The Yoni Dance Book Trilogy
The Ultimate "How to" Book
The Dream Catcher's Dream
Close Encounters of the Best Kind
San Francisco, California
As I approach Giorgio’s Sidewalk Café, the bell of the nearby Saint Francis church tower clock is announcing to the world that it’s nine a.m. The narrow street is already crowded with morning shoppers. Giorgio’s, too, is crowded, but my timing as usual is right on. Just as I enter the cafe, a lone woman, dressed in tight white shorts and a soft pink blouse rises from my favorite table and heads in my direction. Actually she’s not headed in my direction, she’s headed for the exit where I just happen to be at the moment. In bright morning sunshine, her face is partially hidden in shadow under a white sun-visored cap like one might see on a tennis player. As she passes close by on her way out, I look directly at her. She does not return my gaze.
As she walks by, I’m aware of the gentle bounce of her breasts, and my nose takes in the mild yet unmistakable fragrance of flowers. I walk over to the now empty table, and, after the slight distraction of watching her walk away, sit down in the chair still warm from the derriere of its former occupant.
Giorgio, in his usual astute awareness, observes my entry, and without my asking he himself brings my morning coffee.
“Good morning, Giorgio.”
“Ah, Stoney, you’re late this morning. I thought perhaps you’d not be coming today.”
“Today’s the 15th of the month, deadline day. I was up late with last-minute story revisions.”
“What will you be having this morning, Stoney?”
“I’ll have your cheese and vegetable omelet, if you please.”
As Giorgio returns to the kitchen area, I notice that the plate before me is completely devoid of food remnants with the exception of a slight streak of what is probably egg yolk. The empty cup has no lipstick traces on it, and its most recent content was not coffee. The knife, fork and spoon are sitting neatly on the plate along with her neatly folded napkin which shows only slight evidence of use.
As I reach out to lift the empty cup and smell the remnants of its content, the bus boy arrives to clean away the dirty dishes and wipe the table. Altering the direction of my hand, I leave the empty cup untouched, and, instead, pick up my coffee cup and lean back out of the busboy’s way.
As my fantasies continue to play, I again become aware of the woman in the tight, white shorts who is now examining apples across the street at the local fruit stand. I see only her backside as she places some in a bag.
I’m an investigative reporter. I write human-interest stories. I’m also an inveterate people watcher and frequently relax just sitting at Giorgio’s observing people nearby. Being a healthy male, I particularly enjoy watching attractive women as they go about their business. I wonder what their lives are like and what they’re doing here in this out of the way corner of San Francisco.
While watching the movements of the woman in pink and white, I feel a familiarity with her that transcends my normal male attraction to the pink-draped breasts and a white-clothed derriere. I sense something unusual inside of me; yet, can’t identify what it is. My curiosity is aroused. I feel that I’m doing more than simply ogling a provocatively dressed, beautiful woman.
I wonder, “Is it the tri-sensory connection that I have just made with her?” First, my eyes beheld a beautiful woman. Then I smelled her perfume as she passed, and now, I’m sitting in the chair that her body heat warmed. I’ve connected to her by sight, smell, and physical sensation, a three-way contact that is more than simply passing someone on the street.
It is, however, a one-way connection, for it’s doubtful that she was aware of me as we passed. She certainly did not smell perfume or anything else from me, and it was I who sat in her warmed seat and not vice versa.
Because of the sun-visored cap, I did not get a clear vision of her face, so all I have, at the moment, is an image of an attractive, unknown woman in pink and white. Unless I get up and cross the street to the fruit stand, she’ll soon disappear, and I’ll probably never know whether or not this is just another one of my fantasies. Because I was up late last night and feel very comfortable sitting quietly simply watching, I dismiss the impulse to follow up on my internal feeling. Instead of taking action, I just sit. . . and watch.
My attention is temporarily distracted from those tight, white shorts and their attractive occupant by three pigeons out in the street squabbling over a single scrap of bread. I stare at the birds and momentarily drift into thinking about what life would be like if I were a pigeon — squabbling over food scraps, scrambling to avoid getting stepped on, run over, or eaten by a stray cat — and yet, at any moment, free to fly high into the sky. The image of Richard Bach’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull floats into my mind, and I drift off like the clouds to some distant, unknown seashore.
Checking to see if my coffee cup is full, the waiter brings me out of my fantasy. When I return my attention to the fruit stand, the woman in white is out of sight somewhere on the crowded street. Like Hawk-Eye Harry, I search the crowd, but the white shorts and the woman within are nowhere to be seen.
