I called Mesmer. She had me outline the problem for her.
“You have a delirious love attachment,” she said, and then added, “I can help you.” She was intimate with the Yaddo grounds and told me to meet her at the Japanese rock garden at seven the next morning.
“Will this cost anything?” I asked. But she had already hung up. I met Mesmer at the appointed hour. Her eyes were dark liquid holes. She was middle-aged with wiry auburn hair.
“Take your clothes off,” she said.
I obeyed her without question. Those eyes. Also, I was willing to try anything.
“Please get into the water.”
Yaddo’s Japanese garden is an enchanting glade with an enormous volcanic rock in the center of a pool, which I entered naked. Mesmer handed me a black funnel.
“Put it over your genitals … Stand by the rock … Face me. Listen closely. The human body is a magnet. Love is a result of magnetic harmony between two people. You have a magnetic imbalance. The rock, with its ore, well draw the obsession for the girl out of you; the water, an antimagnetic force, will keep you stabilized and keep you from getting overcharged.”
“Is this dangerous?” What had I gotten myself into?
“The way you are right now is dangerous. You need help. Get in position. Close your eyes. Come out of the water when I tell you.” I followed directions: held the funnel in place, stood in the water. It was cold but magnificent. I don’t know how long I was in there. She told me to come out. “You should feel better now,” she said. She shook my hand and left.
Over the days that followed, the girl wasn’t floating across my eyes any more. I felt sad—she was truly gone. But so were the madness and the IBS. The crazy procedure had actually worked. My mind and colon were mine once more. I could feel that I was able, magnetically drawn to someone new. Mesmer had healed me—I was ready again to love.