by Joanne Avallon
Always, I am the one. Lost children come to me. Dogs follow me. Strangers ask me for directions. Old friends look me up and take me out for drinks, traveling miles for the pleasure.
art by Adrian Miles
Everything comes to me.
"Kapha," said my yoga teacher, referring to my ayurvedic personality type, which, on the negative side, is dark and brooding, but, on the positive side, is abundant and desired by all. "You are connected deeply to the earth." I thought of the mushrooms in the shady woods behind my house, pulling themselves out of rotting tree trunks. One friend told me they were poisonous, another, more adventurous, said they were hallucinogenic. My yoga teacher's studio was going bankrupt and she feels lucky she found me to give her financial advice.
At my house, feral cats prance out of the woods every morning and leave dead mice on the back door step. The two stray dogs that sleep under the porch chase them away, but the next morning, birds bang against my window, falling dead onto the patio and the cats return for them. Then the dogs are glad to see the cats back.
I rented a cottage on a stony outcrop of an island and took my family there for vacation with the idea that a granite rock would somehow be the perfect antidote for a kapha and that's where the old boyfriend, his wife and children found me, sitting outside a coffee shop with a lost child waiting for her parents to return. The girl had smeared the ice cream I bought her on my jeans. My old boyfriends' children were beautiful; his wife gorgeous and, through my heart's jealous rumblings, I heard it ask how much more kapha did I expect it to take.
The lost girl found a dollar bill on the sidewalk and shoved it into my coat pocket with a wad of old chewing gum stuck to it. A stranger came up and asked me directions.
"I am not from here," I said.
"That's all right," he said, "I don't need to get there right away," and he sat down next to us, too. I was sitting with my old boyfriend, his stunning wife, his beautiful children, a lost child, a stranger and my dark heart.
My own family was missing. Tired of the commotion around me. Of everyone needing me when they need me most. They were somewhere brooding and becoming kapha, too. Everybody will be drawn to them, but they will be alone.
Read the interview.
Joanne Avallon is a freelance writer living in the Boston area. Her work has appeared in Sundog, The Norton Anthology of Microfiction and BlinkInk. A story of hers is also forthcoming in FictionNow.
More of Adrian Miles' photography can be see on Flickr.
All content in SmokeLong Quarterly copyright 2003-2013 by its authors.
Issue Thirty-One (March 28, 2011):
Kapha by Joanne Avallon «»
Wound Glue by Michael Cooper «»
Natural by Julie Draper «»
Everyday There is So Much about Elephants by Timothy Gager «»
Renewables by Abe Gaustad «»
We Walk Away, the Three of Us by Tracy Gonzalez «»
Other Sons by Casey Hannan «»
The Mystery of Water by Zin Kenter «»
The Lives of Alligators by Robert Kloss «»
A Turkey Baster Is Just Like a Penis by Rachel Levy «»
Three Bodies by Mike Meginnis «»
God, Two Girls by Adeena Reitberger «»
Gestures by Megan Roberts «»
Moons by Ethel Rohan «»
The Man with the Ridiculously Huge Coupon by Rolli «»
A Walk in the Woods by Robert Schladale «»
The Way We Speak Now by Angi Becker Stevens «»
Joanne Avallon «»
Michael Cooper «»
Julie Draper «»
Timothy Gager «»
Abe Gaustad «»
Tracy Gonzalez «»
Casey Hannan «»
Zin Kenter «»
Robert Kloss «»
Rachel Levy «»
Mike Meginnis «»
Adeena Reitberger «»
Megan Roberts «»
Ethel Rohan «»
Robert Schladale «»
Angi Becker Stevens «»
Cover Art "Lady Gaga Dada" by Marty D. Ison «»
Letter From the Editors
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