Jarrod the Lightbringer says to do yoga, lots of yoga.
I trust Jarrod as if he were my last and only line to sanity, which I feel he may be.
I have discovered a methane blowhole in the field behind base camp: That’s what causes the dizziness and nausea. I’m limiting my time at the camp.
The tumble-down library has a wide sandy lot that makes a good spot for yoga. That’s where I practice.
My body falls into the lines of the poses effortlessly, as if it possessed its own memory of adho mukha shvanasana.
How do I even know the names of the poses?
They return bearing packets of goodness: Shanti Virabhadrasana – Peace. Vrksasana – Wholeness. Tadasana – Buoyancy.
Jarrod was right to suggest lots of yoga.
Some afternoons, while the sun bakes the grounds before Tumble-Down Library, I take my practice to the hot springs, where the old mesquites offer shade.
A man in uniform stops on the sidewalk.
It takes a moment to register. He is wearing a mailman’s uniform.
Do we have mail carriers? Do we have mail? I have yet to receive any at base camp, save those old bills that I neglected to pay out of the belief that it was a mistake. No water, no electricity, no water company, no electric company–that means no bills.
The mailman makes me worry–was I supposed to pay them?
“Was I supposed to pay the bills?” I ask him.
He looks confused.
“I don’t really deliver mail,” he says. “I found these old clothes. They’re light-weight.”
“Not really a mailman?” I ask.
“Always wanted to be,” he says.
“I did, too!” And I remember that I really did want to be a mailman once, a long time ago. I flash upon a moment: I am driving down a road, lined with mesquite trees that stretch across the sidewalk. A mailman walks under the arching branches. What joy, I think, to spend my days walking the neighborhoods!
The moment is gone.
The moment is gone, but it had been here, a fully fledged memory!
I had lived in a time when mailmen traipsed the sidewalks, leather bags slung over their shoulders. I always imagined the mental maps they developed–each street, each address, the names of each resident, who collected seed catalogs, who subscribed to The New Yorker, who ordered baseball cards from e-Bay.
We had so many pieces, in the Before. We kept piling them together, fitting them into their intricate slots, one on top the next. It’s no wonder that the llama tower toppled.
My yoga practice extends past dusk.
In the grey hour, I see another woman dressed for the mismatched ball.
“Is it like a club?” I ask.
“More like a collective,” she says. “A dancing collective. We found these boxes of dresses, turbans, costume jewelry, and gloves! Aren’t they awesome?”
“They are something,” I say.
“You should join us! We have another gown, I think! And loads of gloves. None of them match.”
“I like hats,” I say. “Not sure about the rest.”
She needs to leave. The ball is starting.
From the center of a shrub, a globe of light had been shining. I tried hard to ignore it. But after Ms. Mismatched leaves, the globe shimmers and rises.
Around it, a green light spreads into the form of a woman. I recognize her as the corpse at the edge of the swamp on the hottest day.
I am transfixed by the light shining from her solar plexus, and I stare, wondering about the dance of particle and wave.