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  • i’d been told by a friend, who was years ago and rather trustworthy, that we store a lot of emotion in
    our hips. this was in the context of a story about some music camp, a group yoga class, and a room
    full of bawling flexible flute players, guided by a somatic musical guru. they were getting in touch and
    digging deep (your wallet and your emotions are stored very near each other). i was skeptical. but.
    whether more for belief in her story generally, or interest in her hips particularly, i remembered it.

    and it came back to me today, face down, in a puddle of my own sweat, in a hot room full of
    strangers. i’ve been having a rough time here lately in the city, wondering why i came back, and
    more importantly, where else i’d go. i paid the two dollar mat rental fee for free yoga class with a fist
    full of dimes and nickels fished from my change bag. quarters have all gone the way of the laundry,
    and there have been no dollars for a day or three.

    it’s been months since i last did yoga. maybe nine. and months, about six, of sleeping on sidewalks
    and futons and cots in squats (sometimes shared with another body. no they don’t make double cots.)
    has gotten me quite stiff. additionally, there are police scuffles, the potholes i’ve hit on my bike, and
    one pedestrian (we’re ok, and were both at fault), and the best sex of my life with a woman who just
    told me that her most vehement rejection... does not negate our friendship as it manifested.
    these’ll all make you stiff, sore and anxious. and apparently the anxious is in my hips.

    my crying is about as out of practice than my yoga. but i gave it a little shot today. rather, a little bit
    sneaks out, while most people are worrying about farts. half pigeon. lying face down, nose into
    the rented mat that smells like other people’s sweat. right knee under my chin, chest resting on my
    right quad, right heel under my waist on the left side. my hips are more open than they have been in
    months, in that way that makes me second-guess any plans i have for tomorrow that require
    walking. and i just start sobbing. it’s hard to sob when you can only sort of breathe and so they
    catch in my throat. sweat and tears mingle in my eyes and a little snot bubble is added to the mat.
    it’s brief. my own surprise at the outburst breaks the semblance of focus i had mustered over the
    hour and ruins the mood. i try and get back to it, it feels good. but you can’t make yourself cry. lost
    in a city, tired, poor and lonely; and it seems the only option you have is to cry. but, the more
    necessary, the more i try, the faster it disappears, and sillier it leaves me feeling.

    i call my bank and head to my book store. i do have enough money to buy a book. just. i purchase
    the jeanette winterson i’ve been poaching in the shop for a week and curl up in the window seat. the
    woman next to me is a friend or something, and knows nothing about the best sex of my life or the
    partner. and so, i can tell her nothing. another vermonter, but very different from the last, we talk
    about farms, coppicing, permaculture, squats in oakland, jail solidarity, and potato cuts. apparently
    they’re like woodcuts, but with potatoes. she’s an anarcho-farmer artist. i purchase kale and beer
    with my foodstamps, to accompany the tempeh, rice and carrots at the apartment where i stay. she
    comes over for the shower and computer that are luxuries at the squat where she stays. she
    showers, we cook, eat and drink and nothing happens. i fall asleep on the couch with jeanette as she
    checks her mail and does the facebook activism thing: posting articles about another four things we
    should all be outraged at. when i wake up, she gives me a hug, thanks, and assurance that i’m great
    (i am skeptical) and lets herself out.
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