101 Ticks: A Christmas in Ciudad Obregon

101 Ticks cover jpgHeading down from Southern California to spend Christmas in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, with a family in tatters:
Eva decides to give me a Reiki massage, complete with weird vibrating instruments pressed against my scalp, like metallic loofahs, supposedly untangling twisted nerve endings in my brain. What followed was 30 minutes of body massage, which was really a barrage of indelicate pummeling and prodding.
During this, Sophy pokes her head into the room and tells me, “She’s going to give you the treatment next.”
It turns out that the treatment is a huge needle shooting human growth serum directly into my shoulder muscle. It’s going to fix my bum knee and make me glow with youthful vigor. The needle hurts going in, but I have a strong threshold for pain. What’s a few seconds of torture from what feels like the losing end of a knife fight? Especially if it’s gonna set me right with my knee.
But it wasn’t just one needle—it was two…then three…then four. In my shoulder, my biceps, my ass.
When I asked Evie how many needles she was going to give me, she wouldn’t answer. Instead she said, “I know what I’m doing.”
Nine… ten… eleven. The 12th needle goes straight into my knee. Chinga tu Madre!
Sophy leans over and says, “Women give birth and it hurts so much they yell out bad words. But then they get pregnant again.”
I ask, “How many more?”
No answer from Evie.
At 13 needles I yell, “Fuck! This is enough.”
The women think this is really funny.
Evie makes a sad face and pretends to wipe away a tear.
Later I look up and learn a new word in Spanish; my new name for Evie: La Torturadura.

From the travel memoir 101 Ticks: A Christmas in Ciudad Obregon

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