Child’s Position

by Dawn Ryan

I always thought she had the most beautiful name. Even before I fell in love with her, the name planted a seedling and I was done for. I still can’t really say it without plummeting head first into a pit of nostalgia or hear it without going silent, getting embarrassed, self-conscious like a pubescent, terrified that the name-speaker can read my thoughts and know how much in love I am still despite the years that have passed and the small corner of a life our romance inhabited. It was huge to me, still is, like a mythical kind of lovers’ chase that never panned out but will somehow torment the heart forever, an Orpheus-turning-around kind of pain. The afternoon we said goodbye I walked away and superstitiously kept on looking forward. I wanted to turn around and see her crying, but I didn’t want to risk having the earth swallow her up and take her from me forever. I could always return and maybe we could rendezvous again some day. Five long years passed and this pathetic little desire still ate at me. There’ve been other, longer, actual relationships, a host of career endeavors, over a dozen failed attempts at learning how to play the guitar, learning how to watercolor, learning how to build a musical synthesizer from scratch— a motherboard out of particle board— a whole montage of life experiences that seem all together exciting and when I fast forward in my mind I really do like what I see; they’re really good prodigal scenes, nearly Kerouac-ian. I’ve lived since Lily… liiiily… lillllleeeee… not really.

Had someone told me beforehand that the next time I’d see Lily she’d be bent at the waist with palms on the floor, knees locked and ass in the air, performing what looked like slo-mo acrobatics, I’d have beamed with erotic anticipation. I’d have thought up clever and nasty witticisms and I probably would have kept myself in better physical shape, maybe would have laid off the pot, laid off the chimichangas; I’d still be the strapping young Adonis on the verge of greatness who she fell for, wept over. But no one told me, and though seeing Lily in downward dog was objectively sexy, the only real feeling I had was the urge to stab myself in the heart, fucking rip the thing out of my chest, grab my knotted trachea from my neck and rip that out too. The earth hadn’t swallowed her up, at least I didn’t think so, since she was right in front of me, a perfectly trim and limber form, iridescent, almost glittering with whiteness, blondness, zero-percent-body-fatness. She was the picture of what we picture when we imagine health and beauty. An honest to God yogurt commercial.

I ran into her at a yoga slash tai chi studio downtown. I’d come back to Boston for law school, a last ditch effort to validate my existence, give myself direction. It was my first year and I was already thinking about dropping out and going back to the union. I’d been working for the Justice for Janitors campaign the year before, mostly silk screening T-shirts and smoking pot in the bathroom. Mostly pretending to care. At least in law school I actually did care. I cared about not being the dumbest, laziest, and ugliest person in the lecture hall. I was pretty certain I was failing. I cared about fucking. I’d kind of turned into a letch, not deliberately or maliciously, but I guess I was still chauvinistic, no matter how desperate and hollow. When it came to women I had tunnel vision. Maybe it was my age or my godlessness or whatever other cultural ailments a person might suffer from these days, but all I ever seemed to want to do was ram my head in between a set of legs, push my way through the tunnel, come out on the other end of time. Fuck. I guess you could say I was restless. Real love, whatever I think that is, began and ended with Lily. I’m not sure what all the other stuff was. I think something ended for her too, the day I left, because not long after she wandered into this yoga studio, looking to clear her mind, reset her heart, and she never left. There was a side to her I hadn’t really taken seriously. I remember her reading The Celestine Prophecy and accusing me of stage six-ing her, vampyrizing her energy field, but I thought she was kidding. Turns out she was dead serious. My Lily was a new-age junky, or, as she put it, “a missionary, a nun, and a workaholic,” working seventy hours a week at the studio, selling kitschy Buddhist knick knacks and useless ointments, promoting hollisticism, mysticism, eating only brown rice, starving herself sexless, sleeping five hours a night on a mat on a floor, depriving her mind of dreams and oxygen; and she was living, actually living at the center, The New Dawning Fitness Center, and had been living there for the past four years. She was in a cult.

