Dust

A cat stretches in yellow dust rays of the sun, paws twitching in dreams of mouse cities of gold.

A refrigerator winds electric cool. A reminder of silence that may have been forgotten if ever experienced.

A light, floral smell sits on the wings of a cool wind, swinging with no calculations to the rhythm of ancient drum rituals.

I do not remember the lives before. Only fragments of fuzzy emotions shivering in unclear dream states on planes of the present. Someone is in the room with me.

My father told me he did not believe in ghosts as we turned the attic into my teenage dorm room.

I stayed awake nine years under the footsteps of shadows that only spoke in whispers of telepathic imagery.

A silent hand touches my leg and I scream inside, clenched muscles against bones. Jump and run to the light switch that solves nothing. I sleep with open eyes between the blinks of strobe light sneezing. Finally, I dream. The same dream. Again.

A giant ball of string, three times as tall as me, must be collected and weighed. I can’t move it. The future of our species rests on the completion of this task.

I turn to the people watching and explain that we must work together. I need their help. It’s like talking to a black and white movie projected on a mausoleum wall.

The ball of string is too heavy. I cry out. I feel the warming of the sun’s breeze across my body and I stretch in yellow rays of dust.

black cat movie end

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Yoga Asylum #4: Adult Yoga

One day, on the way to yoga, I was stopped by a woman walking her dog.

She says, “You’re the yoga teacher at Runyon Canyon,” and I say, “Well yes, but there are 5 of us that teach there.”

She says, “I’ve been wanting to talk to you.” She continues, “The other day in class, you said, if we were facing the building during the beginning of class, that the class was going to be a motherfucker.”

I said, “Well, yes. But you can face any direction you want. It’s just that, if you’re facing the building in the beginning of class, it’s gonna be really hard to do the sun salutations because you’re facing downhill. But you can face any direction you like.”

She says, “Yeah, but ‘motherfucker’ is a negative word.”

I said, “Oh, I’m sorry. That’s just the way I talk. It’s really important for me to be myself during class. I think people are more comfortable when I’m not pretending to be someone I’m not. And I use bad words sometimes.”

She says. “Well, I’m a mother.”

I say, “Well, I try to look around and if I see children, I try not to curse as best I can.” I go on to say, “There are lots of teachers in this town that don’t use the F word. In fact, Tuesdays and Thursdays, Kamala teaches and I don’t think she swears too much.”

She then says, “When you say ‘motherfucker’ it makes me think of rape.”

I hear it in my head like a bell as I finally realize, she is saying that she doesn’t like me saying motherfucker because she is a mother and somehow I’m saying (this is a big jump) that mothers should be—I’m using her words—raped. So I say, “My mother was just at class on Friday. That’s not what I’m saying.”

Then I go on to say, “Frank Zappa’s first band was called The Mothers, which for them was short for motherfuckers, which in the 60s was a term used to say that someone was a great musician. Mostly jazz players, but I think it could work in all styles of music. Certainly I’m not saying anyone should be raped.”

Sarcastically, she says, “Oh great. The next time I meditate, I’ll think of Frank Zappa.” Then she walks away.

One of the other yoga teachers walked up to me just about then. I was a little disturbed and I told him the story and he said, “Did you tell her to fuck off?”

The next day, the “motherfucker” lady is at class and I’m teaching. I see her and she sees me, eyes on eyes like Sam Fuller would do in a film.

My first thought is, “motherfucker,” and she brings her hands together like she’s praying. You know, I don’t think praying to get people to do what you want is really what the gods had in mind… except, maybe, the guy with the horns.

I’m making an ASSumption she’s praying to get me not to say “motherfucker” in class. I’ll tell you this, if praying was meant to be a way to control people, bars would be full of guys dropping to their knees and praying at the sound of the last call bell.

So I’m not really sure what to do. The rebel in me wants to blurt out “motherfucker” and be done with it. But I don’t want to be “The Motherfucker Guy,” like that’s all I do. Did you ever see the Simpsons episode where Bart says, “I didn’t do it,” and becomes famous and goes on TV and everyone’s always waiting for him to say it until they’re finally sick of it? I don’t want to be that. I want to say “motherfucker” only when it is appropriate in my yoga class.

But I really wanted to say it that day.

But then I remember, I told her to come to class Tuesday or Thursday if she wanted to take a class where the teacher would be less likely to say that phrase. And it’s Tuesday (I’m substitute teaching). So I didn’t say it. But we did focus on the face of Frank Zappa in final meditation. Frank-Zappa-deviation-from-the-norm-297x300

It was a very good class, but I couldn’t help but notice, at the end of class, the motherfucker lady did not leave me a motherfucking donation. I did announce that I would be subbing for Kamala the rest of the week. So as they say, fair warning, motherfucker. What’s next? People telling me reverse triangle makes them uncomfortable? Yeah, me too. But we’re still going to do it.

I spoke about this on the social network and the next class, somebody was wearing a Frank Zappa t-shirt. It was awesome and really blew me away and made me laugh.

Also, the MF lady was at class… and I did say it. And she did leave me a donation.

– – – – –

This happened several years ago. Since then, I have taught thousands of yoga classes, some of them in businesses (corporate wellness), schools and retirement homes. When I teach these classes, I do avoid that phrase… mostly. I don’t have fucking Tourette’s, you know.