Thursday, January 14, 2010

Inversion Practice




Headstand, handstand, shoulder stand. Kitty teaches three classes a week and practices for an hour every day. She looks great, shape-wise. But the tropical sun has spotted and wrinkled her skin.

I see Kitty every year, so why her face suddenly looks so old to me, I’m not sure. Between last year and this, Kitty’s appearance has slid from one era into the next. It really disturbs me, but I hide it well enough. Except not from Emma; she see whatever I hide right away. She says I act awkward around Kitty, like I’m not sure where to look.

(Click here to read the first episode and here for the previous one.)

 “Her face makes me sad.”

“You just noticed?” Emma asked. “All of a sudden?”

“Guess so.”

Emma grew up afraid of the sun. And I don’t mean just hats and sunscreen. She stays undercover during the day. Dawn and dusk are the best times for surfing, but even in twilight she wears a bodysuit and gloves to block the lethal rays. She slathers zinc oxide on her face and feet. Sure, she’s only twenty-three, but there’s not freckle on her.

She and Kitty have bartered a deal that to my mind takes up too much of Emma’s time and energy. When I barely hint that she doesn’t need to work so hard, because after all I own half of Kitty’s business, Emma scowls. “Don’t be so greedy; I want to do it this way.”

Well, Emma would. She launders the camp’s sheets and generally does whatever needs doing in exchange for the yoga teachers’ training. ($5,000, which I’d have gladly paid.)

On the positive side, though? The agreement requires Emma to stay here three months: one month for training and two months teaching the six am class.

I’m sitting in the thatched pavilion, waiting for her to finish an anatomy lesson. Who knows how long I was staring blankly at the ocean, not reading my book, something Charlie recommended: Elvissey, about time-traveling Elvis cults—totally Charlie. He’s bound to visit sometime, probably when the surfing hits its peak.

Kitty’s tapping my shoulder. The paperback book falls through my lap.  “Why so moody, Scott?”

“I don’t know. Something to do with Emma.”

“I like her a lot,” Kitty says. “And really, Scott, you should have given up the love ’em and leave ’em scenario years ago.”

“That’s not it. I’m nowhere near the love ’em and leave ’em scenario, as you call it. I have no idea how to capture her.”

“There’s another stupid fallacy,” Kitty says, “That hunting and capturing thing. As if a woman you love is a rabbit: hunt her down and domesticate her unless you’d rather just shoot her, skin her, and cut her into chunks for a big, gamey stew.”

“God, Kitty. That’s harsh. It’s not like my past girlfriends were worth much. Except maybe you.”

“And I was too old.”

“That wasn’t it. We both moved on.”

“Of course we did. You should take up yoga, Scott. Do you some good to turn upside down.”

I nod noncommittally, a bit less than “maybe.” Because the surfer dudes who hang around here doing yoga to get next to the yoginis raise my hackles. They buy and sell mota and laze around till surf’s up.

They’re bums. And since my own life’s a variation on their shiftless, selfish style, without practicing yoga, the last thing I want to do is sit around with those clowns, chanting OM and exercising my chakras.

Kitty hands me my book and asks, “Did Emma tell you what happened with Logan?”

No answer necessary. The idea makes me sick; I mean, actually sick.

 “So that’s part of it: she doesn’t tell you everything. Since I’m suggesting a few improvements, Scott—and I apologize for being rude—drop jealousy.”

I snap my fingers. “Whatever you say, Ms. Kitty”

“Do you want to hear what happened or not?”

Logan offered Emma a free massage when her shoulders and neck were aching after surfing. How was Emma to know Logan doesn’t do anything for free. (Kitty didn’t say that, but it’s true.)

Logan’s given me a massage. Pedro, Moira, and I are the few who didn’t achieve samahadi when he opened our blocked channels. The yoga gang loves him, though, even Kitty’s boyfriend Sean.

Logan digs into your whole musculature, working your body’s chi meridians. He chants and hums, pummeling you from pain into ecstasy. Or that’s the idea.

Kitty says Emma ran off after half an hour calling him an asshole. She stormed through the main pavilion, saying loud enough for everyone to hear: “The man specializes in ‘body rubs’ but he’s never heard of compression shorts.”

And Logan’s walking after her, shaking his finger. “I told you,” he said. “I told you to keep your eyes closed. That’s what you get for disobedience.”

A squirt in the eye.

Maybe Kitty’s right: Emma doesn’t need to tell me everything.

(Click here for the next episode)

2 comments:

Dan Leo said...

Trouble in paradise. But isn't there always?

kathleenmaher said...

There better be or I won't have much of a story. I guess life is slow in those tropical paradises. It's too hot to hurry down there and they're smoking all that mota: the real trouble is still brewing.