New Dawning Fitness wasn’t an obvious sort of cult. It didn’t have the usual indicators. There wasn’t any male leader with long hair and a sexual pull on his members. There wasn’t any isolated compound or sinister sense of Armageddon, no self-published pamphlets filled with an end to the world manifesto. New Dawning had yoga studios everywhere, out in the open, and offered free classes and healing sessions to first-timers. It had a business model, and its legions, as steely gazed and loyal as any other religious bag of nuts, were celibate sales-people dead set on turning a profit for their centers. They were smiling, friendly, attractive young people who seemed to welcome everyone with open arms.

I have to admit, I’ve never had any real interest in yoga, I only went to the class because it was free and because of the flyer I saw at Starbucks. There was a picture of a gorgeous brunette swathed in white linen, sitting lotus and grinning euphorically. It was a black and white and not well designed, but my third eye could distinctly make out the shadowing of a camel toe. I bought a pair of tai chi slippers and took the train to Copley.

New Dawning was nestled between a Burger King and a Barnes and Noble. It could just as easily have been a Curves or a Kinko’s or a fall-out shelter or anything else. I was greeted by a gazelle-shaped, shaved-headed girl no older than twenty-five. Her name was Daisy. Daisy rubbed my shoulder, felt my top chakra, and led me to a back room for a consultation. She laid me down on a blue foam mat that smelled like the body sweat of a million vegetarians. She spread my limbs crucifixion style and placed a kidney shaped, battery operated vibrating device along my abdomen, then my pectorals, disappointingly avoiding the nipples, then passed the object along my inner thighs, onto the calves and down to the vulnerable cup of my underfoot.

“You have so many blocked meridians,” she told me.

“I do?”

Daisy turned off her device and placed both of her hands on my stomach. She pushed on my muscle-less abs, kneading the flab covering the swollen glands coddled in my pelvic girdle. Probably a UTI from too much beer and sex.

“I can feel them, clear as day,” she said, pushing so hard I nearly pissed myself. “We can fix these for you. You’d be amazed what a difference just a few sessions can have on your overall health and well being. Some of our healers have worked miracles.”

“I think a little cranberry juice will do the trick,” I joked, but she didn’t flinch.

“If you sign up now we can get you four half-hour sessions for only five hundred. They usually go for a hundred and fifty a piece, but I can tell you have an open heart.”

“Well, I came here for the yoga, mostly, but thank you,” I said.

“You don’t have to decide now, we’ll talk after the class.” She placed her hand under my head, closed her eyes and guided my body in a sitting position. Her movements seemed like mock dance, not the sort of grace that comes with true study and training. She sat across from me, folded her hands and stared into my eyes with what I took to be a deep and sexual intent. A sales pitch? She took a deep breath.

“Have you ever wondered about your own power, I mean really wondered about it,” she asked. “Have you ever felt like you had this personal wellspring of energy, deeply feel it pass through you and out into the rest of the world, a sort of force that you can’t quite name, but you’re just as certain of its existence as you are of anything else?”

“You mean like a sex drive,” I asked, flirting.

“Sort of,” she said, maintaining her earnest, cocked-head, folded-hand cult-gaze, “but more of a love drive, or an energy thread, like a phone line, connecting us and allowing us to share information and wisdom.”


“Have you ever heard that story about the monkeys,” she asked.

“The bonobos?”

“I don’t know if they were bonobos,” she continued, “but there was a study published about these two islands with these two separate societies of monkeys, and one day, on one of the islands, a female monkey is eating this particular kind of fruit that grows on both of the islands, and she decides that instead of just eating the fruit straight from the tree she’s going to wash the fruit in a stream first. So she starts washing her fruit before she eats it and teaches all the other monkeys on her island to wash their fruit too. After a while every monkey on the island is washing their fruit before they eat it, which is pretty amazing in and of its self. But the coolest thing is that soon after, without any sort of outside influence or direction, the monkeys on the other island start washing their fruit too!”


“Isn’t it,” she said. “It’s irrefutable proof; it’s undeniable— the existence of these shared transient energies that pass between us, unseen, guiding and influencing us, for better or for worse. Here at New Dawning we want to teach people how to harness these energies and use them for the better and learn how to reject the worst.”

