Monday, June 13, 2011

The Sound of (Fart-Filled) Silence

She came into the yoga studio five minutes after the class started and looked discombobulated. She was frumpy and frizzy, and wore a gray, baggy sweatshirt that hung loosely to her body, the right side descending off her shoulder. Her black sweatpants were ratted and torn and only came down to right below her knees.

Also, as I would find out later, she liked to fart. In public.

I'm sorry, this is my first time here, she confessed to the yoga instructor, who was giving her a stern look for coming into the class late.

That's ok, just quietly find a spot. There is one. Right there.

This spot was right behind me.

***

During one of our first exercises, while we were on our backs, the yoga instructor told us to stretch our hands and legs out, elongating our spines. It was at this moment that I realized that the frumpy-frizzy lady not only sat behind me, but was only inches away from my mat. As I stretched my arms beyond my head, I felt her calves and noticed that her feet were bookending my ears. Regardless of the fact that there was plenty of room NOT to be in my personal space, you would think this would have made her uncomfortable.

Well. It didn't.

I quickly retracted my arms like I had just been shocked by a light socket. She didn't move. I turned and whispered Sorry; she just slightly tilted her head up and released a dry smile.

That's not normal, I thought, and I quietly (and quickly) got up and slid my yoga mat forward. While I did, I heard a loud, sticky sound, like someone was pulling some tape off a piece of construction paper. I figured my mat had managed to become cemented to the studio floor. I was wrong.

***

Later, we were still stretching our backs. The instructor told us to pull our right knees up to our chests, and I hear a small raspberry sound, right behind my head. I ignored it. No, it couldn't be.

We were then instructed to lower our right legs back down, and pull our left legs to our chests. I heard a small raspberry sound again. Wait. Is she???

Finally, we were told to pull both legs in, and then there was no mistaking it. The frumpy-frizzy lady, whose butt was inches away from my head, let out a gigantic, cleansing, double-butt-cheek-flapping fart. In a otherwise perfectly quiet yoga studio.

Of course, it was hard to tell where this sound came from, but being so loud, everyone in the studio looked in our direction. It took every ounce of maturity in my body not to say "Seriously, it was her!!" Instead, I just froze motionless. Both knees into my chest. Trying with all my might not to burst out laughing.

***

Next, we had to get onto our hands and knees, and lower and raise our spines (cat-cow). I just kept thinking about how this lady just farted on my head, and had to feign looks of exasperation on my face so the frumpy-frizzy lady wouldn't see me laughing at her in the mirror that was in front of both of us in the studio.

But I swear, during this movement, every few seconds, I would hear little gusts of air behind me, and I just started laughing. I couldn't hold it in. Clearly, neither could she!

***

Eventually, she ran out of gas.

The class ended, and she went up to the instructor and thanked her for running a great session. She slumped her way back out of the studio. Sweatshirt still over shoulder. Black sweatpants still old and overused. Maybe even more so now.

And I wanted to thank her...for the best laugh I had had in months.

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