I think to myself, “Another inner call goes unanswered. Another opportunity to explore the unknown and to create who knows what has come. . . and gone. . . while I sat on my butt and watched.”
Yup, gone, perhaps forever. A touch of regret sweeps briefly through me as my Uncle Phil’s favorite line comes to mind: “Resist not temptation, for it may never pass this way again.”
With a sigh and a promise to open action’s door the next time opportunity knocks, I sit back, relax and sip my coffee. Part of me pays close attention to women and very much desires a committed relationship while another part regularly hears the words of Uncle Phil: “Son,” he’d say in a southern drawl, “women, like fine wine, are wonderful in small doses, but remember, too much of even the finest wine will scramble your brain and limp your manhood.” At the time, I had no idea what “limp your manhood” meant.
With an additional sigh and another sip of coffee, I’m soon sitting quietly and with an almost-blank stare, I gaze across the street, allowing my eyes to drift through the sea of moving colors before me. Hats, shoes, and shirts — pants, purses, and dresses — in colors of every imaginable hue and value drift by. My eyes see, but my mind perceives only waves in a puddle of rainbow pudding.
I notice another attractive woman pass by. She reminds me of a very pleasant, intimate relationships that I had during my college years. Unfortunately, that relationship lasted only about six months. I also remember a high school romance that ended up as real heartbreaker so, if I were to be honest with myself, I’d have to say I’m more than a bit hesitant to make another relationship commitment.
My reminiscing is interrupted by a sparkle of light, from the fruit stand. While looking for what caused the light sparkle, I notice an attractive yet quite ordinary looking woman in a long, flowing, cobalt-blue dress. I look at the dress and wonder why women are so free with bright and exotic colors but most men, particularly the dominant males, are quite the opposite. They would never wear cobalt blue.
My color fantasy is soon interrupted by seeing her gesture to the stodgy-looking man in a dull, brown suit using a unique variation on the traditional “up-yours” theme. Instead of an angry look, she's smiling as she holds up her right arm and fist with her little finger extended upward. He, too, is smiling as they exchange words. Then she gives him a brief hug and he walks away, disappearing into the crowd.
My curiosity is immediately aroused -- another attractive woman with a mystery. “This one,” I think to myself, “I’m not going to pass up.” Setting down my coffee cup, I get up and ask Giorgio to please hold my breakfast for about five minutes until I return. I watch her, the woman in cobalt blue, as I walk to the curb with the intention of crossing the street and engaging her in a conversation.
I step off the curb with my body in full motion heading for the fruit market, when, suddenly, without any forewarning glances or gestures, she turns and briskly heads across the street in my direction. In an instant, I find that my plan to connect with her in the fruit market has crashed.
I immediately stop, but the man behind me doesn’t. He crashes into me, and I lose my balance. Were I not quite agile, I would surely have found myself sprawled in the street. Regaining my footing, I mumble an apology and without crossing the street, make a somewhat awkward return to the curb.
As I look up, it’s apparent that she has seen my unintentional street dance. Her expression is a cross between laughter and compassion. As I catch her eye, she looks directly and, intentionally into my eyes for about three seconds. A strange sensation takes my breath away. Then she shifts her gaze away from me, looks straight ahead, continues to walk in my direction, and passes me as if I were a mere street post.
Have you ever noticed how most people look better from a distance? What we see from a few yards away is mostly a creation of our own imagination and has little of nothing to do with the person we are observing. This makes people appear to be much more perfect and more attractive than they really are. Then, when they get close to you, reality sets in.
Lest you think I hold myself as holier than thou, be reassured that the appearance distinction applies to myself as well, and, even though I expect many of my readers will label me as a sexist pig for saying this, I’ll admit that I find this distinction quite common, and particularly so, when I observe attractive women.
Well, this day, as the woman in cobalt blue walks past me, I experience the exact opposite of that. In my entire life, the only other such experience occurred the day I met Jamie Catherine Johnson, the famous female astronaut. But that’s another story, for another day; so now back to my perceptions of the woman in cobalt blue as she crosses the street.
The closer she gets to me, the more beautiful she looks. I stand there with my mouth open, not simply over her actions and our brief eye contact, but also over her appearance. Although she could easily be called beautiful, it is not her physical beauty that so strikes me, for the world is filled with millions of very beautiful women. It’s the look in her eyes, her mannerisms, the aura of who she is that strikes me like a lightning bolt.
