In all my then twenty-eight years, I had not seen it coming—and if an angel had descended on Earth to personally tell me it would happen, I still would not have believed it. I’d actually ordered a book about born again virginity the same day I dialed 561-305-YOGA and spoke with the man I was to fall in love with at first sight.
Following a divorce from a five-year fairytale gone awry, I’d utterly had it with men. My second heart numbing panic attack had struck at the office that Thursday afternoon, just after the last bite of my tabouli sandwich I’d again eaten at my desk in the company of my only steady lunch date—an older, slower Windows 98 PC. Tingles in my arms and chest, I fought the limpness in my fingers as they pressed the keys to look up the phone number of the meditation center where the dark-skinned, blue-eyed, athletic, twenty-four-year-old, fresh out of Princeton playboy (who broke it off with me earlier that week) had told me that I could learn to meditate. It was a practice done among friends and under the guidance and direction of a guru—his former football coach—that he had known and loved for many years.
Later that evening, from my apartment and with my kitten as my moral support, I called to reserve my seat at Tuesday’s meditation. I’d completely not processed the football coach part, and my mind’s fantasy of what a guru would be—a borderline anorexic-looking, 98 percent naked guy crowned with a pure white turban—had taken stage in my imagination. Over the cell phone line, the voice of this teacher matched that image—it was soft, strong yet almost feminine—and just as I’d hoped for, he sounded incredibly wise. I hung up confident that this man, unlike my dusty pile of self-help CDs, could teach me to meditate and find some of that inner peace I’d read so much about in Yoga Journal—although I’d never seriously practiced any of it myself.
I’d always been the kind of girl who developed crushes on male teachers, devoting excess hours to perfecting the homework they assigned in dire need of their approval. So I made a point of telling the turban-topped guru on the other end of the line that I was the editor of a major magazine, for which I was planning a feature on meditation—this way, he would be impressed even in advance of my arrival.
Over the next few days, I returned to my natural workaholic state, and Tuesday evening rolled around more quickly than seemed possible. That being the case, I failed to leave work early enough to ensure my prompt arrival at a place I’d never been before. I arrived one minute late! Even I knew that being late for a class of this nature implied a lack of respect—without even being there, I’d already committed a cardinal sin of yoga.
It didn’t matter—I was forgiven for every wrong thing I’d ever done in my life the instant I locked eyes with Nick. Those warm, shining golden-brown eyes I did not find beneath the high twisting cloth of a turban, but brightly exposed by a subtly receding hairline, embedded in a plump face with the sweetness and smile of a cherub, complete with a soft, round body to match. Sitting there quietly in half lotus, he looked nothing like I expected I’d ever fall in love with—but I knew at that moment that it’s not bodies that fall in love.