I’m in the middle of a yoga class this morning, eyes closed, trying to make my glutes relax so I can ease into the movement, and I suddenly find myself in a Tony Soprano ‘Funhouse’ style dream sequence, where I’m walking along a beach side promenade and I suddenly see a handsome young man in a leather jacket smiling at me from the dilapidated window frame of a run down, long vacated ice cream shop.
I know his face but I cannot for the life of me remember where from.
He’s smiling warmly, but in a flash my stomach flips with dread.
Who is he?
Something feels very wrong.
This is probably why I avoid yoga so frequently, as my mind seems to take advantage of my stillness and use it as an opportunity to Spring clean my psyche and drag out shit from my past for me to sort through. ‘Urgh, look at this!’ it shrieks, hurling something quite disgusting out of the attic which lands with a thud at my feet, ‘do you really want to keep this?!’
I can still hear my teacher’s instructions which I manage to follow on auto pilot, but I’m frantically searching through my inner archives trying to figure out what’s going on.
‘…bring one leg into your chest, and straighten the other to the floor….’
I look back at this apparition with some trepidation.
He has the kindest, most beautiful brown eyes, he’s looking at me with genuine warmth and hope.
There is nothing aggressive or accusatory in his manner.
He’s just lovely.
‘…..now come up onto all fours, legs hip width apart….’
And then I remember.
Somewhere along the line, I hurt this man.
Is he an ex?
From what I remember, I’ve been the one that has be the hurtee rather than the hurter (actually that’s not altogether true) but it is definitely not the case here.
‘….turn onto your backs….’
That’s it. I knew him from when I was in New Zealand.
We were friends? We either worked together or went to the same gym. I think?
I look at him again, and silently ask ‘You were what age, around 20?’
He beams with agreement.
So he must have been younger than me at the time.
‘….open your arms wide….’
I remember fun times; chat, banter, debates, long walks in the countryside. A definite meeting of minds.
His smiles widen.
‘….hands to your heart chakra, and breath out….’
Then it comes back to me.
That night in the bar when he grabbed my hand and told me he was in love with me.
And how appalled I was.
He was just a kid; what use was he to me?
Instead of being touched, charmed or flattered, I remember being filled with frustration, exasperation and a dark, cynical amusement as I imagined him taking me home to meet his parents. How shocked would they be to see, not a sweet, plump, innocent nineteen year old student, but this bleach blonde, highly muscled, feisty amazon rapidly approaching her thirties.
It would be like a little fluffy lamb taking home a big, slavering, leering, hungry wolf.
But out of sheer loneliness I told him I’d try and reciprocate his feelings.
‘….let your shoulders soften and just try to let it go….’
I recall his child like clumsiness, his innocence, his naivety and how much he irritated me.
‘….give into the sensations….’
I remember him proudly booking a restaurant to take me out to dinner and the red rose he left on my place setting.
I remember him ordering champagne.
Trying to feed me some of his dessert.
Most of all, I remember how much I silently mocked him for his ridiculous, cliched efforts when I should have been touched, charmed, encouraging and grateful.
He wasn’t even working full time and it must have cost him a fortune.
The poor guy.
He should have ran for the hills when he met me.
‘….and up into downward dog….’
Then, the worst recollection of all hit home.
‘….down on all fours….’
The two of us in my bedroom kissing passionately for over an hour, my body afire with lust, inwardly wishing, hoping, begging him to man up and fuck me.
But he either had an attack of nerves or, more heartbreakingly, didn’t know what to do next. Because he hadn’t done it before.
And whilst I don’t think I said anything horrible to him, I’m pretty sure that my exasperation and utter disgust was apparent.
I dare to look back towards the battered window frame with sorrow and shame.
But he’s gone.
I don’t even remember his name.
I do remember that I broke his heart.
I’m so sorry.
So very, very sorry.
I could have handled it so differently had I been in a good place.
I could have, as I had once done for another, taken his virginity with love and tenderness and left him with a rocking chair memory to die for.
But God I was fucked up. And so very, very angry and everyone and everything.
Sweetie, whoever you are, know that being with me would have brought you more grief than you can ever imagine and it would have kept on coming, because twenty years on and I’m still trying to sort my shit out.
I bet that by now you are married, with kids, living a happy fulfilling life by the sea with a warm, loving, woman who has loved and will keep on loving you back the way that you deserve.
I’m still single and officially bonkers, so take some comfort from that will you?
‘….now prepare yourself for shavasana….’
As I lie amongst the peaceful, relaxed bodies of my fellow yogis I rack my brains for his name.
Surely the very least I can do is remember his name?
But all too soon the little cymbals ring, and the class finishes.
As we are all walking out the teacher mentions that she’s having a party for one of her kids this weekend.
I’m barely listening.
‘Which one?’ asks the old dear who has the mat next to mine.
‘Nathan’, she replies.
Nathan, if that’s how my sexuality made me behave, well I’m bloody glad it’s on its way out, and it may be twenty years too late but I at last can appreciate what a compliment it was for you to take an interest in me.
You were sweet, handsome, thoughtful, funny, lovable and brave, but alas all of those amazing traits were wasted on me as at that stage of my life, as I didn’t trust them, didn’t think myself worthy of them, and wouldn’t, and indeed didn’t know what to do with them.
So I rejected you.
For the right reasons, but in the wrong way, something I truly regret now.
I know/hope that no doubt you have forgotten all about me, but hope you are happy, my lambkin and have learned not to offer your throat to the wolf with a red rose when all she can offer you is her hunger.
Big love xx