Coffee Shop Lady

(Soulard Coffee Garden)

tai chi exercises

She is demonstrating tai chi exercises now, in the middle of the coffee shop. (Or is it qigong? Maybe it's immaterial.) People are beginning to stare at her — confused, bewildered. What's the problem here? She's breaking the status quo, disrupting the comfortable ordinariness of their daily routines. They wonder if she's a little touched, something to be afraid of. They keep their eyes on her — they're conscientious people, want to stay safe. Bored, even.

She remains untouched by their negative vibe.

Now she's checking energy levels. With her hand held open, palm down, two inches above mine (which is held open, palm upward), she closes her eyes and moves her lips — she's whispering to herself. I can feel warmth radiating from her palm, going into my body. Quiet seconds pass.

"Is there something wrong with your right shoulder?" Pause. "I'm picking up on something there."

"I don't think so," I say.

Two days later, I hurt my shoulder in a freak laundry accident.

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