Boyd sits himself quietly down into the Lotus Position upon the
soft black pillow.
Now he is ready to meditate.
Well, almost ready. In the door walks Nolan who is pushing an old man along in a wheelchair. As they head towards the kitchen Nolan says hello to Boyd, who returns the greeting with a silent head nod, which Nolan is familiar with. The old man in the wheel chair waves a hand.
Now Boyd is ready.
First he must set the time on his stopwatch for sixty minutes
and then place it out of sight beneath the orange pillow he
was setting several inches in front of the black pillow.
The orange pillow is small, only the size of a a music CD.
It will be the focus of Boyd’s meditation for the following hour.
About thirty seconds have now passed.
Boyd rests his hands atop his knees: one palm up (towards the sky) and
one palm facing down to the earth.
He says the sacred ‘OM’ seven times slowly.
A couple of minutes, plus one, have passed.
The fifty one year old man stares in a trance at the orange
A fly flies by. He hears it, and at the same time does not hear it.
Some random person walks pasts him just a few feet away. They are headed
to the ‘kitchen common’, not that Boyd knows this. He hears this, sure, but just
the steady thumps of the person’s footfalls. He lets these sounds go almost as
soon as he hears them.
Now into the ‘common living quarters’ comes Daaron- an overweight patron of the Rio the Rio Grande Hotel. He sits with
a great thump onto a black plastic chair and opens a City Weekly newspaper that he picked up for free at the Public Library and sets down the copy of Utah Stories on the glass table next to his cold coffee.
Fifteen minutes pass.
Daaron is getting bored with what he is trying to read and so pulls out
a bag of heavily salted peanuts.
He opens the bag greedily and stuffs a handful into his large mouth while
Less than half a minute passes.
After a moment he begins to choke on some of the nuts that he has not properly
masticated. Daaron tries coughing them up and then pounding on his chest with tightly clenched fists.
None of this seems to help the big man.
He stands up in a panic and falls over the wooden end table directly in front of him
and then hits his head horribly upon the corner of the glass magazine table.
Daaron feels cool liquid running down his temple as he dizzily crawls
towards the man sitting on the black pillow, facing the orange pillow.
Boyd has heard all that has gone on, and yet he has heard none of it while
meditating solely on the orange pillow in front of him.
Nothing else exists for the aspiring Buddhist
for the next fifteen minutes.
Daaron crawls, but then collapses just out of eyesight of the orange pillow.
Had the fat man gotten just a few inches further, perhaps Boyd would have seen
him in his peripheral vision, but he did not.
More minutes pass.
BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP! went the stop watch that Boyd had set exactly sixty minutes ago.
He then brings his attention back to the physical world; picks up the orange
pillow and retrieves the watch, which he fastens onto his own left wrist.
As he begins to rise he notices the man lying on the floor and thinks to himself
he’s probably some vagrant that has snuck into the hotel to escape the cold.
As Boyd picks up his pillows and walks toward the stair case he stops near the man
and asks, “Are you okay, sir?”
After several seconds of silence there is the sound of ‘passing gas’, to which Boyd
plugs his nose and says,” I’ll take that as a yes!” before walking away to the
stairwell towards his room.
With his black pillow; with his orange pillow.