Those of you following my follies know I love yoga. I’ll take yoga over a movie any day of the week.
For years I belonged to a club for women. Then, in December, without much warnings or fanfare, it closed the doors. I kept in touch with other members and some of the instructors and so began my gym hopping adventure. Thanks partly to the abundance of discount coupons sprouting in January to attract the New Year’s resolution crowd; I was able to sample quite a few yoga studios without breaking the bank. Finally, I settled on one that wasn’t recommended or frequented by either friends or former instructors. I loved the ambiance, liked their class schedule and could live with the monthly fee. When you start in a new studio you need to get to know the teachers and their style. I did that for the first few weeks.
Believe it or not, I try very hard to go unnoticed. I don’t get there too early or too late, I wear ‘blend in’ clothing and I set my mat down at the very back of the room. Instructors walk around and if they notice a new face they greet you very low key like.
Until Thursday. Everything went smooth. This was my first class with this instructor. She walked around to greet the usual suspects and to meet the newcomers. She introduced herself and asked my name. So far so good. She walked away. Then stopped in the middle of the crowded room and turned to look at me (sprawled on my purple mat).
Intructor—so, should I call Maria or Marie?
Me, sitting up—my name is Maria Grazia but you can call me whatever you like, really.
She nods and moves on. But wait—she stops and turns to look at me again.
Instructor—Maria—Grazia—why does your name sound familiar?
I shrug and look away.
Instructor—Maria, yes, Maria. Huh, is your last name Swan? Are you—you know—do you write books?
I put my head down, the class is silent.
Instructor—Are you the author?
My face is on fire—Huum, I do…write books.
Faces turn to look at me, tucked away in the back.
Instructor—I knew it. Not sure why I remember that, but I did. What do you write again?
Me, trying to find something intelligent to say—Suspense—I kill people? I did kill a yoga instructor in one of my books…
Chorus of giggles and chuckles. Instructor looks resentful.
Me—But, but, she was a good person.
Instructor looks relieved.
Me—I would be happy to bring you a signed copy next time around.
Instructors smiles, walks to the front of the room and starts the class.
This is the first time EVER someone recognizes my name. Why, oh, why must it be at the yoga studio instead of a busy bookstore?
Success didn’t spoil me; I’ve always been insufferable. Fran Lebowitz