Jewish Journal

The Dry Cleaner

by Michelle Azar

May 19, 2014 | 1:27 pm

the dry cleaner

My dry cleaner has moved and I cannot find him. I know he is close by, but his current location eludes me. I have been driving around for a month now looking for him. Today, with the desperate hope of feeling productive, I dropped off the necesaary rags to the NEW DRY CLEANER around the corner. A nice looking joint. Modern and strangely huge for our neighborhood. The smiling guy helped me immediately, putting my name into his computer with a constant giggle, for reasons I cannot fathom.

But suddenly, it got busy. The very narrow driveway became a traffic jam of cars pulling in, and trucks of dry cleaning pulling out. I could feel myself tighten. My whole yoga body just started to hold its breath. A deep and familiar feeling of claustrophobia and helplessness suddenly took the place of congeniality as a woman in her car interrupted to holler instructions to smiley guy about her personal dry cleaning needs.

I remembered Ezra, my long lost dry cleaner. I never needed to call out any personal needs, he just knew them. “Meeeeeshele, how are you? How is the family, may they all be well. Leave your things, I will take care…”

Both my grandfathers’ names were Ezra. The word itself MEANS help, something I have clearly grown quite attached to as an adult. Even my maiden name is derived of the word, help! Yes, I know. This is quite a bit of projection onto the simple errand of dry cleaning…

As I feel myself getting tense, I give myself a little pat on the back. Through yoga and my meditation practice, I know what my triggers are, and clearly, being taken seriously by my dry cleaner is one of them. So I say to our smiley friend when he is finished with car lady, “Whenever you get my stuff back is fine. But please, I am not sure I can back my car out of this (mess) um, driveway. Between your door and that Mercedes, something bad could happen.”

He smiles for my keys. He pulls my car out for me in the midst of his busy-ness. Shyly, he hands me back my keys and says, “It is not usually like this. I think You brought on the crowd.”

Kinda cute I thought, as I pulled away safely. Turning the whole thing around like that? Good business. I will definitley go back. At least to pick up my stuff. And then I will see if I can find the help of Ezra again.

Have a peaceful weekend, with help and the awareness to help others.

And take advantage of our BONUS PRACTICE SESSION TOMORROW!



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Michelle fell in love with the practice of Ashtanga Yoga, the system of Hatha Yoga taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, some 13 years ago while doing a play in San Francisco. Having...

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