I sat alone with my legs crossed and my palms on my knees. I sat on a cushion woven of pink, red, and gold silk in a six by ten foot room lit only by the single flame on the shrine table. I began to cry. My arms shook with my chest as my palms lay steady. When the door opened and a woman entered, I halted my tears, resuming silence and stillness as if I had never been doing anything else.
Minutes passed. I gathered my coat and shoes and left for the bathroom.
A young woman stood in front of the mirror. Her face was hidden behind bobbed blonde hair, but through the strands, I saw that her eyes were red and wet and the fair skin around them was covered in black smudges.
"It's okay," I said. "I was just crying in the meditation room."
She laughed and asked me if I was there for Dr. Burke - who is apparently a genius, though one I've never met.
"As my psychology professor says, 'being human is hard,'" she said.
Together, we wet paper towels in the sink and looked at our faces in the mirror, and together, we wiped away the mascara that tears had pushed from our lashes to our cheeks.