Conversations with a gecko

I think I’m having a late-life crisis. Among other things, writing these blogs is just not as much fun as it used to be. Am I turning into a one-note Johnny (Jane?) who keeps writing the same kind of stuff over and over? аWhat happened to all the poetry and stories I used to write? I went looking for that writer in my archives and think I may be onto something. Not sure exactly what, but in the meantime, I found this silly piece that made me laugh. I wrote it аin 2010. аAnd no, I wasn’t smoking anything ...


а(Part one)



Lying on the sweaty yoga mat, I swore at the sharp stab in the lower quadrant of my back just above my clenched butt.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck.”

Sucking air between gritted teeth, I opened my eyes not daring to move my head.аа And there it was in my line of sight, hanging upside down from the exposed beam of the ceiling.а Not so much hanging, as lolling there with its head tilted back to get a better look at me.а It was a bright green gecko. Oh great.

“What you looking at?” I demanded.

It didn’t move, just gave me an unblinking stare. I stared back.а It didn’t flinch. Neither did I. It was turning into a Mexican standoff and I started to feel silly trying to stare down a gecko.

“Why don’t you get your ass off that mat, and stop whining about the pain, you ridiculous creature?”

I jerked my head around. Ow! Bad mistake. But I was alone. Except for the gecko.

“Yes. It’s me. Up here. And you better shut your mouth in case I lose my grip.”

I snapped my mouth shut.

“Hee hee. I’m kidding. Really though, you’d feel a whole lot better if you could give your back some traction. Hanging upside down works. You should try it.”

“Yeah, right, “ I muttered. “What am I gonna hang from? My fingernails?”

“Well, you could come up here and I’ll show you how,” the gecko called down.

“Hey, what the hell am I doing talking to a gecko?а I must be flipping out!”а I scrunched my eyes tight.

“That’s the way!а Now open you eyes.” The voice was next to my right ear.

аI opened my eyes to see a grainy field of white butting up against my nose.а “Yikes!а What happened?”

“Hey, relax. You’re fine.а Now look to your right … slowly,” a cheerful voice said.а

I turned my head very carefully and looked into the roundest, blackest eyes I’d ever seen.

“Now how does that feel?а No, don’t look down! And don’t let go. Keep looking at me right here,” my gecko therapist pointed two padded digits at my eyes and then pointed them back at its eyes.а Dumbly, I nodded and kept looking.а I didn’t know what was going on, but I wasn’t about to look away to find out, because something told me I was hanging upside down with my hands and feet firmly holding onto a rough wooden surface.а And my back did feel better.

“Wonderful. Now, my name’s Gregory.”

Gregory the Gecko? You’ve got to be kidding!а

“Hey, how come you don’t have a Cockney accent?” I sniggered. аGregory glared.

“I know, I know. Just because you’re a gecko doesn’t mean you all sound alike.”

“You watch too much TV.а And I don’t sell insurance,” Gregory sniffed.

“Well, I thought it was funny. But this is one hell of a dream. What else can it be? I can’t wait to tell …”

“Yeah, you do that. They’ll all think you’re Looney tunes. I’m not doing this for fun, you know. I’m on a mission here, and unfortunately, that mission is you,” Gregory said with obvious exasperation. “I promise you, this is one dream you not going to wake up from.”

Dread flooded me as I hung onto the beam for dear life next to my new BFF, Gregory the Gecko.


а(Part two)



“What the hell?а Did I just dream that? Or am I fricking crazy?”а

Well, I didn’t dream the yoga as there I was lying on the mat. I also remembered the pain. But that was gone. And apparently, so was my mind, because I vaguely recalled hanging upside down having a chat with a little green creature straight out of a GEICO commercial. Damn. It must have been something I smoked, except I don’t smoke.

Of course, I shouldn’t be too surprised as I’d been having truly weird dreams lately. Not to mention brain freezes and memory lapses, like finding myself in a room and wondering how I got there.а The fact is life had become surreal and a little bit disconnected. Too much toe dipping in a parallel universe, perhaps?а Because I seemed to be losing my grip on this one.

“That’s the problem with you, chica. You’re just toe dipping. That will make you crazy, hanging onto something at the same time you’re trying to let go.ааYou know the saying, ‘Shit or get off the pot!’”

I winced. I was going crazy. Because I knew that voice.

“You are not real. You are not real. You are not real.” I chanted under my breath, eyes squeezed shut.

“Well, I am real,” said my green friend. “And you may as well get used to it too, because I’m here for the duration.”

I opened my eyes. There was Gregory standing on my stomach, hands (if that’s what they are) on his hips.

“With your potty mouth too?” I asked with all the sarcasm I could muster.а “And what do you mean ‘here for the duration’?”

“Do you remember what you keep chanting when you meditate? ‘I am ready for my teacher to appear.’ Well, here I am!” With a big grin, he threw up “ta-da!” hands.

“Oh my god! Now I know what it means when they say ‘Be careful what you wish for!’” I groaned. “The universe is fucking with me.”

“That would be way too easy. I’d rather think of it as calling you out. Are you sure you’re ready for whatever it is you think you’re after?а You know, ‘Be careful what you wish for’!” He did quote marks with his digits.

“Well, it’s just that you weren’t exactly what I had in mind,” I said.

“No robes. No shaved head. No accent. Sorry to disappoint, but I was next up in the rotation. And look what I got! I must be working off some heavy karma shit myself,” he said. “But never mind that. We’re stuck with each other.а You promise to work with me and I’ll do the same. Deal?” He raised a hand. Oh lord, a high-fiving gecko.

What choice did I have? I stuck out a finger and sealed the deal with tap.

Gregory and me

Working off our karma shit.

Some teacher he’ll be.

ай Maya Leland 2014