Eco Boy vs. Yoga Girl: the Break Up, Part 8.
“It’s hard to see The Crazy coming. But Jealousy is a sign of it.” ~ Dr. Willard Evans
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Things were rocky, now.
Yoga Girl had done seven yoga classes that week, and still she felt pissed. Stressed. She hated stress, it was bad for her looks. So she called and made an appointment and went to get a manipedi and she called and made an appointment and went and got her hair done and none of that helped. So she thought about going out for lunches with girlfriends, only she didn’t have any. So she called and made appointment and went in and got a massage at a place called Mind Body Spirit Green Wellness Massage & Acupuncture. She figured they just put a bunch of nice words together, a sort of marketing or SEO play.
“Mind Body Spirit Green Wellness, how can I help you,” asked a tinny bored helpful voice on the other end of the line.
“Yes, hi, I’d like to make an appointment. I’d like something that’ll really help me, I’ve been going through a lot of stress lately, but I don’t want anything to hurt. I want something really intense and helpful that will just feel good.” She had enough suffering in her life.
She lexused over at the appointed time and checked in and was shown to a small pastel room with new agey music playing and the requisite plugged-in waterfall. Massage Lady was about forty and buff and stunning, with long straight hair. “How are you,” and she offered her magical hands, taking Yoga Girl’s small slender perfect hand with orange nail polish. “Just take off your clothes, I’ll exit and return in a few minutes.”
Yoga Girl waited for the door to close, and obediently pulled off her red and white striped long sleeve shirt from Eileen Fisher, and unclipped her bra, and hung them up on a hook. She squirmed out of her tight, dark jeans and pulled her panties off and, finally, her big wool socks, and folded them neatly in a corner by a plush chair. She took her necklace off, and a few bracelets, and set them on a side table, softly, as if she were a teenager coming home late at night. And, naked, skinny, dark, she entered the aromatic, warm gap between the sheets and the massage table and, laying on her small breasts, turned her head and closed her eyes and, after the momentary distraction of the real world, prepared to reenter the soothingly stuffy land of her thoughts.
But the door opened and Massage Lady walked in, all strong and gorgeous and capable and bossy. Massage Lady asked some questions about essential oils and then invited Yoga Girl to stop talking, and relax.
Massage Lady’s attractiveness both kinda somehow turned on Yoga Girl—the nudity, the scented earthy oils, the close quarters, the capitalistic intimacy—and insulted her. She should be worked over by some hobbity short woman from Sweden whose hands would worship at the altar of Yoga Girl’s beauty.
But the Enya-like music (though not as evocative as Enya) calmed her and Massage Lady’s strong hands tamed her mind and soon she drifted in half-sleep, half-wakefulness…a state of mind in which she could comfortably obsess about herself.
Only a week or two ago, Yoga Girl had been having those comforting cozy catalog-worthy version daydreams of the two of them lounging about a near-future hypothetical (2,000 sq foot) tiny house on a lake in her cashmere socks ($48, made in China) and his red black flannel work shirt (no work involved; Filson), he with graying temples and that dark moustache shaved off; she patiently, kindly shooing the children off to school (well, even and especially in her dreams, a governess did all the real work). He’d be driving an eco car, a Tesla, say, no more of that bicycling about drinking coffee in f*cking countless cafes in the city, she’d get him away from all those flirty girls. Funny how Eco Boy talked about being poor, but spent a non-profiter’s annual salary on the kind of fancy artisanal direct trade coffee The Sunday New York Times bothered to do features upon.
She was more and more irritated with him, these days. She’d broken up with him every other day for a month, and hated how he quietly accepted getting dumped. So she’d take him back and they would have a nice, hopeful, hugging, strolling reunion, then he’d piss her off again and she’d dump him again, hoping for some begging and pleading and sighing. But he had no fight in him, he looked scared and worried and pitiful, a big man brought to his knees by their love, turned bitter, like a bottle of $12 buck organic wine left out on the counter.
Everything she’d loved about him—that he was big, dark, tall, manly, gruff, charming, loud…she now resented, in a way—he seemed to throw around his dirty masculinity at others, he never flirted at her anymore. Their humorous arguments, a la His Girl Friday, had turned serious and the true him seemed to have emerged: a deeply cowardly, hypocritical, unfunny, selfish, philandering poor man’s Hemingway. He hadn’t even written anything good, in years.
