So I went to the doctor with a broken heart.
"It’s just this anger, all the time, even during yoga," I said, evasively, which is another way of saying I was speaking in code.
Seated across from me taking copious notes was the young and adorable Israeli practitioner fresh out of herb and healing school who had been recommended by a girlfriend. She had gone to him for sciatica pain, and even though he had done shiatsu on her, since she knew how much I love witch’s brew, she told me that his card also said he dealt in Chinese herbs.
Oh, how I love Chinese herbs!
His "office" was really a room in an apartment in a religious neighborhood near the shuk. He even warned me that it was religious, which did not prevent me from wearing a décolleté sundress as I brushed past modest girls in long skirts and thick tights and men in ancient black ensembles.
Oh, how I love a peek-a-boo neckline!
But we’re talking about the study/salon in the apartment in the religious neighborhood that had been transformed into an herbal factory. So instead of books lining the walls there was jar after jar of magical potions: dark, gnarly roots, mysterious powders in various earth tones, something that looked like tiny snap peas.
In short: Wondrous!
The only problem was Dr. Herb wanted to know exactly what was wrong with me.
So that he could map it out on the outline of the human form on the paper in front of him.
"What do you mean you’re angry? Where does it hurt?" he asked.
"Um. My heart?" I said.
Which was an understatement. It had gotten so bad that come evening time, my heart was so heavy with sadness I felt like it would implode, shattering the whole of me into a million little pieces.
And then what? Who would take care of my dog?
"Well, I got divorced eight years ago and still haven’t met anyone," I told him.
He looked up from his paper. His wedding ring, catching the sunlight through the window, winked at me.
"Does anything help make you feel better? Walking? Time spent with friends?" he asked.
I told him it did. And I told him it didn’t.
"But you don’t seem angry," he pointed out, reminding me that I had chosen to live in a country full of anger-balls.
And the truth is, I didn’t feel angry at that moment. What I felt was sad. You know, like the tears of a clown when there’s no one around?
"So I suppose anger is just a symptom, that the real ‘ailment’ is sadness," I said, proud of myself for not bursting into tears. And for sounding so detached.
He jotted down a few more notes and asked a few more questions. The remedy? Some kind of herbal tincture that had to do with calming the "wood" in my midst. Or was it adding more wood? It somehow had to do with wood, and hopefully not chopping it.
"Oh, for my salvation!" I sang out cheerily as I bid him l’hitraot.
"That’s a big word," he said, sounding worried.
The real question is: Does he have any single friends for me? Because that is the one herb that just might do the trick.