New World Symphony: In Health

The popularity of J. P.’s Family Emporium and Art Gallery sparked a Boho revival in Magnolia Promenade. A local nonprofit took over the abandoned store space at the Roadstead and converted it into a community wellness center.

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Living right across the street, J. P. was one of the first to visit, and he enjoyed it so much that he practically moved in the first weekend it opened.

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The open space had been divided into areas for different functions: a yoga studio; a juice bar; a dance area, complete with DJ booth; reflexology and massage areas; workout space; steam room; and a meditation room.

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J. P. was pleased to see some new faces there.

“I’ve seen you around,” he said to Jaclyn after yoga class, “but I don’t think we’ve ever been introduced.”

“I know your sister’s family,” Jaclyn said. “I’m in Cypress’s garden and wellness club, and your niece and I are a special friends.”

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Of course, J. P. was also delighted when family and old family friends stopped by.

“Mom,” he said, when Redbud showed up, “I’m struck by genius! I’m going to start a wellness club. We’ll call it ZenPines.”

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J. P. loved the treadmill right by the front door. It was perfect for seeing who came in. Miss Penguin arrived and promptly changed into a robe for her massage appointment.

And Wade, one of the old park boys that J. P. had grown up with, showed up, too. J. P. and Wade were so glad to see each other, they gave each other big hugs.

“Man, how’ve you been?” J. P. asked. “It’s been forever!”

“Life’s really good,” Wade said. “I am so stoked about this new center!”

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Miss Penguin, back in the massage area, was stoked about the center, too. The massage therapist had magic in his hands!

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After a yoga class, an individual yoga session, and a session on the treadmill, J. P. was starving. He was surprised to see that Jaclyn was tending bar.

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“Oh, yeah,” she said. “I’m a mixologist! That’s what I do. I like it, though. Especially here! I’ve offered to take any shifts that open up. I love the way it feels.”

“If you like how it feels here, maybe you’d like to join ZenPines. It’s my club, and it’s all about wellness, and this is where we hang out.”

Jaclyn was in. “I’ve always wanted to be in a wellness club!” she said. “Well, I already am, since Greenies, your sister’s club has a wellness component, but I can be in both, right?”

“Of course!” J. P. said. “You can share with us what you learn from Greenies!”

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Being part of the club, Jaclyn decided to take advantage of the slow times at the bar by getting some reflexology.

For someone with hobbit ancestry, footwork brings special benefits: there’s just so much surface to work on, and the foot-mind-spirit connection for a hobbit-elf is very strong.

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With hobbit-sized feet, Jaclyn had more surface area for tickling, too.

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“Hey, man, you want to join the club?” J. P. asked Wade as they made their way into the next yoga class.

“Do I? Are you kidding?” asked Wade. “I’ve waited all my life to join a wellness club, and if it’s your club, the coolness factor just got raised exponentially.”

The instructor for the evening class came in, and J. P. felt his gaze drawn to him. There was something about his energy that J. P. found resonating with feelings inside of him.

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After class, they began to talk. Floyd Cloud, the instructor, was inspired by J. P.’s club and was excited when J. P. asked him if he wanted to join.

Floyd began to discuss yoga and energy, and soon the conversation veered into tantric yoga.

“I could show you what I’m talking about,” Floyd said. “We could see if the steam room is empty, and if so, there’s a few partner poses we could practice.”

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It sounded good to J. P. In fact, it sounded amazing. He’d been aware of his own energy all his life, but he’d never really found anyone that he wanted to share it with completely, until now. The idea of tapping into the energy of the second chakra and sharing it with Floyd sounded like something that just might add a new dimension of wonderfulness to J. P.’s life.

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Jaclyn watched them walking by. She was feeling pretty sweet herself, after her reflexology treatment, but she had a feeling that J. P. and Floyd might be on their way to heightened sweetness. Good for them, she thought, wondering for a second who else was in the ZenPines club.

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As they reached the steam room, a voice said over the loudspeaker:

Ready to boost your concentration, focus your energy, and experience bliss? Come to Floyd Cloud’s Energy for You yoga class, now starting in the Yoga Space.

“Dang,” said Floyd. “I’m gonna have to to take a rain-check, babe. You think maybe you and me can try this out some other time?”

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J. P. felt disappointed, of course. He’d only waited his whole life to share that part of himself with someone else. But if it’s worth doing, it’s worth waiting for, he told himself.

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After meditation, he found Aunt Sugar and Guadalupe visiting near the lockers.

“Shug!” he said. “Did you hear about my club? ZenPines! Want to join?”

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“Oh, yeah!” Sugar said. “Count me in!”

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Sugar and J. P. sat together in the alcove.

“Who else are you thinking of asking to join the club?” Sugar asked.

“I’m not sure!” said J. P. “We’ve got you, Wade–remember Wade?–Jaclyn, and Floyd Cloud, yoga guy. You wanna ask Ren?”

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“Let’s wait and save a few spaces for folks that ask to join. How’s that sound?”

“That sounds great!” said J. P. “That way, we can attract people who really want it for what it offers, not just because they’re friends or family.”

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J. P. waited for Floyd’s class to finish, but it was a long class, and J. P. was beat. He’d been meditating and yogaing and running and talking for what felt like days now, and he really had to get home and get some sleep.

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As soon as he crossed the street and reached his own walk, though, he couldn’t resist. He had to call Floyd to see if maybe he wanted to come over so he could show him those yoga moves they’d talked about.

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“OK,” J. P. said. “You’re busy? I get that. But when your shift is over? You wanna come over and hang out then? No pressure, I was just thinking maybe…”

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