Cold Reality

January is so cold. I have no inclination to do anything but endure. As I sat wearily in my chair this morning, I thought of how seldom I write humor these days. I conjured up Swami Z when my husband was dying and he got me through some horrific years. I haven’t seen him in quite some time. You know he is imaginary, don’t you?

Since he is imaginary, I thought I would see if I could persuade him to visit us for a few paragraphs, just to see how it would feel.

I begin to type.

“Vicki, Vicki, Vicki,” was the first thing I thought I heard him say.

Grumpily, I moved over to make room for him on the couch. “You sound like Julius Caesar,” I said.

Swami looked exactly the same. Tiny little fellow with skinny ankles and a bald pate. He has never been known to be what a guru should look like.

“I can’t write you anymore,” I said.

He regarded me dolefully as he slung his feet onto the coffee table. “I know you can’t,” he said. If you could have, you would have. In the old days you would give anything to get a laugh.”

“Remember Larry and Ruin and how I said Ruin was the real guru. Well, I was right.”

“You always thought you were right, Vicki. That is why I came to live with you.”

Now I was beginning to feel the old irritation with him. Just like that, he could turn me into a raging inferno of frustration. “Get your feet off the coffee table,” I yelled.

Sadly, he obeyed me. And then he embraced me in all of my wrongness and I begin to weep with joy and sorrow. That is how I always experienced him in my head.

Swami reached into his old robe and handed me a clean white handkerchief. I blew my nose. “Say something funny!” I ordered.

“When I said something funny, you always got mad at me, Vicki,” I typed.

“That was the fun of it,” the old coot said. Now that you don’t need me anymore, I can’t be funny when you tell me to.”

I had to admit that he was right. And I hated that. I mean, I am the one who always has to be right.

Before I knew it, he had evaporated into thin air and here I am alone again, in all of my rightness.

At least I knew that you can’t get rid of anything that wasn’t real. At least that is what most gurus say.

All I can say is that they never met Swami Z. He seems to be permanently installed. I sure feel a chocolate chip cookie attack coming on. I’m just sayin’….

Vicki Woodyard


  1. I ate a whole rack of chocolate chip cookies today while watching a movie called “Lucky”. I loved the movie but now I am filled with thoughts (uh, oh) about my mortality and that makes me anxious. Thank you for the glimpse of Swami Z today.


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