Flying Yogurt (Part 1)

Sunday, May 1, 2005

The day was beautiful, the first summer day of spring, and I wandered the streets and enjoyed the warm-weather crowds. This year’s transformation was well underway as ordinary women, who in the colder months hid in thick winter coats and heavy sweaters, shed and filled the streets with unspeakable loveliness. My head twisted this way and that.

Someone jumped on my back, and cold hands smelling of sweet melons clamped over my eyes. “Guess who,” a familiar voice said.

“Donald? Is that you Donald?”

“Donald?” Andrea said, climbing off my back. “Do I sound like a Donald to you?”

I took a step back and whistled. Andrea looked good. She wore a red tank top with a red sports bra showing underneath, short black rubbery shorts, red Puma running shoes, white ankle-length socks fastened with red fuzzy balls behind her ankles.

Andrea spun around, holding her arms up and her wrists down. “You like?”

“That I do.”

“Well, you had your chance. But then you dumped me. Now you may only look but not touch.”

“You dumped me, remember?”

“Same difference,” Andrea said, grabbed my hand, and led me down the street.

“How do you know I’m not busy?” I asked.

“You’re never busy. You wander the streets looking busy, but I know better. And, besides, even if you were busy, you’d have time for a quick coffee with me. I have something I have to show you. It’s going to make your world go all twisty-curvy.”

“I always have time for coffee.”

“But do you have time for me to blow your mind?”

“I always have time for blowing.”

“You’re sick.”

“And this is something new? Did you notice that hibernation season is over, and my favorite time of year has begun?”

“I’m one of those hibernating bears, remember?”

“Well, I wasn’t sure, since you’re a bear and everything, that you would see the hibernation.”

“You’ve told me that theory, and the rest of your theories, millions of times. And here we are,” Andrea said and opened the door to Lottie Motts.

“You remember that we met here,” I said as I walked through the door.

“I remember. And to think, now it’s your least favorite coffee house.”

“Go figure.”

Lottie Motts was a hard-chair, art-supply-smelling remnant of the hippy movement’s excuse for a coffee house. The coffee tasted of dirt mixed with sweet milk, and smelled of cleaning supplies. Andrea chose a wooden table with unmatched chairs while I ordered the drinks.

“I told you I’ve been going to a yoga class for the past few months,” Andrea said when I returned.

“Yup, you’ve been talking nonstop about your yogurt class.”

“Yogurt?”

I smiled sheepishly. “Yoga—yogurt. It was funnier when I thought it up on the way over.”

“You spend way too much time thinking about these things. Funny comes naturally.”

“So, you feeling more stretchy, Gumby-like?”

“From the yogurt?”

“Yup.”

“Umm . . . sure. I’m really finding deeper meaning there. I think I’m moving to a higher plane of existence.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, I’m working through the different stages, and I’m approaching something, something I think is special.”

“You’re almost at the point where you can shoot fireballs from your ass or something?”

“Something like that. How have you been?”

“I’m doing well. You know, taking in the locals, avoiding dogs, drinking too much coffee. The usual.”

“Have you met anyone?”

“Now that’s funny. Let’s get back to the yogurt class. You were telling me about the curtain coming up on something or other.”

“So good at changing subjects. Yeah, I was talking about overcoming a huge hurdle.”

“You’re so easy to steer, especially when I move the conversation in your direction. And here, I didn’t even realize they had hurdles in yogurt. I thought you sat around and just breathed a lot.”

“It’s a spiritual experience. And your remark about fireballs isn’t too far off.”

“You’re feeling more energetic or something? Last time you were telling me about your vibrating hands. Didn’t I show you how that works? If you hold your arms above your head for a minute and think about Donald Duck, your hands start tingling. And I can promise you that Mr. Duck is energy-free. It’s your nerves that tingle, there’s no energy in the sense that they use it in the yogurt class.”

“So quick to judge. Why don’t you let me tell you what happened before you go off to disprove everything as irrational?”

“My mind is wide open. I’ll reserve judgment and ridicule until after you finish.”

“I appreciate that. What would you say if I told you I can levitate?”

“Like lift yourself to a new spiritual height?”

“No, like lift my butt off the chair.”

“If you lift your butt off that chair—and I’m not talking about standing up or pushing yourself up with your hands—I’d sign up to your yogurt class in a moment.”

“I’d like to see you in stretchy pants.”

“Well? Let’s see the levitation. I’m always looking for a good laugh.”