The day was hot and dry, the air smooty. In a small cluttered bedroom in a small city house…
Get up, Yoshmina thinks to herself , groaning softly as she peeks out from under one of the many duvets on the bed, and puts it back down quickly as the bright glittering light coming in through the open window burns her retina, leaving dazzling spots which dance on the back of her eyelids.
A chubby, but gorgeous girl sashays into the cluttered room kicking up piles of clothes, receipts and bottles of crème and perfume, leftover from a half-done late-night cleaning spree. “Where’s the Calvin Klein perfume?” she shouts. She knows Yoshmina won’t hear anything unless it was shouted and she is especially bad in the mornings. She starts riffling through a cupboard only to come across more receipts, perfume samples, two airplane cartons of orange juice and brand tags. Unable to find what she wants, she knocks down a row of lovingly arranged Egyptian and Fairy Tale themed figures, further adding to her sister’s Collage of Life on her bedroom floor.
“Under the sleeveless blue Supre top, by the chair,” a muffled voice replies with startling accuracy from under the mountain of blankets. Thamikha turns around to lift the doona, revealing a mass of curls covering a face that quickly buries her head in her hands.
“Brown leather belt?” She inquires. “3rd shelf, blue Miller’s bag,” Yoshmina quickly replies, flipping the cover over her head and curling into the fetal position, surprised at the abrupt disruption. Thamikha is puzzled and amused at how her sister could remember the most mundane things yet forget more important things like what month it was and how old she was turning. Despite sharing the same birthday two years apart, she and her sister were completely different, like chalk and cheese. And she would definitely be the cheese…Mmmmm. She finds the perfume and belt as said and leaves smiling ruefully.
Under the doona Yoshmina dreams. She gets up and takes the straightener stashed behind the old oil heater in her closet and plugs it in. As she methodically parted her hair, her mind wandered.
…Who invented clothes and houses? The world would be a so much better place if we were not such materialistic beings. But then again we would be very cold....why are my nails between the straightener? Why am I straightening my nails?!...
With a start, Yoshmina lifts her head. She had not straightened her hair. She had never even gotten up.
“GET UP! GET UP! GET UP!!!"She quickly contorts her body into Child’s pose, knees bent, face down, arms out infront of her and tailbone extended. Experiencing a fleeting moment of weakness she tells herself,”that will be enough yoga for today” and considers slipping back under the blankets and going back to sleep. She forces herself to appreciate the warmth that floods her muscles as she focuses on the stretching of her lower abdomen, thighs and the tightening of her core. As she curves her back delicately into an aligned spinal position, shifting and shuffling to get it just right, as a memory of that very perfect neutralism flows into her sleep constricted muscles, releasing them.
Without thinking, keeping her mind carefully blank, she slips out of bed and yawns widely, savoring the sultry winds that blow in through the open window, ruffling her crazy hair away from her face.
She reachs under the lace curtain and takes the two warm crystals that had been baking in the hot sun from the ledge. She rolls them between her hands, massaging them up over her forearms, upper arms, shoulders, neck and face. She places one stone, a larger chunk of Clear Quartz to her Throat Chakra, at the base of her neck, absorbing its comparative cool against her hot skin. The smaller gem, a cube of Lapis Lazuli, she presses to her crown, at the Third Eye Chakra, savoring its soft burn. She takes long, deep breaths of the hot, dry, smoky air and placed the crystals in the palm of her hand, admiring them in the dappled light coming through the frosted glass next to the open window. The sun has hit the Quartz at the right angle to throw a rainbow across her palm. The gold veins running through the Lapis Lazuli, bathed in multicoloured light, shine brighter and more beautiful than ever against the contrasting, deep, blue stone and her dark palms. She replaces the charms and makes her way to the bathroom.
As she brushes her teeth she cannot not help but look out into the deep blue of the day through the window and imagined what it would be like to be a bird, buffed by the wind, to fly over and across the small city. She could almost feel the sun burning her back from high upon it’s perch, the cool shade of the lush green rolling hills of the Dandenong ranges and smell the thick scent of the eucalypt trees. Wouldn’t that be the life...? She thinks to herself.
She snaps back to the present and finishes brushing her teeth. Once she has changed she pads downstairs.
There is no one home. The house is deserted, just how she liked it. She put the DVD in the player and unrolled her yoga mat. During opening credits she prepares herself, stretching and arranging her posture for the first position, or Asana. As she slowly eases herself into the asanas she lets her mind go blissfully blank.
She loved this feeling, this collective state of thoughtlessness and concentration. She made sure each movement; each action was unhurried, not pressured but deliberate. It required an awareness that was almost indiscernible, from which she unknowingly let herself slip, from time to time.
It was a fine line she loved to tread, it was like mentally taking each step across a high-wire and it was your thoughts that could betray you. As they often did.
She still had her left leg in Tree Pose when she realized she had fallen behind. The lady on the TV was on her back in Table Top Position, slowing unpeeling and curling her spine up off the floor, vertebra by vertebra, breathing deeply to set a rhythm.
Yoshmina falls out of the position and stops the DVD. Regaining her balance, she focuses all her energy into the positions and pushes on. Once she has caught up she puts it on replay as a punishment for falling so far behind.
Finished, she showers and goes to fix herself Brunch, a tradition reserved and carried out only on days like these, carefree, timeless dusty days that make her feel like she is in the country. So she makes a mountain of marmalade on toast, a jug of sweet malty milk and corn and takes it to watch in front of the TV in conjunction to a few mindless hours of her favourite TV classics.
The sun is a fiery red and pink, setting over the treetops as the closing credits of Gilligan’s Island roll. Yoshmina watches as a red car pulls into the driveway. Her sister steps out of the passenger seat with a handful of bags and slams the door shut playfully with her hip. Yoshmina watches as her sister exchanges goodbyes through the car window, laughing loudly at something her friend has said as they speed off down the driveway. She flounces into the house, roguishly kicking the door closed behind her. She set the bags down onto the counter, still grinning and brimming with delight at her wares.
“How was kickboxing?”Yoshmina asked. She had prompted an inevitable tirade as Thamikha launches into a blow by blow description of the day’s routine, about her HOT her instructor, how someone had picked someone else up and thrown them down even though it was expressly not allowed, yet how she and this new friend had gone shopping afterwards and about the AMAZING purple dress, the last on the rack in her size, a joke about girls who couldnt keep their legs closed, how great the steak was at this fabulous restaurant, about how she had a massive bruise blooming just above her left ankle….
Yoshmina smiles, questions, nods and laughs in all the right spots as she watches her sister’s face as she tells her story. She smiles wide, larger than life and laughs openly and generously, as if it comes from and endless supply somewhere beneath her left breastbone. She acts out everyone’s parts for Yoshmina’s benefit, feigning and dodging blows, slipping the dress on over her head, parading in it for Yoshmina to snap pictures in a pair of matching stiletto heels.
Seeing her sister like this, Yoshmina cannot help but see their differences. She had slept in late, getting attuned to her body by practicing mindfulness and peace. On the other hand her sister had been getting up early to spend the day learning how to clober people up in “self-defense”. Easily fired up, Thamikha could cause friction and make new friends in a snap while for Yoshmina it would be next to impossible. Not that she minded, but if the two of them were chalk and cheese, she would definitely be the chalk.