Day 7: Paradise Cafe
Feel like I have a little breakthrough in the morning, finally letting go of rooting for meditation sessions to end. I’d been trying to push over a big tree for a week and just decided it was impossible and gave up. Really into this realization that I can’t control time. Feeling vulnerable, really feeling a lot of cliches. Like after a breakup, when you really feel a lot of Michelle Branch lyrics.
The afternoon meditation is the “best” yet, immersed in the present with very little consciousness of past or fantasy about the future. Afterward I stood in front of a mirror and watched my shoulders rise and fall and it seemed like they belonged to someone else.
The mania / good feelings give way to skepticism and arrogance. I start to walk fast, move around at a normal pace, fill my tea casually. I judge the others for putting on airs. I feel like I’m “back to normal, but better.” I think I’m basically done and have gotten whatever benefits I’m going to get in the 10 days, and I could leave now without it making much of a difference.
Then I have an evening sit which exceeds all previous ones in terms of out of body bliss. Better than any drug experience, INCLUDING ACID! Feel like to nature there is little difference in scale between me and a bit of dust, so it’s nice to let nature sway me around like I am one. I feel like dust.
Anything I conjure, I become: a leaf, a raindrop, a teapot, a salt shaker, the entire earth. R Kelly’s “World’s Greatest” pops into my head:
I am a mountain
Oh, I am a swift wind
Sweepin' the country
All this bliss takes place in minutes 0-45 of the hourlong sit, but the final 15 minutes are torture. I want it to end so badly. The idea that “you can’t always get what you want” is being mercilessly inscribed in my bones.
Nightmare: I’ve been accepted to Harvard but rejected from Yale law school. Harvard’s admission package includes an iced latte. I overhear Ariel in the other room talking to Julian on the phone, telling her that my essay was one of the worst things he’s read in 25 years. He tells her that my use of “politic” as an adjective was extremely effected.
Ariel says he’ll show me around Cambridge to make me less depressed about living there for the next 3 years. He takes me to a food court restaurant called Paradise Cafe, and I’m unimpressed. I say “do I have to drink here to have a good time?” he says “yes”. “Does anyone smoke weed here?” “No, they drug test”.
I wake up to screams of HELP! HELP! but it’s not me, it’s Will (young guy who hates spoiled Yalies) in the cubicle room next door. He’s really screaming, and I’d seen him look like he’d been breaking down all week, so I start to get up to go help him, but then I hear him continue, movie preview voiceover style: “If you kill this robot, it will be the COOLEST (indecipherable mumble)”. I go back to sleep jealous of his nightmare. Later in the night he’d wake me up screaming “I swear to God I went to college!”
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