The monkey story sounded awfully compelling at first blush, but irrefutable proof of magical information waves? Telepathy? The flunky law student in me needed more precedent.

“But how do you know,” I asked.

“What do you mean?”

“How do you know it was this energy and not just that the fruit tasted better washed? Why does it have to be telepathy? Why not just a practical application by two separate ingénue bonobos,” I asked.

“I don’t think they were bonobos,” she corrected, “I think they were probably chimps.”

“Bonobos are chimps,” I informed her. “And chimps aren’t monkeys.”

“Well, either way, it was a published study in a scientific journal. It’s agreed upon.”

“What journal?”

“I’m not sure, but I can find out,” she offered. “Let me bring you to the studio now.” She stood herself up, hands-free, putting a halt to my questions and flaunting her tight and capable ass-muscles, “today’s complimentary class is being taught by this center’s new management and one of our brightest masters. It’s an introductory class to breathing and laughing.”

It had never occurred to me that I had my breathing and laughing all wrong, that one day I might take a class to learn proper technique. It had never occurred to me that such basic functions of life would demand mastery, but I was open-minded enough to question my own Western paradigms of inhale-exhale and guffaw. I had no reason to be cynical yet and every reason in the world to press on. I was under the very false impression that my bald, pelvic examiner wanted me to fuck her. One way or another, I was going to dedicate the afternoon to our potential cosmic DSL connection. Also, Daisy had told me I had an open heart, which made the sad ape in me feel warm and understood. She’d reiki-stroked my ego, which, I’ve come to learn about myself, is all it ever really takes for me to sign up. The smallest hint of a compliment sends my heart aflutter, destroys all reason, and urges me toward a quest for vaginal subterranean ego eradication, anti-birth, clam diving. All she had to do was say I had pretty eyes and I’d have cut a check right then and there.

She guided me to the studio. There was calming music playing, and all the members hugged each other when they crossed paths. I felt idiotic, but lulled.

And there she was.

It’s hard to say what it is that attracts us to certain people, what makes us think that one thing is love when another thing isn’t. It could very well be something metaphysical. The only thing holy in my life had been this sense of other-worldly connection to Lily, this story I’d tell myself about my soul and her soul coming together once, meeting myself for the first time, and for the first and only time having the schism between myself and the rest of the world filled with the most thrilling peace. And I carelessly chucked it away for manifest destiny, I’d tell myself, but it was probably more out of fear that this fairytale wasn’t real, that I was never bound to her, that my soul was still and forever homeless, and that there was no love at all and just the fear and the wanting of death, a quick and mindless coming. There was freedom and security in maintaining the myth and never pursuing the real thing. I imagine this is why seeing Lily the way I did, after so many years, caused the reaction it did. Downward dog, hair cropped, glossy eyed, reciting some Sanskrit text (or was it Korean?) that was meant to influence the diaphragm. She was the master, dressed in linen, teaching. I couldn’t learn how to breathe and laugh from Lily. We’d breathed and laughed together before, and though it was great, it wasn’t skilled by any means. I took a spot in the back of the class and fought back some tears. The love of my life, the woman I’d hoped everyday to see again, hunched before me, and all I wanted to do was bash my head against a wall.

She was no Lama, I knew that. It wasn’t possible that she could have reached enlightenment in such a short period of time, and how does one willfully go from finger-fucking in the bathroom stall of some dive to meditating under the Boddhi tree? And how does it become a for-profit enterprise? I hadn’t even spoken to her and I was angry with her already. A master of what? A healer of what? The magic that had lived inside of me and kept me believing and hopeful, the image of Lily that had meant so much to me, The Virgin Mother herself, all her greatness and glory, was demolished the second I learned that she called herself a master, a healer, a missionary, a nun. My soul felt orphaned. She was selling it now, to anyone that could afford it, like some bougie love-hussy, just selling it to any man, woman and child off the street! Under the guise of yoga slash tai chi! I watched her hug complete strangers with the kind of prolonged urgency a person is suppose to save for foreplay. I watched her lay hands on pelvises during exercises, close her eyes and smile. I wanted the ceiling to fall on her, or me.

