New World Symphony: In Love

When Jeffrey woke from his nap, his first thought was to call Floyd Cloud, the yogi, to see if he wanted to come over and hang out.

“Oh, I see,” said J. P. “You’re still busy… No, that’s OK. I understand… Yeah, sure. I’ll call back. OK, then.”

am26

How long do I have to wait before I call again? Jeffrey wondered. He was surprised to feel this way. He’d never felt like this about anyone before.

am27

Somehow, he always assumed that he was like his uncle Alder, not interested in romance, content to spend his life pursuing interest and hobby. But he really felt himself drawn to Floyd Cloud. He wanted to be with him.

I guess it just took meeting the right person, he thought.

am28

OK, he was going to call back.

“You’re still busy?”

“Yeah,” said Floyd. “I’m really sorry! It’s this yoga thing. See, at the community center, we’ve got these extended times when we’re serving. So this is my session. But I really want to see you.”

am29

“You do?” J. P. asked.

“Yeah, babe,” said Floyd. “I really do. I meant it when I said I feel a connection with you. I want to spend more time with you.”

That’s strange, thought J. P. when he closed the call. That’s how I feel, too. But we just met. We’ve had, what, three conversations, and most of those were on the phone when he was telling me he was busy.

He called back.

am31

“Are you still busy?”

Floyd laughed. “Yeah. Tell you what. Why don’t I just quit my job?”

am32

“No!” J. P. said. “Don’t be nuts. I can wait. It’s just… I’ve been waiting all my life, and I don’t want to wait much longer. But I can wait. Finish your class.”

am30

After breakfast, J. P. realized, If the mountain won’t come to Muhammad, then Muhammad must go to the mountain.

He called a meeting of the club at the community center, and since Floyd was just finishing up his brain boosting class there, he was able to join them.

amtwo01

While Jaclyn shared the recipe for mead-calendula porridge (known for its energy-clearing properties), Floyd and J. P. fell into a silent conversation of their own.

amtwo02

This was their second time to be together, face-to-face. And Floyd’s eyes were just as deep as J. P. had remembered. His gaze let him in.

amtwo03

Sugar noticed what was passing between her nephew and the yoga instructor. Good for him! she thought. She knew love was worth waiting for, when it’s with the right person.

amtwo04

J. P. and Floyd headed in for a steam. They both felt too shy to even talk.

amtwo05

After the steam, they wandered into the meditation room.

“I think I’ll put on some clothes!” said J. P.

amtwo06

Fully dressed, it was a little easier to be in the same room together.

“Wanna meditate?” suggested Floyd.

Meditating with someone as skilled and focused as Floyd helped J. P. reach new heights of concentration. He felt weightless, as if his energy body were mobilizing around him.

amtwo07

Hours later, when J. P. headed home for a shower and a snack, Floyd remained deep in meditation.

amtwo08

By the time he got home, though, J. P. knew: he wanted something more with Floyd.

He called him up for a date, and to his surprise, Floyd accepted.

amtwo09

Floyd looked irritated when he arrived.

amtwo10

In fact, he looked downright angry.

amtwo11

“You OK?” J. P. asked.

“Yes. I was so deep in meditation. It’s hard to be interrupted.”

amtwo12

“Look,” said J. P. “I’m no yogi. But from what I understand, the purpose of meditation is to develop inner silence, concentration, space, and flexibility, right? And if so, then shouldn’t an actual yogi, one who is practiced in meditation, be flexible enough to respond when new things come up?”

amtwo13

“Whoa!” said Floyd. “You are absolutely right.”

He took a deep breath.

“Not bad, J. P.” he said. “Good insight, babe.”

amtwo14

“And anyway,” said J. P. “Hey! I’m glad to see you!”

amtwo15

In fact, they were both so glad to see each other that they still felt shy. They sat across the room from each other for a while, just grinning.

amtwo16

Then Floyd could wait no longer.

“Mind if I join you?” he asked, as he came over to the sofa where J. P. sat.

amtwo17

They talked, telling each other about their childhoods. Floyd had grown up an only child to a single mother. His mother was a yogi, too, and they’d traveled during most of his childhood, following the seminars that she gave up and down the coast. She was something of a celebrity, and Floyd had enjoyed the freedom and independence of the overlooked child of someone well-known and respected. His mother was aloof but affectionate, in a careless, detached way. And one thing this upbringing had taught Floyd was that family was important to him. Sometimes, you crave most that which you’ve never really had.

J. P. had family aplenty, and Floyd said that he could sense that from him.

“You’ve got this deep sense of belonging,” Floyd said. “I picked up on that the first time I saw you. It really draws me in.”

“Maybe you could belong with me,” J. P. said, bashfully.

amtwo18

“You mean, like your boyfriend?” laughed Floyd.

“Yeah,” said J. P., with shy excitement.

amtwo19

“Hell, yeah!” said Floyd.

“Woot!” screamed J. P.

amtwo20

amtwo21

“Look, babe,” said Floyd later as they looked at the selfie they took. “This is us. We’re a couple.”

“Yeah,” said J. P. “Who’d a thunk it!”

For a behind-the-scenes look at the events of the last few chapters, read “Author’s Gossip.”

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