Spiritual Ass Connection
by Shaun Terry
I walked into this political science professor’s small, institutional-looking office, with its plastery walls of giant white bricks, its big metal desk, and its perforated, synthetic ceiling. She had a few humble lamps along the back wall. Her unimposing bookshelf was populated by books on international politics, urban design, and spirituality.
She was an interesting-looking woman: confident, unassuming, smart, earthy, and a little New Age-y. She wasn’t small or large; she was regular-sized. She had a cheery face, but not in a dumb way. It was nice. She was feminine but not overtly sexual. Her sweater and jeans clashed (they were too close in color, but not close enough), but she wasn’t completely un-stylish. God, who cares? She had a mild Honduran accent and her voice had the same effect as classical guitar. She was good-looking, but I feel a little strange about attractive women who are old enough to be my mother. Maybe I shouldn’t. Am I ageist? How would I ever broach the prospect? I mean, in this case, I shouldn’t. I’d probably still sleep with her. I mean, I’m assuming. Not that I’d necessarily get the chance. It’s a good thing that I feel weird about hitting on women who look like they might get away with getting a Senior Discount. Well, let’s hope, anyway.
We talked about the cognitive benefits of meditation and awareness. We talked about people’s motivations and social justice: something about “Basic Income” and something about “disaggregation.” How am I supposed to focus now with these thoughts hanging in the air like nerdy paper lanterns, swinging at my head?
We paused and I tried to decide which direction to take the conversation, but the conversation ebbed for too long, and she took it as a cue to start the meditation. Damn.
She softly, confidently instructed me to shut my eyes. My eyes stung from having spoken to a romantic interest until 4am. Skype calls can be dangerous when someone’s instincts mirror your own. But why was I obsessing over a woman in a foreign country? I’d woken up earlier than I’d needed to because I’d misunderstood my schedule. Would I fall asleep during the meditation session?
My body settled. She led me through the systematic relaxation of my body, starting from my toes and ending with the crown of my head, hitting all parts in-between. She had a trustworthy voice and I felt relaxed and safe. It was a welcome respite from the mindless static and treacherous, spastic reflexivity I’d been engaging in.
My mind had been racing for weeks (forever?) from anxiety over responsibilities and expectations. I hadn’t meditated in a while because, a few months before, I’d slept with one of the young leaders of the meditation group I’d been going to. I’d told myself I wouldn’t do that, but I’d done it, anyway. I’d known better. It eventually meant I couldn’t go back. I tried to return a couple times, but I could see that it wasn’t going to work for her. That’s to be expected. I sometimes lack self-control, especially when it comes to women whose minds I adore, assuming that I’m single. And maybe I’m not even as self-controlled as that. I’d probably make a pretty bad monk, really.
This professor (her name’s Dr. Huerta) suggested that I connect to my heart, so I did. That’s a weird thing to say. Just trust me. Anyway, I focused my thought and energy on my heartbeat. In the weeks leading up to then, I’d occasionally noticed my heart beating very hard and fast. Now, in meditation, my heart wasn’t beating as fast as it sometimes had been, but it was still going at a brisk jog, to use a clunky metaphor. Watching a heart as it beats is such a gross but soothing thing. This isn’t like that. When I become aware of my heart beating too fast, it makes me anxious. Maybe that’s irony. People always complain when you use the word “irony.” So many people seem to think of themselves as the righteous guardians of the definition to the word. So I just don’t use the word anymore. Maybe it was ironic or maybe it wasn’t. Whatever. It’s unexpected and seems opposite of what I would assume. I think that’s irony, but some blowhard dickheads would surely shit their pants if I said it was.
My mind monitored my heart as it slowly calmed and reached a wavy, inconspicuous creep. Thoughts would surround and permeate my mind at a decreasing rate until a flood of distracting idiocies would seem to come all at once.
The fluorescent lighting seeped through my eyelids. Behind the bottoms of the backs of my eyelids appeared subtle phosphorescent hunter green orbs, and above them floated orbs the color of plums. My spiritual energy gathered at the top of my head, making my cranium feel pointy and tingly, as though I were becoming a giant love spear (I don’t mean that to sound like a euphemism, but don’t worry about that). I felt relaxed and content: both an instrument and an agent. I connected to everything through this energy that surrounded me, concentrated at the pointy part of my pointed head, and formed a column down through my body and out through my colon, connecting me to the whole universe, to the Infinite, to the Collective Consciousness, with my asshole as the point of engagement.
Thoughts of development economics, self-disappointment, sex, lost love, fantastical and stupid confrontations, and future tasks floated into and through my head. So stupid.
My chair was causing a sharp pain in my back: no lower lumbar support. Why would anyone want to meditate in this chair? I felt a little guilty for adjusting, inevitably making creaky noises. I tried to not feel guilty, but I felt guilty for feeling guilty, and that made me feel guilty. I let it go. Kind of.
Eventually, she stopped us. “Okay, that’s all.” She spoke at just the right volume. I opened my eyes and rubbed the front of my head with my palms, as I always do. Her eyes remained closed. Was I supposed to have opened my eyes?
The corners of her mouth were slightly upturned as the ends of her eyelids gave way. We talked more. We talked about our meditation experiences, past and present. We talked about how our spiritualities aligned with our worldviews. We talked about what we wanted out of the world and our roles in it. In the end, we walked out of the building together. She was sexy in a smart, spiritual way.
I love her.