buddha - Ernest von Rosen, www.amgmedia.com

Easter came but once a year. That was his little joke. He was opposed to sex, in general – said it drained his chi. Once a year, Easter gathered his energies, shook out his chakras and went for the big bang.

Easter was beautiful – willowy thin, blonde, with cheekbones – taught yoga at a llama farm 20 miles north of Santa Fe. He was followed, year in and year out, by men and women who ate kale for him, spun like midwestern Sufis and abstained from lust or wonder for him, all dreaming of Easter’s big day and wondering if they might win that chi-wasting lottery this time.

One year, Easter gained six pounds. His cheekbones blurred, his thin hips wore a small but observable girdle of appetite. He meditated on his third eye, but fell asleep, dreaming about marshmallow crème. Easter ground his teeth, ordered secret pizzas.

“This year,” he said to his faithful gaggle, “I will save my chi for discipline and penance.” That night, he dreamed about tigers and running, about bacon and pancakes. Easter woke sobbing, his pillowcase stained with maple syrup.

“I have demons,” he told the gaggle. “I have demons and they are chasing me at night.” He lost the six pounds, he lost six more, but still the dreams kept coming.

Sambina Palesthira came to him one day with a check. “I can send you to my grandmother in Greece,” she said, “or my grandfather in Brazil. They are both healers, either one could remove the tigers following you at night.”

Easter said thank you, kissed her, and dreamed that night of violent storms, umbrellas turned inside out. Every bolt of lightning had tigers’ teeth, the rain that covered his body was slick and tasted of butter. He crouched down low, fighting with the umbrella. The rain stopped, he washed his face in a barrel of melted butter. He woke drenched, tasted his own skin. He called Sambina, and left for Greece by the end of the week.

In Greece there are grandmothers and sheep and blue everywhere, blue sky, blue water, blue beads for protection against evil. Sambina’s grandmother, who was mostly blind and very old, patted Easter on the check and offered him lamb. Her American son, Sal, had given her a TV/VCR combo and a paraffin bath for her sore hands. She kept the TV on always, very loud, as the elderly do. No cable, sometimes static, sometimes local news. Most often, she watched exercise shows.

“I like Richard Simmons,” she told Easter. She set on his TV tray a plate of lamb with new potatoes, dressed in lemon and rosemary, with fresh bread and a bottle of wine. Easter ate and watched Richard Simmons with the old woman. He stayed for six weeks. He gained 18 pounds, then lost 12.

He went back to the llama farm, where he slept heavily, and woke late every day. His gaggle thinned, then disappeared, reappearing later to sit at the feet of a man in Tomé who’d previously followed Adidas Deepok,  Beyond Ananda, Shree Baguetta, Harvey Mandala,  and Nana Dharma.

Easter began to make yogurt, fresh goat yogurt. He invited Richard Simmons to the llama farm and they made an exercise video together, “Eat your way to enlightenment.” Richard was sued by his manager for breach of contract. Richard and Easter opened a chain of fitness restaurants. They had great, greasy sex every day for a year. They slept together and dreamed fat, then thin, then fat, then thin — like breathing, only deeper.


1 Response to “Epiphany”

  1. 1 Ellie July 10, 2006 at 4:23 pm

    Oh jesus i loved this story.
    Hallejah, pass the potatoes.


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