nut man

It’s been a misty, socked-in week. Air is moist, closets are musty. The sun and moon lie hidden, dormant.

I miss the sun and moon

It’s less a storefront and more a room, inside a house

down a quiet lane, just off a quiet lane, down another quiet lane

it’s a bit hidden,

but there’s treasure within.

I pedal slowly, down our tree-lined street. It skirts a lagoon, riddled with trash but somehow also layered with green, and life, and beauty

gotta see the good

Our shopping bike with two glass containers lining the basket makes its way down to Mr. Hoang’s.

I pass a neighbour, greens overflowing his arms, the leash to his pup straining

He barks an order to the dog

She doesn’t bark back.

I arrive just outside the metal gate, bend down and peer through the keyhole. Give a quick rap, and hear his footsteps.

He welcomes me in and we traverse the steps into his shop.

His kiosk / living room / acupuncture studio / gym is no bigger than a luxury bathroom. Posters outlining meridians affixed neatly on the wall, a couple massage tables snug up to the walls at right angles. A cold stone floor under his sandals.

Today, I’m about the nuts, but I’m curious about the acupuncture.

I could use a boost in chi

I ask after an appointment.

He takes the two glass cylinders from my bag, gently unrolls the paper sacks, and pours them in. One filled with almonds, the other cashews.

His hands are careful, measured.

I cannot treat you for acupuncture today

Are you available this week?

I explain that I’m working, daytime is difficult.

It would be best for you to come in the middle of the day

The best treatment lines up with the sun and moon.

He smiles, and I do too.

I know I’ve come to the right place.

Published by Radutti

Teaching in Ha Noi, screwing things up daily but surviving to write about it. ...everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?

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  1. Ah… a lot to unpack, here. The haze, the streets, the nuts, the appointment… I wonder which you write more about. Your title is very evocative of a time of hazy skies, day and night.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a well-crafted moment you’ve given us. And though it’s a small moment, taking place in a small setting there’s so much emotion you convey here. Beautifully done.

    Liked by 1 person

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