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Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Monkey Would Like to Speak to You Privately

I was at yoga the other day, rolling my forehead on the floor – as is my wont – when I had a bit of a revelation.

The revelation?

The guy next to me really and truly stinks.

I paid good money for that, you know.

You can have it for free:  Some people really stink.

Not that this was just any kind of stink.  Truly, this was a deep stink, the stink of goats, the kind of stink that says, “Deodorant?  Whatever for?  I’m as natural as I was meant to be.” 

A noticeable and impressive stink.

“Inhale,” the instructor advises.  “And exhale.  Inhale.  And exhale.”

She has no idea what she’s asking for.

I remind myself that the world is full of distractions and that unpleasant smells are a part of it.  I tell myself that I go to yoga to center myself, to quiet the chatter of my monkey mind.

Yeah, says the monkey.  But this guy stinks!

I tell my monkey to shut up. 

The monkey flings mental poop at the inside of my head, suggests that I fret, kvetch, and complain, anything but concentrate and assume responsibility for my practice.  The monkey believes that if I stop what I am doing, perhaps work up an inner boil of some sort over how horrible this person is for breaking my concentration with his stench that I will be righteous in doing so.

The monkey is my constant companion.

I beat the monkey down with an internal promise of a good 15 minutes of freestyle irritation later in the week.

Maybe Thursday.

Eventually, of course, I am distracted from Stink Boy by my need to breathe in conjunction with movement, by the difficulty of the poses, by the unnaturally warm room; and after an hour, I find myself at the end of the class, exhausted and covered with sweat.

We are rolling up our mats when he looks over, offers me a big happy smile.

And the monkey and I smile back.

25 comments:

savannah said...

LOL i started chuckling as soon as i started reading, sugar, because i could SEE that room and Stink Boy and YOU! you are a gem, darlin! xoxoxoxo

Buttons said...

You are such a good girl:) B

Delores said...

Next class bring a brand new heavy duty deoderant into the class room and if you get stuck next to Mr. Smelly put it on his mat right under his nose..and offer him a big happy smile at the same time. My monkey says it will work.

Eva Gallant said...

You are so nice to smile despite the stink!

Laurel's Quill said...

Gross, really gross. You're a better woman than I am - I would have released the monkey.

The Jules said...

We have a chap at work who cycles in, and he has extremely strong body odour. However, the thing that freaks my and some of my colleagues out is that it's NOT ACTUALLY HORRIBLE.

Seriously, the shower room smells after he's hosed himself off, but it's a sort of not awful, mildly spicy scent, like pot pourri and olives.

The rest of us blokes smell like giant socks, but not him. Very odd.

Hi to your mental monkey, btw!

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Living communally, one has had to deal with this end of the spectrum, but also the opposite. "Whoa, mate, did the bottle break all over ya???" Nothing worse than all that chemical perfume. Asthma loves it. Not.

I have developed, over my 50+ years, a wonderful talent of blocking my nasal receptors without actually suffocating.

Have no idea how to explain that...
@< YAM xx

Irish Gumbo said...

Freestyle irritation, I like the idea. I think I practice that quite well. Certainly much more than yoga! But whatever shall we do with our monkeys?

My compliments for providing me with a good laugh whilst on my break :)

Daisy said...

I'd be for trying to be on the opposite side of the room from stink boy for the next yoga class if at all possible, even if he does have a nice smile. :)

Those monkeys in our heads stir up a lot of trouble sometimes.

Teresa Evangeline said...

Congratulations,, you did good. Dern monkey. It knows us. I once dated a man who went au natural in the deodorant department, and I liked him so much, but ultimately couldn't handle it and my subtle suggestions ... deodorant left out on the edge of the bathroom sink, et al, were to no avail. Couldn't spend my life that way and so... I am alone , but no stink ... my preferred method of life travel

Joanne Noragon said...

You and the monkey are good people. I frequently drive a car of teen age boys to band practice or the like. I'm good too; no monkey involved.

Launna said...

I don't know how you controlled yourself, when I am in the area of stink, I am like WHOA... what is that smell??? loudly, I just cannot handle it... you are better than me:)

jabblog said...

You are good. Just make sure you scan the room next time and choose an area well away from him . . . but then you might find another and your monkey will not be happy - again.

jenny_o said...

"I remind myself that the world is full of distractions and that unpleasant smells are a part of it."

While this is certainly true, I firmly believe that unpleasant smells are nature's warning not to go, be, or stay in that place. Firmly.

But even the smell of garlic cooking turns my stomach, so what do I know?

Elephant's Child said...

Wow. I am in awe at your monkey control. I have only two options open to me - run away or (drum roll and scary music here) unleash the monkey!!!

Pauline said...

I found your comments on my "other blog," the one I keep forgetting to check and came here to read. I've been laughing steadily for half an hour. Now my own monkey mind will be pestering me all night. "Why haven't you been here before, huh? Huh? When can we come again? Get up, enough sleep, go read more!"

Jo-Anne Meadows said...

Thank you for the laugh, and how I hate how some people stink, people like my daughter.........

Leenie said...

Even when you control the monkey by nearly suffocating it--somehow it comes back later to chatter in the background while you are trying to focus on some all-important task like showing the boss how centered and grounded you are.

There's always yoga in your own home with a CD yogi like Tara Styles. No stinky except, maybe a litter-box, and after you buy the CD the rest is free.

Rosemarie Blackthorn said...

Ah yes, rolling the head. I must do that later...

Hmm...some people really do pong (as we say this side of the water), deodorant or no. Phew.

Well done for gagging the monkey!

You are my idol!

Jinksy said...

How that takes me back - there was a student in art college with me, who, though her face was always beautifully made up and her posh accent matched the expensive cosmetics, smelt like a gone off beef burger! She polluted any room she entered, and the grey tide mark around her slender neck showed how long it had been since any water had graced that area, either...
Guess I have to say 'Thanks for the memory' ??!! :)

River said...

I would have moved away. I would have *had* to move away. Just the other day I moved away from a woman who got on the bus and sat next to me, she reeked of months worth of cigarette smoke in her clothes, so I found another seat at the back of the bus, where I really, really hate to sit. She was offended, but I could breathe.

bill lisleman said...

Savannah gave this post a shout-out and I knew right away that I missed a good one. The monkey on my back distracts me for browsing over here all the time. I like the idea of a monkey mind. Similar but yet different enough from the monkey on your back.

Inspector Clouseau said...

What's interesting is that we try to give people the benefit of the doubt in terms of smelling decently. We're almost afraid to label someone as stinky, thinking that we might be wrong, as if it is a scarlet letter which they must display for a period longer than the one they are in our immediate presence...

Timothy Hecht said...

Having served in the USMC and been an Ice Hockey player, I know stink.

Stink can be unavoidable. In that case you have to master the stink. you have to own the stink and when you can, you have to over power the stink with stink of your very own.

Words to live by.

Diane Tolley said...

Hmm . . . Sweating with the Mouldies. And suddenly I'm remembering Lloyd in the seventh grade. We held our breath when he walked past. I smell a blog post . . .