When I was younger I used to wake up early and walk along the river. There would be a group of Cambodians that met to walk together too, and I would follow close behind them, imitating their stride. They swung both their arms in the same direction and lifted them all the way to height of their chin. I did this too, and thought for sure this must be the best way to walk, until I lost my balance and tripped over my own feet. I should have learned my lesson then, and maybe I did, because the class on breathing and laughing was a farce to the point where I feared for my physical safety. Lily instructed us to breathe fast and shallow while pounding on our kidneys with our fists and bouncing from the knees. I felt instantly light headed, faint. She then had us laugh in a monotone, “huh, huh, huh.” Next she had us chanting, “Funny kidneys, funny kidneys.” We made our way to our liver and our heads and ended with our hands patting the insides of our armpits, shouting, “I love my armpits!”

I’d never done any yoga before, but I was certain this wasn’t it. I was almost too dizzy to be freaked. There was a group of about twenty of us singing the praises of our armpits, without any irony.

I peeked around the room and spotted Daisy. She was bouncing with such vigor, and stroking her pits with such enthusiasm, nearly compelling me to believe I was accomplishing something. Tears were streaming down her face. An older Korean man stood by the entrance with his arms folded, nodding his head in Lily’s direction in affirmation. His approval made her beam in such a way that made my comedic organs jeer. The Lily of my imagination didn’t need the approval of anyone. She was an autonomous, brilliant professor of the arts, or maybe in medical school at Mount Sinai, working summers with Doctors Without Borders.

She ended the class with ten minutes of Child’s Position, a yoga posture where we kneel and place our heads on the floor, during which time Daisy went from student to student, pressuring us to sign a three month contract for their classes. I was shocked to see a number of people agreeing to pay the outlandish costs. Five hundred dollars for unlimited classes and a guaranteed personal relationship with your instructor. I was shocked when I saw my own hand sign the dotted line, but I couldn’t help but believe the cosmos brought me here for a reason. I’d have done anything to be in Lily’s company again.

Tea was served after we rose from position, and we began to mix. I took a deep breath and wandered over to Lily. She was giving hugs and praises to everyone who approached her. I stood in what felt like a line, waiting to get my touch. When we locked eyes she didn’t recognize me right away.

“Lily, it’s me,” I declared. I opened for a hug; large dark circles of sweat revealed themselves from my underarms.

“Oh my god!” She shrieked, throwing her arms around my neck, vigorously kissing my face and head. “Oh my god! I can’t believe it!” She placed her hand on my round stomach, gave it a pat. “It’s been so long,” she said, “Look at us. We’ve gotten old.”

“Not you. You’re fit as a fiddle.”

“Well, it’d be bad marketing not to be fit in this place,” she joked.

Despite my sweat, my nerves, and my revulsion with Lily’s chosen profession, I couldn’t keep myself from begging her to join me for dinner.

“I’d love to, but I need to run it by my mentor.” She motioned towards the stone-faced Korean man in the doorway.

“You need permission?”

“No, I can do whatever I want. It’s just a courtesy. We have meetings most nights, and we have classes most days, so I’m not left with much time for other things. But it’s great!” She held my shoulders. “I want to tell you all, I want to hear all that’s going on with you.” She kissed me again and ambled over to her mentor.

Lily lowered her head when she addressed him and the conversation seemed to go on longer than necessary. I felt his eyes on me, summing me up, as if he were measuring my strength, what kind of threat I’d be. Apparently I wasn’t any serious threat, because Lily returned with a smile.

“He says I can leave now as long as I’m back by eight o’clock. All the healers are learning a new form of finger-tip therapy that’s meant to alleviate symptoms of Lupus, but that’s another story. Oh, I can’t wait to share!”

“Shouldn’t you go to a doctor if you have symptoms of Lupus?” I queried, but she didn’t respond.

“So where are you taking me,” she asked. “Let’s go to the Sushi place we used to go to.”

“I remember that place,” I said. “I remember somebody drinking too much sake and getting frisky under the table.”

