“The below is an excerpt of a forthcoming novella. It’s autobiographical fiction (with the emphasis on fiction). Book forthcoming in Spring 2012, the first from elephant journal press.”
The Return of Yoga Girl.
Meetings are chance things but if one is a magnet, the other another magnet, the chance is that much less chancy. ~ Dr. Willard Evans
She hadn’t lived in SF for three years.
When she had she had loved it. Picnics in Dolores Park, biking across The Bridge and ferrying back, doing yoga with bff in Chrissy Field, going to shows, teaching yoga a bit, zooming her scooter around. It was a picturesque life worthy of a tumblr blog.
So she was happy to return for the Yoga Valhalla Conference—the world’s biggest series of conferences. She packed her perfect pink Rururemon mat, it wasn’t eco but she didn’t think about that, and hopped Southwest from DIA with her new besty Wingwoman, a golden-skinned girl originally outta Austin. Wingwoman had her perfect yellow Rururemon mat. A guy tried to pick them up in line for the plane. They smiled in a way that’d chill champagne—he wasn’t worthy.
She and Wingwoman boarded the plane, sitting forward ’cause that’s where Italian Vogue says you have the best chance of living if the plane goes down.
She didn’t look out the window, she read her big magazine and by read I mean flipped pages, eyeing the adverts just as much if not more than the editorial. It was heavy, so she considered leaving it on the plane…but she’d paid $15 for it at the Denton Book Store, so she took it with her. They had to wait a half hour to get their bags out of the carousel. She had three bags, two of them bigger and heavier than a little boy.
Eco Boy was on the plane, too, but they didn’t meet then. He did notice her and her friend, with their carry-on yoga mats rolled up, and thought about coming on to them (they were both perfect, in that I-read-Vogue-when-I-was-a-little-girl-collecting-them-all-lined-up-on-my-perfect-little-shelf-in-my-perfect-little-bedroom way) but they seemed cold and uninterested and he was too arrogant for failure.
In a position of this sort, even though the enemy should offer us an attractive bait,
it will be advisable not to stir forth, but rather to retreat, thus enticing the enemy in his turn; then, when part of his army has come out, we may deliver our attack with advantage
He had just brought one carry-on, and his laptop bag (waxed, tan, Filson) so he walked straight off the plane after two hours of staring out the window in awe, just as he had since he was a small boy, and hopped the first hybrid cab he found.
Yoga Girl and Wingwoman hopped the first roomey SUV cab they found, and rolled to their hotel. They were staying in the bleach-smelling Hilton, of course, so they could just de-escalator their way down to (Starbucks then) yoga each morning.
The first night there was some hippie kirtan on the schedule, and there would be no normal boys there, so they went out. They went to a hip place on Valencia she’d heard about and met two old girlfriends who she no longer knew really and had never really cared about. But they were all gorgeous and wore just the right amount of make up (very little, but bright) and perfect dresses and accessories and they walked in and took over a corner of the bar as if they went there every night.
Eco Boy had rented an AirBnB, a funky old library that Michael Douglas had owned back in his TV days that was now a loft. It had a big elk’s head staring out, and the old sailor who owned the place had left him Peet’s coffee and a bunch of non-organic crap that he didn’t want to eat. The rental included a mountain bike. Eco Boy arrived, tossed his stuff down, pulled on a striped cotton tank so he wouldn’t sweat (he’d flown out of a blizzard, landed in summertime) and starting iPhone google mapping his way around town. He’d never really been to SF much before. His pilgrimage included City Lights (a too-young too-small little girl immediately approached him, offered naked hugs at a local strip joint…
…he didn’t really hear her and politely demurred)…the original Beat book store…he planned on naming one of his future hypothetical children Kerouac, or Kerry for short—Kerouac’s Pomes All Sizes (read Hymn) had cracked his heart and the Town & the City had shown him the love he’d felt was felt by others and On the Road did the usual rap on his then-teenage-mind—inspired and caffeinated his soul, so he wrote a year or two of earnest bad poetry and learned to be a human being with a red open heart in the process.
That night, being new to The City, he’d Facebooked everyone he knew who lived there and one of ’em, a yoga teacher, told him to check out Beretta, since he was vegan. It was a hip place on Valencia. He mountain biked his way there—mountain bike tires are perfect for any City—pot holes and glass, deadly to other bike tires, are rendered threatless.
He’d taken his Bay Rum with him and a denim shirt with vintage embroidery on it so he could pass for a hipster, which he was really anyways, and after biking about town for a few hours and laptopping at a cafe he found somewhere in or near Castro, he wasn’t quite sure, he rolled up a half hour early to the restaurant. He put his name in for 10, he was meeting a bunch, and they told him he can’t put your name in until you’re all here and he explained they’d be dropping by, they wouldn’t all be there all at once, and they explained you can wait at the bar and get a four top once three more folks joined him. He nodded amenably and sidled up to the bar, squeezing expertly between hot bodies and ordering “whatever’s local on draught.” He noticed four amazing women—including that Yoga Girl he’d seen in the café, and on the plane—a few bodies down.
He grinned to himself, and thought of the part in Art of War about terrain.
From a position of this sort, if the enemy is unprepared, you may sally forth and defeat him.
Next time! Eco Boy and Yoga Girl meet! She doesn’t like him, but in a good way! He doesn’t like her, but he wants her! They spend the night together! But nothing happened, promise!
Eco Boy vs. Yoga Girl is syndicated in Origin Magazine, on book shelves and in a Whole Foods near you.