Scarlet O’Hansen moonlighted, occasionally, as a model for a life drawing class. During her third session she decided that she should think of it as meditation, or yoga. It takes quite some stamina, you see, to hold a pose. What I mean is to be absolutely still, for fifteen minutes, naked, in front of strangers.
But before she reached this decision she had tried other things.
She thought, for instance, of what would happen if she managed to free her brain from her body, so that she wouldn’t feel a thing, standing there, one arm in the air, legs slightly bent and starting to twicth from the strain, a blurry gaze focussed on some white blob on the wall by the window (she couldn’t wear her glasses while she posed).
And then she wondered what would happen – in the case of a successful separation of mind and body, that is – if she started peeing. What if she just started urinating while people were drawing her? Would they scream in anguished disgust? Would they be so shocked that they would need couselling? What if, my goodness, what if they did NOTHING?
This last scenario was sufficiently disturbing for Scarlet O’Hansen to banish the thought immediately. She knew it would be too difficult to negotatiate the silly irony of how they ought to do nothing – she could sniff her nose and no one batted an eyelid – and the fact that they obviously would, because it would cross some arbitrary social taboo.
To be short, she did not have the energy to think about why urine should be more offensive than snot.
So she decided to treat it like meditation or yoga. Given that she practised neither meditation nor yoga, this translated into breathing deeply once in a while, and thinking of the “centre”. Or a “white light”.
Amazingly, it worked. She made it through another two hours of standing naked in front of strangers. Amazingly indeed. Like the man who runs down to the sea and shouts at the waves to “Bbbbbbrrrreak…..Bbbbbbrrrreak”. And you know what? They did!
Scarlet O’Hansen felt so pleased with herself that she came home, poured herself a glass of wine and made a little meal fit for a queen:
– pan-friend slices of chourico,
– a little dipping sauce of yoghurt and dijon mustard,
– two rice-cakes smeared with the ripest avo and little pieces of fresh tomato,
– Maldon salt and black pepper, naturally
Then she browsed the internet and found the site of the day (not for the squeamish).