“Now, sweetheart, don’t get ahead of your self.”

“Do we have time to change?”

“Probably not,” she said, throwing me a towel. “Just wipe your face and no one will be the wiser.” She was still awfully cute.

Up to this moment I wanted to believe Lily hadn’t changed much. I was also willing to believe there might be something to this new age hocus-pocus in which she was involved. More importantly, though, I needed to be alone with her. Now that I had her in my sights, I needed to hear from her what had been between us once, some kind of validation for all the longing I’d suffered and relished.

We walked to the Sushi place and reminisced innocently. She even locked arms with me as if we’d time warped to when we were in love. I was expecting greater boundaries, more nervousness on her part, but was quickly sucked into this rushed sense of trust and intimacy. After all, it’s all I’d wanted for the past five years. It seemed too easy though, and after watching her embrace everyone at the center, willy-nilly, I was skeptical of the authenticity. How my heart hurt. And she was still so fucking sexy.

She told me about her new life. She told me that she was not just teaching yoga, but that she was part of a movement, a spiritual awakening. She spent two weeks in the red cliffs of Sedona sitting in an energy vortex and only moving to drink water. She didn’t even move to pee. She told me about her mat on the floor where she slept, and how she shared a room with five other women. She said she hadn’t had sex at least two years, that it was sort of frowned upon, but everything was her choice because she’d never felt so happy in all her life. She told me about this pit in her core, how she had this empty, sad feeling at the core of her being, and when she started practicing New Dawning Fitness the pit was suddenly filled. I told her that I liked my pit; it keeps me in line with everyone else. She told me that just last week she’d spent eight hours doing a repetitive bow, from the ground on up, all the while chanting some text that’s suppose to save the world. She’d done one thousand bows before, but four thousand bows really wiped her out. Lily also hinted that she’d given up all of her earthly possessions, hinted that she’d dropped out of grad school to pursue her messianic calling, hinted that she might like to have sex again someday. I hinted I might be the man for the job, and held the door for her as we entered the restaurant.

I ordered a bottle of sake and a giant boat of raw fish. She ordered a Perrier and a bowl of edamame.

“You can order whatever you want,” I said. “It’s my treat.”

“This is exactly what I want,” she told me.

She prayed over her bowl and then nibbled cautiously on her beans. I shoved whole colonies of salmon roe down my throat. I swigged a shot of sake, wiped my mouth and mustered the courage to speak.

“So let’s hear it Lily,” I said. “What’s this New Dawning Fitness really all about? It doesn’t really seem like yoga at all. How’d you get involved?”

“Didn’t I already tell you, about my emptiness and everything,” she said, defensively.

“Yeah, but what are you after with this group,” I asked. “What’s the point of doing these exercises all day, everyday?”

She wiped her mouth, cocked her head the way they all seem to, and pensively chose her words. “Can I tell you a story first,” she asked. “I want to tell you this story. Every time I tell it to myself I remember why it is I’m doing what I do, what I’m called to do.”

“Of course you can tell me a story,” I said.

“Well, did you know, as a child I never cried?”


“Never, until the age of nine. I remember clearly; I pressured my mother into a foot-race to the front door of my childhood home. Within just a few gallops I’d tripped, fell flat on my face and busted my chin.”

“That seems like an appropriate moment to shed a tear.”

“Yes! That was the exact thought I had, ‘this is an appropriate moment to cry,’ so I did, and I didn’t just cry; I wept, I sobbed, I sang my woes in a shrill soprano, face to the heavens, sorrow aria. I couldn’t stop. I didn’t want to stop. When I felt like I was about to stop I shrieked some more. I screamed, rubbed the scrapes on my knee, stared at the small dots of blood on my fingertips. I was enveloped. I went nuts. I had what I now consider a religious experience.”

“What did your mother do during all this,” I asked.

“She held my shoulders and consoled me, of course she did.”

“But wasn’t she shocked, I mean, she’d never seen you cry.”

