Student - April 5, 2012

Downward-Facing Dog

In every corridor there is one person who is, to put it kindly, slightly strange.

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Neal was an American. He was short and skinny with flat mousy hair, in fact he looked quite normal. In spite of this, he scared everyone in our building by always being so expressionless, emotionless and bizarre... oh, and also bringing branches and random bits of forest to his room.
Taking into account that Neal lived on the floor below us and knew no one in our corridor, he had the strangest obsession with it. Numerous times he used our toilets, washing machines and showers, usually at odd times of night. He never tried to integrate; he would walk into our kitchen, stare a bit and leave again, without uttering a single word. In the beginning my housemates and I tried to talk with him but after many blank stares, we realized it just wasn't worth the effort.
The high point of our relationship was late one night. I woke up at 1:30 am, realizing my throat was dry I rolled out of bed and shuffled to the kitchen. In my trance-like state I turned on the light and instantly screamed.
Neal was wearing nothing but tight, white, almost non-existent, Y-fronts. I had walked in to find him doing yoga on our kitchen table. I believe he was in something called the 'Downward-facing dog' pose. Completely unbothered by my startling entrance he opened one beady eye and stared at me through his legs, 'Good evening' he said politely. In my shock I demanded that he leave immediately, which he obediently did.
Neal went back to Chicago in January, and I never saw him again after the yoga incident. I'm sure he never actually intended to scare anyone, even though he was very successful at doing so. I have spent hours trying to achieve the 'Downward-facing dog' on our kitchen table; I have fallen off twice, I have been used as a rack to dry clothes on, and I have shown nobody my underwear. Obviously I have a lot to learn.

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