LitBite: A class of Tai-chi-chuan.

‘Lit Bite’ is a collection of nano-texts that may or may not have an ending. For me, it represents a reflexive moment, a time to think about Writing and about my life in the city, with all the great and terrible feelings it brings me. They are short, small scenes with memories or imagined situations. What do you think? Wanna join me in this adventure?

Morning classes are definitely not my thing.

They never were, not even when I was alive. I step outside the bus with large purple shades and heels higher than the Mirante do Vale – yes, the tallest building in São Paulo. My Daffodile bash the street like a soldier’s heavy duty boots (and with just as much confidence), all the way to the small dojo Downtown. When

When I push the wooden doors, ignoring the dirty looks from the barefoot people inside, the class is already started. I wave to Mr Chengfu, slowly walking around the large group he’s teaching.

“8:20 in the morning and she’s already smoking, look at that,” I hear someone say. “And inside the dojo.”

“It’s not as if it was going to kill me, is it?” I answer, loud enough for the old couple in the back of the room to hear me. In fact, loud enough for every single one of them to hear. I walk out of the building, flick my cigarette and wait for him to arrive. When he does, I narrow my eyes, push my back from the wall and place a daring hand on my waist – nobody told me he would be this handsome. I clear my throat.

You’re working, remember that. My boss’ whispered voice echoing inside my head is as annoying as the new guy’s confused expression.

“Chester? Are you Chester?” I ask. “Charles, perhaps?”

He frowns. “No. No, that’s not my name. Not my real name. My real name is -“

I brush his words aside, stretching a hand. “I don’t really care – what doesn’t mean it doesn’t matter, right?” And this is me trying to be gentle. His frown now looks like a grimace. “Welcome to your first tai-chi-chuan class. Do you smoke?” He nods, looking at me with strange insecurity. He accepts a fag, lights it and inhales deeply, as much smoke as he can. “Better?” And he nods. “Good. Now follow me.”

I invade the dojô a second time, my heels tapping the cement floor with so much strength the ambient music becomes nothing but a distant sound of birds and Zhongruans. I’m walking towards our sensei when a hand grabs my arm. When I turn to its owner, I see Chester (Or Charles?) again.

“Wait. Wait, I need to know what’s happening here. I was driving… I was going to work when…”

“…When everything went black and you appeared here? ” I offered. “With British punctuality, I might add.”

He raised an eyebrow, impressed. “Yeah… Exactly.”

“Happened to all of us, child,” an old woman said. She smiles tenderly at the man, her Vietnamese accent strongly pulling and stretching her tongue. She presses a hand on his shoulder. I wonder why she’s not as nice with me.

“Thanks,” he mutters, eyes rolling down. “When can I go home?” He asks suddenly, eyes piercing mine. “There’s someone waiting for me. Well, more than one person, actually.”

I can’t hold a sad smile. With a sigh, I pat his back. “Don’t think about it right now, darling. Let’s have our class first. You’ll see how good it makes you feel.”

Charles (Chester?) offers me a soft smile and lets me introduce him to Sensei Yang Chengfu. Not ten minutes after, the man already seems calmer. After the first four movements, he even offers me a smile – a signal he’s already starting to forget, of course.

The cigarette is still burning between my fingers when I take off my heels and fling them outside. I walk barefoot to the man’s side and smile, correcting his posture with a slap in the knee. I’m the best damn sensei here, after all – after Mr. Chengfu, of course.

“Tell you what – why don’t we meet for a beer after this, so you can tell me your real name?”

He nods. “Though… I’m pretty sure it was Chester. Or Charles?” I chuckle. He mimics, his smile tainted with yellowish, imperfect teeth. “Do you like Classic Pop Rock? There’s this one song I can’t take off my head and I’m not sure why…”

“I’m sure it’s a great song,” I say.

I did my first Tai-chi-chuan class today, yay! And even though it involved nothing supernatural, I felt so much peace and tranquillity while doing the exercises that I felt as if indeed in another dimension.

Exercising your body and you mind are both really important. As someone who works from home, I sometimes feel I’m neglecting my body – I’m glad to have started something so beautiful and so interesting. My sensei told us there are even tai-chi-chuan championships! And yes, I’m indeed very excited.

In a side note, I may soon have some more news about Sharona – and even a new teaser. Let me tell you this, though: prepare your hearts.

Kisses and kisses,

Ligia

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