“She was alarmed, but it wasn’t an isolated event. After that, I cried over everything. TV commercials, puppies, delicious foods, you name it. I only had one way of expressing myself. I turned into a cry-baby. I got teased at school. I could turn on the waterworks at any moment and everyone knew it. People became annoyed with me. I remember a tension in the room when anything profound or interesting was about to be shared, everyone was worried I’d start crying uncontrollably. The principal even scheduled a private meeting with me before my biology class was to watch The Miracle of Life, that documentary that shows live childbirth. She told me that I might be asked to leave the classroom if my emotions disturb the other students.”

“What did you say to that?”

“Nothing. I cried.”

“Why are you telling me all this,” I asked.

“I’m trying to shed some light on who I am. I don’t think you really know. I don’t think you ever knew. I’m a cry-baby, have been for years. Ever since that day I learned how to tap that energy, I’ve been feeling things on this deep, primeval, sub-cortex, cave-woman, Gaia sort of way. I’m different from you. I have this pain.”

“I have pain,” I told her.

“But you’re not a cry-baby. You don’t want to leap into it, really see how incredible this energy is, see that it’s not pain at all, but a power millions of years old, located in our brains, giving us the ability to heal ourselves from within. New Dawning has taught me how to heal myself.”

“So you don’t cry anymore,” I asked.

“I cry all the time.”

“I don’t understand.”

“You’d have to come to the mountains for the weekend to really get it. I could get you a partial scholarship. It would only run you a grand or two, but you’d learn so much about your self.”

“Will you be there?”

“Sort of.”

“I don’t want to go if I can’t be with you,” I said, surprising myself with the youthfulness of my voice. It cracked a little. “I’ll only go if you’re there,” I told her.

“Oh come on! None of us are really anywhere, and yet we’re everywhere, all the time, and time isn’t anything at all.”

“Yeah, I’m not going.” I shoved a yellow-tail into my mouth.

“Think about it,” she said. She sucked the kosher salt off a bean pod ever so coyly, looked at her watch, and then she made a grimace that said ‘I really should be going.’

“Wait, Lily,” I said. “There’s something I have to ask you. There’s this question I’ve wanted to ask you, and I don’t know even if I want to know the answer.”

“You can ask.”

“Well, I just need to know, because well, it’s haunted me all this time not knowing. I need to know, were you, because I definitely was, I know I was, back then in love with you, and I just never got to know if you felt the same way.”

Lily cocked her head at me, new-age, compassionate, therapist-like, and smiled. Her eyes were bluer than robin’s eggs, but her stare was like two swirling eddies vacuuming reality, spitting it back out rearranged.

“I thought I’d never stop crying,” she said. “But that’s just who I am.” She stood, cupped my face with her hands, kissed me on the cheek, and in a Katherine Hepburn voice, she said, “Good bye, lover.”

I began to cry, not anything of any great sum, just a few tears and a sorry-sack expression on my face.

Lily laughed. “There ya go,” she said, then turned to leave.

I wiped my cheeks and thought about ordering dessert.

“Wait Lily,” I called out. “There’s one more thing I need you to know.”

“What’s that?”

“I don’t love my armpits,” I shouted. “In fact I hate my armpits. I have fantasies of slicing them off of my body. I feel that way about all my parts actually. I don’t think there’s anything funny about my body. I have so much pain. I wake up in the morning hating myself. The second I wake I imagine a power drill coming through the wall and entering the top of my head and it’s the only thought that brings me any relief. There’s nothing funny about it.”

Lily grinned, blew a kiss, and left.

I could hear the happy couple sitting next to me snickering at what I’d said. I muttered for them to fuck off under my breath. When the server came around I ordered some tempura fried bananas and green tea ice-cream. At the time I thought I was just being paranoid, but I was certain that one of the linen clad Korean masters was pacing the sushi place, pretending not to be watching us, but when Lily left the man left with her, almost like an escort or chaperone. I soaked a banana in the melting ice-cream and thought about going to the restroom to masturbate. I was distraught, inconsolable. I was a flitting electron under the thumbnail of some horrible, moss-faced space alien; a sad little fish at the bottom of the ocean, blindly fertilizing the coral bed. What a terrible joke.

