Right off the mat, as one might say, if one were to say such a thing, I can see that this guy’s gonna be special.
It’s yoga time.
There he is, pre-class, legs spread. He swings his arms back and forth, back and forth. Uh-uh-uh, he grunts. He twists his torso to the right, then to the left: Uh-uh-uh.
I lie back on my mat and close my eyes. Surrounded in my new job – at least by my ears’ understanding – by far-flung malenprops and four-to seven-spindled farquardts running about three clicks below harmanfletcher, the hour I spend at yoga is my buffer between work and home.
I leave everything, as we like to say, on my mat.
The monkey in my head, the one that makes fun of women in five-inch heels and regularly suggests that I go ahead and eat whipped cream by the fists full, has other ideas, however, and is already slapping his big heavy palms against the inside of my skull. Get a load of this guy, he chortles. How you gonna ignore this galoot? This guy’s gonna ruin your whole class!
I wave the monkey off.
I don’t come to yoga to talk to monkeys.
But the monkeys, apparently, have come to yoga to talk to me.
Aside from rhythmic, steady breathing, and the sounds of music and the instructor’s voice, the room is silent.
“Oh, hell,” the man whispers.
“Well I can’t do that,” he mutters.
I twist from one position to the next, sometimes looking at the front of the room, sometimes the back.
I shudder. Someone has just either cleared a long-standing clog, or the man on the mat to my left and back a couple feet has a sinus condition.
“Eueuuchhhhhh.” The next position moves me to look back, in his direction, and I do so in time to see the woman just behind him give a look of revulsion.
She sees me.
Our eyes meet, and we grin.
The monkey in my head had hoped, of course, for so much more. But like I keep telling him: Yoga is not a competition.
But if it were a competition, that woman and I just won.