My 11-year-old nephew Zay got stood up by a 21 year old guy who was supposed to take him out on a jet ski on the lake at my mother’s house, where I was visiting with my daughter. Zay was so heartbroken, I offered to go down to the dock, do my yoga practice, and let him kayak around the cove (which he’s not allowed to do without adult supervision).
So he scooted out in his kayak, and I rolled out my yoga mat and started doing Sun Salutations, Plank poses, and Downward Dog.
It wasn’t long before I noticed a guy about my age standing on a dock across the cove checking me out. I tried to ignore him. I closed my eyes. But I could feel his gaze peering through me as I balanced in Eagle pose. I had to periodically open my eyes to check on my nephew, and every time I did, I could see him leering from across the cove, checking out my Triangle pose, inspecting my Warrior II, gaping at my Happy Baby. I was engaging in what, for me, is a spiritual practice, and yet, with my legs spread wide, I felt dirty. I got pissed.
It was 94 degrees, but because yoga poses can be revealing in a swimsuit, I was wearing gym clothes. But they left me feeling naked. I wished I could build an invisible wall around myself. I would have gone inside to finish my yoga practice, except my heartbroken nephew was happily paddling around, and I had promised him I would keep an eye on him outside. Plus, I wasn’t about to let some creepy dude keep me from my yoga practice.
So I chose to ignore him. I did Pigeon pose. I did Goddess pose. I nailed Warrior I.
Then Creepy Dude disappeared. I breathed a sigh of relief. Until 10 minutes later, when he appeared on my dock, saying, “Mind if I check out your landscaping?” (Worst pick up line ever.)
Creepy Dude wandered around my mother’s beautifully landscaped lawn, then he ambled out onto my dock when I had my eyes closed, deep in Bridge pose (which doesn’t lend itself to talking to begin with.)
“So, where ya from, gorgeous?”
I breathed. In. Out. No response.
I flashed my ring.
“That your kid?” He nodded to my nephew.
I said, “No, but my daughter will be home from camp soon.”
“You married?” he asked again.
“Nice flexibility,” he oozed. “And wow. Those muscles. Strength, balance, and flexibility. Haaaaaahhhht. By the way, I brought you a water. You look thirsty.” He handed me a water bottle. I pointed to my cup of tea and declined it.
“Wow. Beautiful – and prepared.”
My stomach turned while I was upside down in a handstand.
“Sir,” I said, with a formality atypical for me. “I’m doing yoga, and this is a spiritual practice for me. I’d prefer not to be interrupted.”
“Sorry. Sorry. No offense.” He left my dock and trespassed onto our neighbor Tina’s dock next door, where he proceeded to watch me for another 10 minutes, while I tried to breathe through the discomfort. Then he started talking again when I was doing Dolphin pose. I ignored him, repeating a mantra to myself to try to drown him out.
He kept going. “Your husband is a lucky man.”
I started getting weirded out. I melted into Chair pose.
He said, “You have the hottest ass.”
I said, “Thank you. Now I’m not going to talk anymore.” And I breathed deeply and sank into Extended Side Angle pose.
“Mind if I just stay and enjoy the view?” he asked, as I noticed his bathing suit poking out right where Mr. Friendly lives.
“Yes, I said. I do. Please leave. I don’t mean to be rude. But I’ve asked you nicely. I’m doing my yoga practice. And I’d prefer some privacy.”
“Oh, sorry. Sorry. Right. My name’s Marcus, by the way. What’s yours?”