They woke up together, on what would be one of their last wake up together’s, and the sunlight was bright and white and hopeful, oblivious to their unspooning, turned-away to opposite sides of the bed sadness. He was first to get up, stretching and turning on his phone (always keep phone off or at least seven feet away, he’d lectured at her, she had begun to hate “green”…he acted like a nagging Daddy, and she didn’t need another Daddy, the first one had been. So. Bad). So they stretched and grunted and he p*ssed and let the dog out and the dog p*ssed and they came back, quietly, 10 minutes later, and she could hear him feeding the happy Blue. And she still lay in bed, dark, bright eyes, trying hard to think happy thoughts, shaking from her her moodiness. She knew, as Rumi had told her, that she just had to shake it off and be happy, and everything would be happy. She created her world. So she shut away the pain and confusion and darkness and got up and showered and sung happily and when she saw him upstairs, brushing his teeth, she avoided eye contact and got out of the shower and walked, naked, f*ck him, dripping, to get dressed. She put on a white shirt and a shawl and turquoise-colored earrings and
“Eco Boy, I’m heading out to the Farmers’ Market.” She’d texted Foodie Princess, and was meeting her in 5 minutes ago (she was always late, but so was Princess).
“Oh. Forgot it was Saturday.” Eco Boy’s dark brown hair spiked all over the place, and swayed left, and even his sideburns were wild after a hard night of being slept upon. “I gotta shower.”
“Okay,” she said, thinking “f*ck you,” in addition, but staying positive, added “I’ll meet you on the grassy field, ‘kay? We’ll have lunch.”
“Yeah,” Eco Boy said, through the now mostly closed bathroom door. She heard him turn on the shower and huffed her way downstairs and into her Lexus and turned on some music, looking for something spiritual. She found her MC Yogi/Franti mix CD, and popped that in. “Assh*le,” she thought to herself, while bouncing her head happily to the happy song…music was great ‘cause it was like a pill, or a shot, a drug of joy…you didn’t have to do anything, it just made you happy. She wished there was a, like, spiritual electric blanket that she could plug in and wrap around herself. She guessed that’s what all those om tattoos were all about…like talismans for peace.
Meanwhile, back at the house!
Eco Boy was depressed, sad, droopy. His mind clouded, he resolved to go meditate—and after puttering around uselessly for a few, and sitting in the bright sun for a few minutes, he finally did so. As Woody Allen or someone said, showing up is 99% of the battle.
Sitting cross legged on a red Samadhi Cushion, watching his thick slow thoughts, labeling them simply as thoughts, returning to the breath. Again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again and again, today it felt like weight-lifting underwater. He kept drifting off, dreaming of kinder, gentler women, thinking of freedom, thinking of getting away, thinking guiltfully of how angry Yoga Girl seemed to be, all the time…and, thinking of coffee, and breakfast at the market.
Finally, he had a few good, smooth, calm, full-attentioned breaths in a row, and called it a session. He bowed, dedicating any merit that his day might produce to others—merit only truly accrued if it was given away, went the typically-Buddhist illogical “logic”—and he dressed in a checkered cowboy shirt and short shorts and flippie floppies and grabbed and leashed his restless happy silly dopey dog, and biked off, up the hill, Blue running beside him. The two occasionally slowed so Blue could sniff, and pee, and finally poo, and Eco Boy took an NY Times blue plastic bag out of his rear right pocket and scooped it and trashed it. And they biked on, up to the Market, and arrived, Blue yelping in anticipation (Farmers’ Market—with dogs, children, crumbs everywhere, was a social dog’s paradise)—and Eco Boy rode in, a big entrance with Blue, and friends waved and he nodded (his hands rather full). He locked up the yellow bike. He saw [Harper’s & Atlantic & The Sun Subscription Girl] and went over to her and her friends, and chatted loudly and happily and meaninglessly about their clothes, and food, and the day, and they laughed, and he laughed, and he alluded to his sadness, and how happy he was to be there.
And then he looked to the right, and saw Yoga Girl, alone, standing tall and rigidly, staring a hole through him with her dark hair light eyes and dark skin and turquoise dangly earrings.
She was sick of him and his flirting. Sure he said he wasn’t f*cking women, but she knew he was or would if he could, he was a dog—just like all or most men he’d hump anything he could, anytime, if given the chance.
She had a moment of clarity—smelling her tamales, she had bought four in a red-striped paper dish and was waiting for Princess—and she forgot about the Boy for a moment. She looked for a sunny, mud-less grassy spot to sit and eat. And as she walked with her purse and tamales she got out her iPhone, best not to ever waste time, and head down scrolled through her carefully-curated twitter feed, which was all about being spiritual, you know, present moment quotes…and, head-down, she meandered through the picnicking crowd. Above her, futile birds and the heavens and blue skies and whispy white clouds shone and twirped at her, but she was too busy tweeting, and they faded away.
And she tripped over a boy, and Eco Boy saw it, and his moustache curled down and frowned, and he shook his head, miserable. And it was just then, in the next moment, that he first saw “Portlandia Kiwi.” She was new to town, had been told to visit the Farmers’ Market to “get the town.” And she was alone, and happy, and hungry. And he watched her, as if she were a dandelion seed, floating on the wind. And the corners of his ‘stache curled up. Kiwi was wearing a summer dress, and it was January, and she was looking up, and sighing at the sky.
He didn’t know it, yet, but Portlandia Aussie represented a floss-thin lifeline to sanity, over the abyss.
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