That’s my considered opinion.
I’m hours into what should be the greatest month of my life– hell, I haven’t even left the ground yet — but this trip’s already turned into a nightmare.
I don’t even know who will read this. . . perhaps other mat-toting Mysore-bound ashtangis who will feel bored enough (due to a lack of reliable wifi and therefore Netflix) to find entertainment in this tale of my untimely demise?
I wonder if this log will even be found. Probably not. Most likely it will languish unseen on indelible yet overly saturated social media feeds and thus die an unfulfilled death, buried alive under a barrage of “important” posts bumped algorithmically to the top of everyone’s feeds– like those involving goat yoga, or handstands on unusual/ natural/dangerous terrain, memes of recycled Rumi quotes splashed over ocean waves (realizing Rumi’s dreams, posthumously), yoga sex scandals and hash tagged challenges devoted to showing us all what yoga is truly about, the way only a photograph of a pose done for a yoga challenge on social media can.
For the record, I didn’t die on my journey to Mysore (though the jury’s still out on whether I survive the entire trip), even though most of cyberspace thought I did. I can’t say I blame them. When a narcissistic, tequila/coffee- inspired poster of crazy backbends, often whilst in a bikini surrounded by humidifier smoke akin to some 1980s hair band rock video suddenly fails to post a damn thing about her safe arrival in India (especially something as selfie-101 as an airport check-in, jeez)- what else is there to think? Maybe there will be a day of mourning in the form of Facebook “sad faces” all over my profile photo, and my Tinder profile (I’m married, can’t I live a little once I’m dead?) will read: Jean Marie is the only human ever lame and chicknshit enough to die on her journey to Mysore. Swipe left.
It’ll be right though. Because I will surely die here. Just not on the trip over like I thought I would.
Let’s see, where to begin. . .
It was the iPhone alarm that woke me for the first leg of my journey to a strange land known as “Seattle” where the natives are known for surviving nine months a year without sunlight but with very good coffee. I’m headed to Mysore, India, to be precise, to study and practice ashtanga yoga. It’s my first time, but suddenly here I am, alone. That’s right: I’m in command. Never mind that I’m the least experienced international traveler I know (save for a number of margarita-filled trips to the Carribbean islands/Mexico). Alone and in command — in other words, handicapped: my partner typically takes care of shit like holding onto my boarding pass and finishing my water before the security line, and my kid typically takes care of forcing me to feign competence and to carry a cornucopia of snacks.
If I’m to survive, I’m going to have to adult the sh*t out of this.
I’m on a series of three intergalactically long flghts to a world so foreign I’m quite sure I made it up, as fictional as all the statments in a Donald Trump Tweet. Indeed, fantastically nightmarish doomsday scenaios gallop through my mind. Will I be stranded in an Indian airport with a cellphone that doesn’t work, a cab that fails to show up, punching a touchscreen in vain screaming ” WILSOOOOOOOOOON!” like Tom Hanks in Casatway?
Maybe there will be an Internet recovery search for the land of lost misfit posts like this one, and some Kid genius hacker will find this log before the rest of my yoga friends die of old age (or never, because they can do handstands). As for those friends, I assume you all made it to Mysore and back just fine. Guys: if you are reading this, it wasn’t your fault. I don’t blame you. You did what you had to do. In your position, high on post-final backbend catching, fresh coconut bliss, I would have done the same thing. And–
I mean, obviously, this is my karma right?
It’s all part of my journey, and the fact that I’m scared shitless, in full OCD panic attack mode, imagining myself stranded in desert dunes outside the Dubai airport (and without a personalized bulletproof vest and high-school prep boy outfit like Jaresh Kusher), sold into marriage to a 90 year old man in some remote village, or starving to death due to a lack of almond butter and good coffee (I mean Brooklyn hipster-level “good”) — these are all just signs that the yoga is working.
After all, “Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.”