impact the Chakras of your living space.”
“Your ‘Fame and Reputation’ area should always face south” – the same place my parents stored the trash cans. “The southeast Feng Shui area is connected to the flow of money energy in your life.” That was adjacent to the compost pile where we emptied the cat’s litter box.
After 20 minutes, Seeta admitted that she had done everything she could do to correct the energy flow in my miniscule hovel and was anxious to leave. As she drove off, my mother came by, asking who the Asian lady was that just left my trailer. She thought Seeta was a hooker and was ecstatic that I was finally taking steps to invigorate my sex life.
“No, no. That was my Feng Shui expert,” I said. “She was here to adjust my Universal Energy flow and synchronize my Chakras.” I told her about the changes I’d be making and asked if there was anywhere else we could store the garbage cans – according to my Bagua, they were affecting my fame and reputation.
She just turned around and left.