News from Lake Groanola
It’s been a quiet week in my hometown of Lake Groanola. The rain has finally died down, and the cherry trees on King St. are starting to bloom. Tiny, beautiful, pink petals dance about in the wind, covering the sidewalks with a beautiful, pastel, pink carpet. It’s beautiful, so beautiful that Kamala, a yoga teacher at Inner Privileged Yoga Center, started whistling while she was composting.
She was whistling “I am Woman Hear Me Roar,” when she decided to trim a couple of cherry branches to make an offering for her Shiva altar. She was happily trimming a couple of lower branches when her life partner Dixie came home. She threw her bike on the ground, her dreads were messier than usual, and she had this look in her eye. Kamala could tell Dixie’s chi was way out of sync with the greater life force.
One of Dixie's colleagues.
Dixie had been spoiling for a fight for some time now, pacing around the kitchen, chugging Kombucha. She was a dog therapist, and the recession had hit her business hard. People seemed to put their problems before their dog’s, and this was just not right. It wasn’t fair, to the dogs. Dixie was making her way into the house, but then she turned and said, “You know, you shouldn’t do that.”
“Do what?” said Kamala.
“Cut flowers for decoration. You’re harming the tree!”
Kamala was stunned. She loved to garden, and she understood how things grew, and she knew that she was not harming that tree. She would have never dreamed of harming that beautiful tree. But Dixie wouldn’t let it go: she didn’t believe in using flowers for decoration. It was selfish. Selfish! Well that was just it.
Kamala wanted to remind her that there had been a time when shehad given her flowers, and she wished that she still did. Besides, these flowers were for Shiva. But when Kamala told Dixie who they were for, Dixie made a kind of scoffing noise, like Shiva wasn’t worthy of an offering. Dixie was a Buddhist, but they had always agreed to respect all Gods.
The fact that Dixie questioned Shiva was the last straw. They rarely did yoga together anymore; she couldn’t remember the last time they had made love. They had tried couple’s acupuncture and aromatherapy, but nothing was working. Kamala couldn’t stand another minute around her, and she wasn’t going back into that house. There was just no way.
So she threw the cherry blossoms down and stormed over to their neighbor Wicked Will’s house. Wicked Will is a local surf legend and jewelry maker. Kamala was teaching Wicked Will yoga in exchange for surf lessons, and the two had become friends. Kamala would make him organic, raw, gluten-free, sugar-free, organic, free-range, fair trade, vegan cookies–made of dirt and a little bit of unpasteurized apple juice. They would eat those cookies after smoking a couple of joints. You really had to have the munchies before you could get those cookies down.
Dixie was jealous of Will. She couldn’t understand why Kamala would want to spend all that time with such a stoner. Smoking weed was not the way to inner peace! Dixie stormed into the house and went looking for her sage brush. She was going to light the herbs on fire and perform a purification ritual for the cherry tree, asking it for forgiveness.
Kamala knocked loudly on Wicked Will’s door, and she could hear some rustling from behind the door, so she knew he was home. She wished he would open the door quickly. Dixie was now chanting around the cherry tree, all the while glaring at Kamala, as if to say, “this is what you’ve made me do.” Finally Wicked Will came to the door, and he was holding a broom and dust pan. He had been sweeping, stark naked, and he was still naked.
Kamala was speechless. It had been years since she’d seen male genitalia, and she’d forgotten how terrifying it could be. Dixie stopped her chanting. This confirmed her suspicions: they were having an affair! Wicked Will waved to Dixie and then noticed Kamala’s blank stare. “Oh, am I making you uncomfortable,” he said.
Every fiber of Kamala’s body was uncomfortable. She felt old, and she felt like her mother, the woman she’d been trying not to become her whole life. Suddenly she was a little girl in Minnesota again, and she missed that cold world. At least there, you were never in danger of finding your neighbor naked. People shower with their clothes on in Minnesota. Suddenly she wanted to be called Lisa, which was her real name.
Can I borrow a cup of Agave Nectar?
She was still standing there, in front of the naked Wicked Will, who was bending over to sweep up a dust bunny, when Dixie put her arm around her. She heard Dixie tell Will that they just needed to borrow some Agave Nectar, and Will said he was all out.
Lisa, I mean Kamala, waved goodbye to Wicked Will, trying not to stare at the bong tattoo hovering above his “down there.” When they were back inside their own house, Kamala lit some soothing lavender candles and kissed Dixie. “You saved me,” she said.
Dixie apologized for her terrible mood. She had seen a former patient of hers in the park, and he was still chasing his tail, and this had upset her. Dixie handed Kamala a cherry branch and told her it was almost as lovely as she was. That’s the news from Lake Groanola, where all the women are hairy, all the men are pacifists, and all the children run wild.