With a very strange feeling overwhelming me, I just stand there as if God had just told me that Chicken Little was right all along — the sky really is falling! Not knowing what to do, I resort to my usual solution -- I take a deep breath and wait for my composure to return. I also take note of what I’m feeling because my inner feelings are always a good clue as to what to do next.
I just stand there, with my hand on the lamp post, watching her. To my amazement, I see the woman in cobalt blue walk directly into Giorgio’s and sit down in the empty seat where, less than two minutes ago, I had been sitting.
So now standing at the curb, I’m at one of those crossroads in life where a seemingly simple decision is required of me. Little did I know how significantly my life would change as a result of the decision I was about to make.
Assessing the window of opportunity before me, I note that there’s not another empty table in the entire restaurant. My coffee cup, still warm, sits on the table directly in front of her.
Do I walk away? Do I approach? If I’m to act, I must act quickly. The bus boy is at a nearby table. My coffee cup will soon be history. I could still approach after its demise, but, if I hesitate, my golden opportunity with all the pieces in perfect place will turn into just another day.
I regularly approach all kinds of people and ask numerous questions, so I’m not usually shy, but on this day, it takes all the mustard in my jar just to approach her. I inhale a deep breath, put on my most confident-looking, phony front, and walk over to where she's sitting.
“Excuse me,” I say, “I was sitting here just a moment ago. That’s my coffee cup there in front of you.”
She smiles a smile that tells me my phony image is showing, slides the cup to me, and gesturing to the chair opposite her, and says, “I suppose you would like to sit down?” Then, pausing slightly, she continues, “I was unaware that this table was spoken for. Would you like me to leave?”
“Oh, certainly not,” I blurt out, “There’s plenty of room for both of us here.”
“Good,” she says, again gesturing to the chair. “I’m Jazbell, and you are. . .?
"My name is Stoney.” I sit down and take the coffee cup in both hands without lifting it off the table. The two-year-old kid inside me feels like he has just found his security blanket. Before I have a chance to take a sip, she speaks again.
“Are you an acrobat or a gymnast? That was quite a dance you performed out there on the street.”
My face turns red in spite of my efforts to remain composed. “No, I’m a reporter.”
“So, if this is your table and you were sitting here, what were you doing falling down out there in the street?” I think to myself, “I’m the
journalist. I’m the one who asks the questions!” Having become aware of this woman’s existence less than three minutes ago, already I’ve made a fool of myself in the street over her, and there is now an excellent chance that my clandestine motivations are about to spill onto the table right here in front of her.
Again, I’m facing what seems like a simple choice. Do I tell her the truth, or do I bullshit my way out of this one? Daily, all of us face these simple yet profound choices. For example, you’re driving down the street almost at the intersection when the traffic light turns from green to yellow. What do you do? Do you stop? Do you go? That instant decision will change everything you encounter on the remainder of your journey. It could even entirely change the remainder of your life. And yet, it seems so simple. We make these types of decisions daily, usually blindly and, occasionally, with arrogant impunity.
An instant passes as if it were an eternity. I have no idea what to do, so I take another deep breath and move into one of my frequently used techniques: I simply step back, become an observer of myself, and let whatever happens, happen. I let my inner self take charge. I, as Stoney, find out what happens as I do it. As I sit there looking at her, the words just come out.
“I saw you across the street in the fruit market, and was just starting to cross over to watch you from a closer vantage point.”
She smiles, and with curiosity in her eyes, she says, “Let me see if I’ve got this right. You abandon your table in this crowded restaurant and fall down in the street in order to watch me up close? What kind of reporter are you? Do you do this often? Do you get paid for this kind of behavior?”
“I work for The Life Changer Magazine and write human interest stories about all kinds of people.”
“Do you like cobalt blue? What was it about me that attracted your attention?”
“You were talking to a man in a brown suit and made a gesture like this.” I hold up my right hand to her, fist closed with only my pinkie extended.
She laughs. “I was joking with Walter. That’s one of the little games we play with each other.”
She mimics my gesture back to me. “That’s a message from those who don’t care enough to send the very best.”
Her joyous laughter breaks the tension I am feeling. I let go of my coffee cup, sit back, and breathe deeply.
My initial fascination is turning to genuine appreciation for her charm and sensitivity. Her refreshing mannerisms are those of a woman who is used to being with people. She is casual, warm, and confident. Her voice is clear and distinct. I detect no accent of any kind. My job is to talk to people, to take charge of any situation; yet, in less than five minutes, I find myself completely taken in by Jazbell.
