My Favorite Couple
I emerge every day from the misty valley, and tromp up the uneven stone steps to the Sapna Guesthouse. In Hindi, sapna means dream.
They are an older couple. He is overweight, bald. She has tan skin and wavy blonde hair. I always feel bad approaching them this way, uninvited, suddenly appearing on their back patio, but the circumstances demand it. I am living at the yoga studio in the middle of the Sleeping Beauty woods, all chirping birds and rushing streams. The secret pathway through the woods and over the hills leads me directly to the corner of the Sapna Guesthouse, and from there, I can be in the bustling town within minutes. This route is called “The Shortcut.”
The first day I appeared on their back patio, rainbow umbrella overhead, I smiled and apologized. “Don’t be sorry!” said the woman, aghast that I might feel bad. “Be happy!”
The next time I appeared, the man was sitting on the porch with his feet kicked up. He gave me a hearty smile, and raised his glass. His big belly rested on his thighs, and his cheeks were blazing red.
Last night I emerged from the mist storm to find them relaxing on the patio in near-twilight. They were both sitting in straw chairs, cups of steaming chai in their hands. Their eyes were soft and happy as they looked out over the valley. I knew exactly what they saw- endless hills of rolling green, the occasional cow or horse flicking its tail, dry paths turned into rushing streams, and the distant mountains turning black in the fading daylight.