Wednesday, November 3, 2004

In the Loupe, Chapter 7

The last update got cut off, but I don't remember what else I had written so I guess it wasn't that important. I had definitely forgotten the most exciting event of the week, which was that I found religion, again! I'm so lucky to keep meeting people who want to share their religion - if there's one thing I hate, it's keeping your religion to yourself. Why, when you can turn around and impose it on others?

The thing is, it's this guy who did me a huge favour, as he works in a music store where I went to buy a case for my guitar. And his order is coming in a few weeks but he had an old case lying around that a student had left, so he gave it to me. Which means that I don't have to buy one, which means that he lost business, which means that it was really nice of him and I had to stand there and look interested as he told me all about becoming a Master of Ascension and the holy light within him and the way it's changed his life, and how to meditate to find your space with God and no one can tell you what to believe or how to go about it, but here's a beginner guide and accompanying workbook for only 36 euros...

Masters of Ascension? What the hell is going on?

(An aside: the Spanish and island-music version of "On Broadway" is on the radio right now and is possibly the best thing I've ever heard - all this time, I was missing the key to musical happiness).

There's a guy doing some electrical work for Cinette who keeps coming around when she's not home to ask me out and tell me all the amazing things he could do for my life - tempting as it is, I've managed to politely decline for three weeks running. So yesterday I was hanging out with Cinette's grandson (took him to the beach and to lunch, then we played superheroes and he said I had to be Captain Canada and snow on my enemies) and this GĂ©raud of my heart comes around. And it's the same story, this and that: destiny, love, soul mates, and he's always wanted a white girlfriend. (He sure knows how to sweet talk a girl! Golly, I've always wanted to be loved for my skin!) And forget about Franck, he's probably married and he doesn't appreciate my beauty... and then suddenly it's about God. And he's so upset to find out I'm a heathen -- not upset enough to drop me on the spot, mind you, only just enough to begin serious attempts at conversion. Even offered to give me a Bible. So I was thinking of inviting him and those missionary guys over for coffee and letting them get all ecstatic together while I drink pineapple juice and paint my toenails. (The ladies here all have beautifully painted toenails and I'm getting inspired).

Also, I had my first yoga experience and can now officially say that it isn't my thing - though I was bullied into it and it looks as though it won't be the last time. Cinette is an instructor and said I should come out sometime, so I said something like "we'll see," a non-committal sentence if I ever heard one. And I keep having other plans and not going, until on Monday she said "you said you would come and you haven't yet. Are you coming tonight or Thursday?" Ka-POW. So I had to go. Isn't yoga - personal enlightenment, meditation - something that should come from you? As a guilt trip and social obligation it loses a bit of its kick, no?

It's a private class among friends, so it's on this woman's terrace, cool and breezy up the mountain with a view of the city below... sounds ideal. Too bad about the bloodthirsty mosquitoes feasting on my sorry flesh. Cinette thinks I have a ways to go in finding peace and stillness, as all my moments of calm were interrupted by frantic slapping and scratching and general hostility. What are you going to do.

I have a wandering mind to begin with, and then Cinette put on some music that was something spiritual - her approach is pretty God-centred, which is an extra bonus for me - and it reminded me of the theme of the Neverending Story. Needless to say, hard to focus my breathing with Bastian, Atreyu and the beautiful Childlike Empress running through my head - oh how I love that beautiful Childlike Empress. Much easier (and more rewarding) to act out the "Bastian! Call my name!" scene in my head and try to bring tears to my eyes for effect. (In case you're wondering, I did, and it was effective. Oh, it was effective.)

I think I'm also too cynical for yoga; I can handle the stretching and body-calming ideas, but as soon as you start talking about uniting land and sea by touching your forehead to your knee or breathing in positive energy through your right nostril and negative through your left, I have to get out of there. You've been a great audience, good night. So I have a snarky running commentary going through my head, plus the mosquito hell and the not-quite-peaceful sounds of a zouk party down the hill... SERENITY NOW!!!

The tricky thing is that no one really showed up except the lady whose house it was at, and she and Cinette were upset at everybody's lack of committment - bloody Caribbean rhythm, said these two Caribbean ladies - and thank goodness I was there. Goddammit! Now they're counting on me to complete the energy triangle this week - I said one class: ONE CLASS!! Maybe I'll wear so much Off!Skintastic that my stink will mess up their vibe and they'll ask me not to come back. One can only hope.

Otherwise a slow week because we're on Toussaint holiday (All Saints) (the religious thing, not the teen pop group from 2001) and it's the time for people to go home to their families and hang out at the cemetery, cleaning and painting relatives' graves to prepare for the big Toussaint candle celebration. I helped Franck fix up his great-grandmother's tomb (and by "helped", I mean of course that I sat in the shade, drinking Nestea and feeling bad about Franck having to sweat in the burning sun) but the candle ceremony didn't happen for the most part because it was windy and rainy and ... wait for it ... COLD! I couldn't believe it! I haven't even been comfortable since getting here; you're sweating by the time you get from the shower to your towel hanging on the wall. And all of a sudden this freak cold, to the point of my wearing pyjama pants, socks, a t-shirt and a sweatshirt. It was unbelievable. I slept so well - then I woke up sweating in the 7:30 heat - a short-lived but much appreciated chilly adventure.

I really am starting to believe in spooky things, because why would the night of the living dead be the only cold night of the year? With howling winds - howling that sounded suspiciously like the living dead, for your big fat information - and cats and toads running around nervously... I was freaked out. I'm still a little freaked out. Religious awakening number, what now, four? Five? It's only a matter of time, my friends. Only a matter of time.

A quick clarification, since a lot of people have misunderstood the chain of events and think I'm crazy: Franck is not the possessive, car-renting, jellyfish-bite-negating, future-wife-introducing psycho from the beach - that was Gilbert. I'm not so stupid as to keep seeing the guy, though I'm touched to think that many of you thought otherwise. That's what I like to hear.

Happy Hallowe'en -- and I haven't heard about the elections yet but let's just pray.
(Pray! What's happening to me? Only a matter of time...)


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