I notice that on the third finger of each hand she’s wearing an unusual ring. The rings appear to match each other. They offer no clue to her relationship to Walter, so I ask, “Is Walter your husband?”
“My, you’re full of questions. The answer is no, again.”
“OK, I’m striking out. If I may be bold enough to ask, “Who, pray tell, is Walter?”
“Yes, you may ask, and then I get to choose whether or not to answer.”
“That sounds quite fair,” I say. “So, who is Walter?”
As I look intently at her, I feel my heart beating faster than normal. She sits silently for an extended moment and matches my eye contact. Her eyes pierce mine with a look like that of a naughty child who is about to engage in a forbidden behavior. She starts to speak, but stops. Then with a smile the look shifts, and she answers my question in a perfectly normal adult manner.
Walter Watkins is a long-time family friend. He and my dad were in the Navy together. I’ve known him since I was a young child."
Again her eyes and her facial expression change. This time, Jazbell gets that look on her face which I'll later find to be a heart breaker. She continues, “Walter is like a beloved uncle to me. He has been my teacher and mentor for years. I do love him dearly.”
Saying nothing, I just look at her, speechless. The noise and bustle of the street and the restaurant seem to flood in like waves washing away my sand castle. Having no idea what to make of all this, I just sit there.
Jazbell notices my condition. She sits up straight, leans toward me, and smiles with a sparkle in her eye, and says, “Walter introduced me to Bartleby.”
Suddenly, I’m talking to a different woman. The heartbreaker look is gone and I’m being swept away in another wave. This wave sinks my ship. I think to myself, “So she is married -- Bartleby is her husband."
Sensing my confusion she says, “Melville’s Bartleby. Herman Melville, the author of Moby-Dick.”
Instantly, the light flashes, and my boat is afloat again. I blurt out, “Bartleby, the Scrivener, the character in one of Melville’s short stories.”
“You got it.”
“I’ve got it that Bartleby has played an important role in your life, but there are still some pieces missing.”
Jazbell pauses. She sits back. She looks up and out into the sky to her left. She holds an expression as though she thought she had heard someone calling her from a distance but wasn’t quite sure. She takes a deep breath and is about to speak to me when Giorgio arrives at our table with a clean and empty coffee cup in one hand, a coffee pot in the other, and a menu tucked comfortably under his left arm.
“Stoney, you’re back so soon.”
“Yes, I just went out to dance in the street.”
“I saw your maneuver and admire your agility.”
I’m embarrassed again and hide behind a glib comment. “All in a day’s work, thank you. Jazbell, I’d like you to meet Giorgio. Giorgio, this is Jazbell.”
“It is a pleasure to meet you, ma'am. Stoney’s friends are always welcome here.”
“Thank you.” She smiles and focuses her eyes on Giorgio’s as though there were no one else in the world. “I feel honored to be your guest.” Giorgio, being used to greeting people, returns her eye contact.
“As the owner and the amazing master of the kitchen here, Giorgio makes an omelet that is all but out of this world.” My words break their eye contact. “He is also a personal friend and advisor.”
Giorgio glances at me and smiles. He places the cup on the table and returns his focus to Jazbell’s eyes. He removes the menu from under his arm and moves the coffee pot slightly toward the cup. “Miss Jazbell, would you like coffee?”
“No, thank you. I’m not a coffee drinker.” She leans slightly toward Giorgio. She reaches out, lightly touches his wrist, and says, “As long as I have been elevated to the status of Stoney’s friend, please drop the Miss and the Ma’am. Just call me ‘Jazbell’.”
Giorgio turns to me and says, “Stoney, where did you meet such a charming lady?”
“I . . .”
With a laugh and a gesture toward the street, Jazbell cuts me off. “Out there dancing,” she says.
“Were I younger, I, too, would dance in the street to meet you, Jazbell.” He places the menu on the table in front of her and turns to me. “Are you ready for your omelet now, Stoney?”
As I nod, Jazbell picks up the menu, and without looking at it hands it back to Giorgio saying, “I’ll have whatever he’s having.”
“A wise choice. Would you care for tea or some other beverage?”
“Yes, herbal tea, please. Any flavor.”
“It has been a pleasure meeting you, Jazbell.” Giorgio turns, heading for the kitchen. In less than three steps, he is exchanging pleasantries with another customer.
The Yoni Dance Book Trilogy
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