Education

I’m taking yoga again.

Sure as shit, last week my yoga teacher noticed that I was skipping the headstand portion of class.

Afterwards, she cornered me and asked me why.

I considered lying. Creating an injury. Telling a tall tale.

But, honesty is the best policy, I suppose.

“I’m afraid of falling.”

She offered to help.

I’ve tortured yoga teachers for twenty years. Every single one of them thinks that they’ll be the one to teach me how to do a headstand. Every single one of them has failed.

“If you want to try again, I’m here.”

I smiled and slipped into my shoes. “Thank you.”

The truth is, I can do a headstand – if there’s wall behind me.

In fact, I’m doing one right now.

***

I know a guy who hopped a freight train when he was fifteen and hasn’t stopped moving since. He’s a hurricane of knowledge and opinions, living life by chance. The best part about him, other than the extended conversation I recently had with him about Bigfoot, is that he knows that knowing things doesn’t necessarily make him knowledgeable.

In short, reading’s great. Classes are fun. And real knowledge, flushed out and brought to life, is temporal. It lives with us and dies within us. Especially if we forget to practice.

As for learning, it’s not for the faint of heart, unless the faint of heart like fainting.

***

I went on a date last night. It was a New York date, so it doesn’t count towards the fifty, but I am concerned about keeping up my dating skills during this time of trans-continental dating famine. I was happy for the opportunity to reinvigorate my dating skill set.

Which, apparently, has atrophied.

He was nice enough, but the off-Broadway play we suffered through was a seventy minute horror – the type of entertainment that makes you understand how a moment can seem like a lifetime if it’s unpleasant enough.

A retired prize-fighter unable to recover from a sucker punch, I ended the date the minute we hit the sidewalk.

And as I rushed away, into the well of the subway, I had one thought.

I have learned nothing.

***

I was a late bloomer. I didn’t date in high school. I didn’t kiss a boy until the summer before college.

It was dark on the beach that night, so dark that you couldn’t tell if your eyes were opened or closed. Not only did we kiss, but I had a brief, but effective, basic anatomy tutorial as well.

Good thing, too, since the following day I was set to receive a whole other education. I was scheduled to start a job as a full body masseuse at a spot in Bridgeport.

“Hold it like a tennis racket,” my surrogate client told me, reviewing my new found expertise.

I was PG girl in an R-rated world.

I didn’t know what I was doing. Or why.

Needless to say, I didn’t last long at that place.

However, it is the best advice I have ever received.

***

“Did your parents know you were working there,” my co-worker asked.

I told her the story in thirty second increments throughout the night.

“Of course not!”

***

Back in yoga, a week later, the teacher comes up to me at that special headstand time.

“I’m your wall,” she says, and my feet leave the ground and float up towards the ceiling.

I know she feels satisfied, a job well done.

Next, she’ll take a step back, and then another and another and my legs will fill with lead and gravity and refuse to do what’s expected of them.

I should’ve lied. I should’ve made up an injury.

I have learned nothing.

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