It’s too late. I can’t remember any of it.
I thought as I sat silently, solemnly next to the elderly man on the cool train to Nowhere. Six hours and thirty minutes left to get to Nowhere. I closed my eyes and tried to remember being in the woods. I breathed in through my nose and out through my mouth like James, my mindfulness meditation teacher had taught me. My eyes shot open – I remembered him! James, my meditation teacher. He was the last stop before I walked into those woods. It was a Wednesday evening and I went to see him before…before…I couldn’t remember. But it was 6:35 pm. I was five minutes late to our mindfulness class. I’d been working with James for four months. Despite his pleas for me to be punctual to class, I was consistently five-ten minutes late to class.
“Louise, you understand that when you come late to class your chakras are already misaligned. It takes me longer to help you get centered.” James said visibly annoyed with me.
Wait, what did he say? He said “Louise.” That’s my name. My name isn’t Julia; it’s Louise. I know my name.
“I’m sorry, James. I’m trying my best. I’m a late person.”
“Louise, if we’re going to help you, punctuality is important. Every moment counts towards your healing.”
I sighed, irritated at his truth. I knew I needed this course. I wanted to combat my demons and the only way was to enter into a mindful state. I needed to confront my pain. But it was difficult to sit with it. I didn’t want to face myself. But I knew I needed to. Be there, be present, look my hurt in the face and acknowledge it.
“I can’t…I can’t fucking do this.” I said shaking my head. “I’m sorry. I can’t.’
“What?” James said his face turing white. “Louise, don’t say that.”
“Don’t say what, James? Stop fucking saying my name like you know me. You don’t know me. You don’t know anything about me. You have no idea what I’ve been through. Don’t you dare say my name!” I shouted pointing my finger at the small frail man with a tiny ponytail wearing all white.
“This language is unnecessary.” James said with pursed lips.
“YOU are unnecessary!” I yelled. With that I reached into pocket, grabbed a fist full of money and threw it at him.
James was horrified. His lip quivered but he didn’t speak a word. I stormed out of the white room leaving him behind mystified by my cruelty. I slammed the door, and didn’t look behind me. I ran to the elevator, tears streaming down my face. I didn’t want to remember what had just happened. I rang for the elevator with my pointer finger. I obsessively pressed the button until my finger burned.
“Are you going up or down?”
I turned around to find a tall man with sandy blond hair standing next to me. He was wearing a grey tee-shirt with red letters that read “University of Your Mind.” I didn’t know if that was meant to be facetious. It didn’t matter. None of it mattered including me. I didn’t matter.
“Down.” I said.
He nodded silently.
“There’s a beautiful trail around here. Have you seen it?” He asked me.
“What?” I replied.
“I said the woods are beautiful around here. Do you want to go for a walk?”
“No.” I said.
“Yes you do.” He commanded.
“Okay.” I said sullenly.
So I followed him into the elevator.