Wednesday, September 10, 2008

It’s a Bird not a Butterfly, Frankie

Meditating at the Jersey shore in summer is a spiritual act of futility. Entitled tourists and their sand-tossing offspring (kids love throwing sand for some reason) have taken over and peace is tough to find. 

Interestingly, no one ever looks like they’re having much fun on "vacation" here. Families bicker, kids whine and shrill New York voices yell “Tommy get that filthy shell out of your mouth or I ain’t buying you no ice cream, you hear me??”

But whatever, I live here and am determined to find inner peace amidst the chaos, goddamnit. Besides its early morning and there's time before the throngs descend. 

I find a section of undisturbed space, cross my legs, close my eyes and attempt to quiet those unruly inner demons. (Little did I know, an outer demon would soon be my undoing.)

After oh about a minute's worth of frigging inner peace, I feel the thud of footsteps circling me. Opening my eyes, I spot a gawky kid running mindlessly around me, because, you know, I'm meditating and all so where else would he run? 

I spot his breeder nearby. Teased blonde hair, bronze leathery skin and pink pastel lipstick, his mother looks like she just walked off the set of The Jersey Shore. (Hmmm...or maybe I'm walked on the set of The Jersey Shore?)

She's in deep conversation:

“I told him he’d lose that job if he didn’t get his shit together. The man’s a filthy bum!”
Block her out, Beth. Still your mind. Use this as a spiritual challenge. Embrace the moment.  

I close my eyes again and take a deep, fucking cleansing breath.

“Mommy! Mommy! Look. Look at the butterfly!” Annoyed again, I open my eyes to see the awkward child pointing frantically at a small bird that landed on a nearby sand castle.

“Mommy! Look at the butterfly.”

“Hold on, Frankie. I’m on the friggin’ phone!” leather lady screams.

“But the butterfly!”

Now clearly this isn’t a butterfly. But perhaps Frankie is the next Picasso and he's simply thinking outside the box at an early age. More likely, he's a little daft or spent way too much time indoors.

“But Mommmmmmyy!!!!”

I then make a critical mistake and open my mouth:

“Psst...hey Frankie, get this. That’s not a butterfly. That’s a bird.”

Frankie looks at me, stunned, mouth agape. A second ago, he didn't even know I existed. I was just an object to run around. 

“That's right, dude. Butterflies are entirely different creatures.”

His mother manages to tear herself away from her face-implanted phone and shouts my way:

“Hey lady, why don’t you mind your own goddamn business?”

“Well, why don’t you teach your child the difference between a bird and butterfly?"

“Why don’t you shut the hell up?”

“Only if you kiss my ass?” To punctuate my point, I do a downward dog, said ass pointed in her direction, pausing a moment to really feel the stretch. 

Walking home, I feel renewed, lighter. Like the weight of the world just fell off my shoulders. I'm relaxed, present and oh fuck me, it's summer at the Jersey shore again.


 Photos by Beth Mann

1 comment:

Jules said...

Oh how I love this post! LOL