Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York
I got yet another rejection letter for the book I'm trying to pimp - that makes 7 or 8 so far (but who's counting?) - which makes me feel like I can't write... but I can yoga!
I may not be the best or most flexible yogi in the world, but I can hold my gas in class - which I recently remembered is very difficult - and is more than I can say for some writers at America's top papers. Sure, they may be able to write in depth award winning exposes, host dinner parties and wow dignified guests with their intellect and wit while showing off their Ivy League diplomas in their glossy, oak decor studies over high priced whiskey. But, can they bend themselves into a virtual pretzel and not blow gas? I don't think so. In fact, I know so. And that's where I've got them beat. When it comes to holding my gas I'm phenomenal. But given the right set of circumstances, say, if I were invited to one of those high brow dinner parties I just might blow hard too.
My return to mastery of my gas began a week ago or so, just after I'd come back to New York from Salt Lake City on my bus ride through Dante's inferno. Marie'd left town for two weeks to cook at a yoga retreat Upstate at her friends place. And after having been jostled and throttled across the land for 56 hours straight, unrelentingly, mercilessly on a caravan full of crazy, the thought of yoga, stretching my body and relaxing my mind sounded okay. One day after my return, on my way to work I walked past a yoga studio a couple blocks from our apartment that was advertising a yoga barbecue for the next day. It sounded like a winning combination and I decided to do something rejuvenating and recuperative for myself.
I needed to love myself again.
The next day I went to the yoga barbecue.
I've done yoga in the past and I really liked the tranquility and almost euphoric sense of calm that I would often experience after a session. What I'd forgotten about were the volcanic like bursts that would sometimes shudder through my intestinal tract forcing me to clench myself tighter than a dolphin's butthole.
I remembered quickly.
The yoga barbecue started to seem like not such a good idea after all, as for almost the entire hour or more that I twisted myself up like a python my mantra was: "Don't shit yourself. Don't shit yourself. Don't shit yourself!" It was a lot like the beginning scene of Braveheart when those Celtic warriors were bracing themselves for the attack with Mel Gibson yelling at them: "Hold! Hold! Hold! Hold!!!!!!" I held. But for the next few days thereafter I blew gas like Old Faithful in Wyoming.
My body and mind felt better after the class, and I wanted more of that feeling, so a few days later I went back.
And for the next few days after class, again, I blew wind like the Santa Anas.
Over the next weekend I went up to the yoga retreat to help Marie out some in the kitchen.
Not long after I arrived in the early morning I was put to work, which meant that I'd be doing a sea of dishes. No problem. Fine. I'm a master dish technician. The first job that I ever got was as a dishwasher. My old Finnish boss (Finn) loved me when he wasn't berating me and the kitchen staff for being slow, stupid and incompetent. And under that caring guidance my hands became electric cleaning machines.
Twenty years later I found that I still had the touch.
By the time four o' clock and the start of the afternoon yoga session came around and I climbed out of the relentless piles of dishes, my back and neck were wrecked.
So I joined the yogis for class.
The session was grueling. I looked like I was slightly retarded, flopping around like a fish out of water compared to most of the other obviously seasoned twisters. On top of that I'd made the mistake of drinking massive amounts of coffee to get me through the dishes that'd paraded mockingly, in grand awkward stacks, in front of me all day long. Once in class I very quickly found myself near total ERUPTION! But not a peep nor blaring butt trumpet sounded from me the entire session - after which I glued myself to the toilet holding on for dear life (remember the scene in Dumb and Dumber? - It was a lot like that).
The next morning was the last class of the retreat, and after Marie and I made coffee and set the continental breakfast out for everyone I went into the session all hopped up on Java again (I just don't learn). And while I struggled to restrain myself from cutting loose, the mid thirties petite blond in front of me began to let go with galloping bursts of abandon. At first I thought that her foot had maybe slipped on her yoga mat causing the tearing, squeaking sound, but as she continued to blow horn like a light house signaling the incoming fog I saw heads around us turn, and particularly towards me, to see where the fire was. I just looked proud, held my pose, and my blow horn, and motioned towards the culprit with sideways looks and head nods as she let go a series of short explosions like a car getting going on a cold morning. I felt sorry for her, but was pleased once again with my intestinal powers.
After class I went and locked myself in the bathroom.
The next night after most everyone was gone I was recounting the story of the farting yogi to Marie, her friend and a couple other girls over dinner, and they told me that the woman who'd blown like Fog Horn Leg Horn wrote for the New York Times or some other prestigious publication, and I felt a sense of vindication wash over me, as even though I may not be a published writer, and I get rejection letter after rejection letter for my book I can hold my own when it comes to yoga and blowing my horn...