A Story, in Multiple Parts, in which this is the Second Part

Dear Readers,

This is the second part of a multiple part story.  Please be a good little blog reader and read the first part first.  


Sondra Stinglash

So, I go to the nice little silent meditation retreat, put on by the nice Canadians, lovely people who want me to be there and everything is going to be great.  Everything is going to be fine and aren’t I happy that I ignored that nagging feeling of doom I got about the whole thing when my registration got fouled up?  Yes I am.  I am going to have an enlightening experience- all silent and spiritual and life changing for ONE WHOLE WEEK. Yipee!

I show up, park my little liberal car neatly in between the other cars with the Canadian license plates, all lined up orderly by a bunch of enlightened, nice people. 

I go in.

Registration taken care of.  Room assigned.  Karma Yoga assignment gotten.  Karma Yoga?  Yep.  Karma Yoga.  Turns out to be a really pleasant sounding term for “job.”  In my case “crap job.”  
My job, which I will be required to perform throughout the retreat, is simply called “bathrooms.”  Note the plural.  The retreat manager happily gives me the two page laminated instruction sheet in order that I perform the job perfectly (no pressure) and asks me to please memorize it and then give it back to him later that night. (no pressure)  Seriously?  I have to memorize these instructions?  I paid $300 for this?!  I take the instructions from him and smile sweetly.

Sprinkle bowl thoroughly with powder cleanser, include all interior aspects of bowl.  Brush bowl thoroughly with toilet brush.  Flush.  Sprinkle bowl again and let sit.  Spray all exterior surfaces of the toilet thoroughly with the general cleaning spray blah blah blah...

The instructions are detailed.  And not very fun to read.  I am supposed to have this memorized and give this back to the manager TONIGHT?  Seriously?  I can’t memorize this shit. 

I bring the instructions to my room, leave them there, unpack and go to dinner. 


Dinner is lovely.  The food is good!  The conversation (we are still allowed to speak) is pleasant.  

Beautiful bell sound!  Announcement Time!  

A few announcements before we go into silence.  It seems that there is are two cars that must be moved immediately.   Cars parked inappropriately.  Cars parked incorrectly.  Bad spots.  Bad cars.  Bad people who parked in the bad spots.  (Not exact words, but it was totally implied.)    First car:  plate number: #NOT-YOUR-CAR.  Sigh of relief.  Second car:  plate number:  #YOUR-CAR.  All eyes on me.  


Move your cars as quickly as possible and then try, just you try to make it back to the meditation hall in time for our very important and reverent opening meditation and we aren’t giving you two suckers any extra time.  (Not exact words, but you get the idea.)  

I walk as fast as my little slippered feet can carry me to my room, grab my keys and speed walk to the front door where I put on my outside shoes.  There is another woman feverishly putting on her outside shoes, keys in hand.  We walk out together.  The light is dim.  I offer my arm to help guide her down the stairs.  She ignores the gesture and says, “I only parked there because you did.”


I move my car and wait for her to move her car so that we can walk back together.  You know why?  Because I am totally a nice person, that’s why.

But she, the other bad parker, does not move her car.  This is because, as it turns out, her car is stuck in the mud.  Stuck deep.  She is not sure what to do.  I can’t help, other than lending moral support, which is really no help to her at all, so we decide to walk back inside where she will tell her sad story to someone with the requisite amount of muscle mass with which to help her.

In the meditation hall, I slide onto a cushion as quietly as I can so as to not disturb the opening meditation, which is already, of course, in progress.

To be continued.

Go ahead and click on the teeny envelope icon and send this post to a friend. Don't be jerky and claim that you wrote it because I wrote it, damn it.

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