I had no intention of ever returning to New Dawning Fitness, but it occurred to me sometime the following week that I’d already paid five hundred dollars for three months. Maybe Daisy hadn’t quite reached the celibate stage of culthood and I still had a chance. More importantly, though, I still felt this love drive, this telephone line connecting me to Lily. I didn’t know what I wanted to say or do when I saw her; I just wanted to see her. All I’ve ever wanted for the past five years was to see her.

I brought my own yoga mat this time, and I wore a more breathable top. Daisy was standing at the front desk, appearing very business-like, filling out paperwork and organizing fliers. I walked up to the counter and greeted her.

“Remember me,” I said.

Daisy cocked her head and revealed a subtle frown. “Yes, I think I do remember you,” she said. “Would you mind waiting here for just one moment?”

She turned and entered a small door that read, ‘staff only.’ She returned with a very familiar looking brunette. I recalled the flier at Starbucks, felt a rush of blood creep up my thighs. I was star-struck. Daisy had brought out the flier girl to address me personally.
I said hello, but the brunette did not welcome me back. She was clearly American, most likely of Irish decent, but she spoke in a choppy sort of way similar to the Korean masters she worked with. She cocked her head, sucked her lower lip and said, “We do not want you.”
I wasn’t sure what she meant.

“New Dawning does not want your patronage,” she clarified.

“But I paid,” I told her. “I paid for three months.

“New Dawning will refund your money,” she said. “We ask that you leave now.”

“What the hell are you talking about,” I shouted. “Where’s Lily, what happened to Lily?”

“She has been relocated. She does not want to be distracted from her journey. You make her cry and she doesn’t stop. You take her chi. We worry you have bad chi. You are not ready for our methods.”

“But I thought this was a yoga studio, I thought anyone could come here. What rules have I broken?” I was flustered and a little offended.

“You give us ten thousand dollars,” she said, “you go to desert, you meditate with masters, then we reconsider.”

I told her she was out of her fucking mind and I left. I was infuriated. I wondered what legal action I could take against them. I ripped their fliers off of the telephone polls, decided to go back to Starbucks and get rid of those fliers too, but there was a new one posted when I got there, and when I saw it I began to sob just like an honest to god cry-baby. It was my Lily doing a bridge and hovering in outer-space with Saturn and Jupiter. Underneath was the slogan, ‘Be the master of your own universe. Join New Dawning Fitness today.’

I took the flier home with me. I tacked it to my wall. I begged and pleaded with whoever it is we beg and plead to. I went online and did research on New Dawning. It goes by many names to avoid exposure, but its business model is the same. It steals people, makes them think their on the path towards enlightenment. There’s a leader somewhere in Arizona who has his own golf course. He writes books that all the members must read. He likens himself to Jesus and Buddha, but those in the know refer to him as the new Rev. Moonie. He has horse stables and his wife’s neck is draped in gold chains. Supposedly he can train people to be telepathic, like the monkeys.

I couldn’t read anymore. I went to my favorite porn site to clear my mind. It’s called Horny Hot Female Doctors. I clicked on a video with two women and a male patient with an ace bandage around his knee. The busty and blond female doctor and nurse seduce the male patient into a threesome. It’s the same premise every time, just with different actors. I love it. I put the volume all the way up on my computer and listened to the young nurse moan while her patient did her from behind. The doctor, her mentor, sat spread eagle on the hospital gurney and motioned for some girl on girl cunilingus. Run of the mill stuff, but something strange happened. Instead of going down, the young nurse went up. She and the doctor locked eyes; the doctor opened her breast to her and the nurse nestled her head in the cleavage. The nurse seemed to fall into a reverie. The doctor gently brushed the nurse’s top chakra, kissed it, and held her tight, and then the nurse, perhaps in an attempt to be sexy, seemed to mutter something that sounded a lot like ‘mommy.’ Even the man with the sports injury, giving it to her from behind, was touched, and he began to fuck her more gently.

I would give anything to be part of that holy trinity.


Dawn Ryan is a resident of Lowell, MA.


Child’s Position
© 2007 by Dawn Ryan





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