So I was laying on my yoga mat the other day, pressing my forehead into the ground, as is my wont, when it occurred to me that I had entered a new stage in my life.
The stage wherein I successfully cage my inner monkey.
There we were, perspiration rolling off us, contemplating the next move (“you will plant your hands on your mat, shoulder-width apart, tuck your knees up into your armpits and simply lift yourself off the ground”). We were inches from each other, breathing deeply and rhythmically.
The temperature in the room was this side of a hundred degrees, the humidity just short of awakening the vestigial gills I’ve been holding on to for just such an occasion.
Yessiree, Bob, there I was: just me and 49 of my favorite people (between the hours of 5:30 and 6:30 p.m.).
And it wasn’t long ago that my brain would’ve chosen this very moment to ricochet with panicked, chattering thoughts. It’s too hot! Is that guy looking at me? It’s too hot! What’s the temperature in here? How much longer before I can lay down and play dead? Have I mentioned to myself that it’s too hot?
But indulging my inner monkey is not why I go to yoga.
The monkey casts a sideways glance at the tepid moat of sweat surrounding the mat of the man eight inches to my right and begins to work on the comment that will keep me from concentrating. I successfully fight her back into the same corner of my mind where I keep Metallica songs and the closing times of local fast food joints. I promise her that we’ll look for cigarette butts on the way home (I may have quit, but she doesn’t know that) and watch Cops afterward.
The monkey loves Cops.
There are advantages, I think, to choosing where and how you’ll let your monkey run free.
The bus, for example, is the perfect place for monkey thoughts.
Don’t get me wrong. The monkey keeps me entertained, says terrible things I cannot repeat about the woman in the gold Spandex and the odds of finding loose change in the folds that make up much of her topography.
The monkey was the one who suggested I turn off my iPod Wednesday morning and listen in on the fight between Pookie and Boo.
Frankly, Boo’s trippin’.
The monkey also, however, makes obscene references during solemn moments and encourages me to eat uncooked cake batter. The monkey likes to inline skate drunk and quit my jobs.
The monkey has way more friends than I do.
And way more enemies.
She had a good run, that monkey.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that there isn’t room, now and then, for her chattering.
I’m just not buying her bananas anymore.
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