The money wasn’t important. We were more interested in having it done in a sanitary office.
A beautiful Saturday at the Castro: well-bred people and well-bred dogs promenade underneath the warm sun and rainbow flags. We turned onto Market and entered a second-story shop called Cold Steel America. The skull of a gazelle glowered down on us from a yellow stucco wall. Amanda sat beneath a large Chinese dragon mask.
The quiet-voiced man behind the counter had a shaved head, with a tattoo of three cherries behind his left ear. He motioned Mandy into the back room, a small office with white tiles. I saw a ten-gallon jug labelled MadaCide-1 on a particle-board shelf. He took down a pair of forceps from the shelf and he put on thin white rubber gloves. As my wife lay down on the operating table, he whispered in my wife’s ear.
It was over in two minutes. “No worse than giving blood,” said my wife, displaying the new gold barbell pierced through her belly button.