Washington Horror Blog

SEMI-FICTIONAL CHRONICLE of the EVIL THAT INFECTS WASHINGTON, D.C. To read Prologue and Character Guide, please see www.washingtonhorrorblog.com, updated 6/6//2017. Follow Washington Water Woman on Twitter @HorrorDC ....

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Art of Living

"It's just yoga!" exclaimed Angela de la Paz. 

"It feels like a cult," said her boyfriend, Roddy Bruce, before drinking some more water from his Australian army canteen.

"You were laughing more than anybody!" exclaimed Angela, looking around at the other people taking a break from the class.

"I was laughing at all these blokes, not with 'em!  They were pretending to push rogue, out-of-control lawn mowers around the room, for Christ sake!"

"So were you!" laughed Angela.  (She was actually surprised her Aussie commando had agreed to come to Art of Living for laughing yoga this morning.)

"Well, what does that have to do with the wisdom of Sri Sri?"

Angela leaned over to give him a kiss.  "Look," she said, "Dr. Raj is a scientist.  She only invited me to come to work on my breathing and stress response."

"Are you sure she knows what you do for a living?"  Major Bruce winked at her before Devi Rajatala returned from her trip to the bathroom with her National Arboretum coworker, Jai Alai.

"How do you feel?" asked Dr. Rajatala.

"Well, it beats going to church!" said Major Bruce.

Dr. Rajatala frowned.  "This is not a substitute for spirituality.  This is just yoga."

Angela gave Major Bruce her I-told-you-so face and smiled. 

The teacher called for them to prepare for the next segment.  "Close your eyes and go back to your happy place."  (Jai Alai frowned because she had no happy place.)  "Breathe in....Breathe out....Breathe in....Breathe out."  (Jai Alai gasped for air--she always panicked when people reminded her that breath was something that could be stopped.)  "So what?  Let it be!"  (Jai Alai's pulse quickened as she remembered the funeral of her little girl and all the people saying, "She's in God's hands now--just let it be.")  "Let your cares float away."  (Her son was now old enough to ask questions about his little sister's death...and the man in prison for it.)  "Stretch your hands up, then down, and up, now laugh!"  (Jai Alai forced a fake grin and blinked back the tears.)

A few miles to the south, Henrietta (Button) Samuelson was strolling downtown with the brother she now knew to be not her flesh and blood but a child stolen from a political prisoner during Argentina's Dirty War.  In some ways, that journey of discovery had drawn them closer; in other ways, not so much.

"WTF?" he said, pausing at a restaurant window.

"What?!" she protested.  "Now what did I say?"

"Take a chill pill, Button!  I'm talking about that sign."  (He pointed to a large sign in the window that said, "WTF".)

"Oh," she replied.  "Woodward Table something...food or something."

"WTF?!  Seriously, who would put that in their restaurant window?!  Are they complete idiots?"  (Then her brother pointed out that the "WTF" was actually in more than one window.)  "Is Washington so far out of touch with reality that people here don't know what 'WTF' stands for?"

"Maybe the owner was being ironic," said Button, who admittedly never understood irony because everybody used the term to describe different things.

"Ironic?"  (He laughed out loud.)  "This whole town is one big 'WTF' generator to the rest of us, so, yeah, I guess it's ironic."

"So is that your reaction to what I'm doing by following in Dad's footsteps?"

"He's not my dad."

(Button let that one go.)  "You told me I was wasting my life in real estate.  I'm trying to make a difference now."

"You don't trust half the people in the Heurich Society, you don't have files on their past activities, you use operatives hired by strangers in foreign countries--"

"I'm very careful about what I approve!"

"Are you?"

"Look, it was my operative that got you the info from Clinica de Moron!  She's the reason you found your relatives in Argentina!"

"And I'm grateful for that, but how many other truths do you really think you'll find?  That organization is about controlling history, not illuminating it."

They walked on in silence, their post-lunch conversation strained as far as it could go.

A few miles to the west, a teenaged girl--shaken to the core over a cyber-bullying campaign launched against her over the weekend--stood unsteadily on the bridgeman's deck of the 14th Street Bridge and looked down at the mesmerizing eddies of the Potomac River.  A pink dolphin tried to grab her attention but the demon voice of Ardua called her in another direction.  She climbed over the railing, then jumped.  Dubious McGinty heard the loud splash and raced out of his makeshift home to look down at the water, but he could not understand what had happened.

Over in Alexandria, another cyber-bully joined in the fray, tearing apart the girl online and spreading additional lies about her...all because she has possessed the audacity to post a Facebook question about....Actually, nobody remembered what her original posting had been, but they knew it was necessary to punish her to death.

Back in the river, the pink dolphin nosed the girl gently over to the shore, but she would never step foot in the real world again.


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