Writing 101: Her Name Is Lorna

Impossible. You cannot be who you say you are. I will not permit it.

Impossible. You cannot be who you say you are. I will not permit it.

Today’s Writing Challenge is: Who’s the most interesting person (or people) you’ve met this year? Turn this into a character study.

As we sit in our tranquil circle, Luis–the meditation leader of our Buddhist sanga (group)–asks us to introduce ourselves (first names only). He only does this when there are new people who have joined the meditation group for the evening. This evening there are two new people. I know the other eleven very well.

Luis suggests with the mere nod of his head that the person to his left start. Since I’m sitting closer to his right, I’ll be one of the last names announced to the group.

One of the new people is Paul. The other is Lorna.

Immediately, my mind starts shouting: “What? Another Lorna in such a small group? How is this possible? I’m the only Lorna in this group! Heck, I’m the only Lorna in this rinky dink town!”

I stare at her until I realize it’s time for me to say my name. Almost apologetically, I say, “Lorna.”

Luis chimes in, “Yes, the other Lorna.” General chuckling ensues.

Can you believe two people dress up like this to go to meditation?

Can you believe two people dress up like this to go to meditation?

Again, my mind is furious and I possibly cursed. I know it said, “The other Lorna? Wait a minute, Buster! I’ve been coming to this sanga for five years. She shows up once and all of a sudden I’m the ‘other Lorna?’ What’s up with that?” Clearly five years of Buddhist meditation is not enough for a calm and equanamous mind.

My entire half-hour of silent meditation was occupied by Lorna–not me, but her. Well, both.

Bong. Bong. Bong.

Meditation begins.

She looks older than me, but I look pretty young for my age. She probably doesn’t take very good care of herself. Clearly she’s fatter than I am and covers it up with baggy clothing. Cheap trick, Lorna. I used to do it, too, before I started eating healthy.

Breathe. In. Out. In.

She’s blonde, but I definitely saw dark roots. Tsk. Tsk. Lorna. Who are you trying to impress? I’m a natural blonde. I impress people without peroxide or trying.

Breathe. Out. In.

Her nose is abnormally long and straight. It looks like it was meant to be on the face of some Roman male statue or something. Very unattractive. My nose is big, I’ll admit it, but it fits my face. Plus I have all this naturally blonde hair and big blue eyes to draw the eyes away from my nose. She’s got nothing but those baggy cloths and dark roots.

Breathe. In.

She’s sitting a chair, the meditation sissy! I’m doing it right, using a zafu, on the floor. What a rookie. I never used a chair. She probably has bad knees or sciatica. If she dropped a few pounds, she probably would feel better. I don’t know of a single case of bad knees that was cured by baggy clothes.


I hate her. She doesn’t even look like a “Lorna,” which would be a woman who looks exactly like me.

Bong. Bong. Bong.

Meditation is over.

She’s still here. Shizzle. Maybe I should meditate on why I hate a woman I don’t even know because of her name.

Gosh darn it. Buddhism is hard.

Gosh darn it. Buddhism is hard.


~ by Lorna's Voice on September 22, 2014.

18 Responses to “Writing 101: Her Name Is Lorna”

  1. Thanks. I was ashamed of myself for feeling this way, but that’s what was going on inside my “monkey mind!”

  2. haha, good one, Lorna The FIrst and Only. Great story about all of us and written just right. xx

  3. You’d fit right in, Al! 🙂

  4. Now I’m the one laughing hysterically. That’s some belief system, that Buddhism. You can be messed up spiritually, but as long as you know it, you’re green lighted. Are they accepting converts? I’m as spiritually clueless as they come and should be one of the better novitiates in the clan.

  5. Thank you so much. If you really watch your mind during a meditation, some bizarre things come up! 🙂 Thanks for stopping in and commenting!

  6. Oh my! 🙂

  7. I’m glad you liked it Peter. I was afraid to post it for a long time. She only showed up a few more times and seems to have disappeared. I really felt uncomfortable when she was there, though. Very odd for me. But Buddhism is all about noticing what’s going on inside–not running away from the “stuff” that makes you uncomfortable. I faced it. Not sure that I understand it, but it felt like identity theft or something. 😉

  8. Laughing hysterically, Al. The only thing I can do as a Buddhist is to notice how screwed up I am. Since I noticed, I’m doing great! 🙂

  9. The whole incident made me think about people with names like Mary or John and how they feel when several people answer to “their” name. My name feels like my identity and, at that moment, I felt like a victim of identity theft!

  10. Suddenly I feel so much better about being territorial about my name too 🙂
    Grumpy Cat at the end is perfect!

  11. So glad that Buddhist “universal love” thing is working out for you. Also, in keeping with that love theme, I sent her your blog address.

  12. One of my favourite posts from you. “Thoughts behind the smile ” and all that sort of stuff. Somebody said something clever about “comparisons” once although I cannot remember exactly what it was. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t good though. Really enjoyable post

  13. Can you imagine being called Gerald, and how they are portrayed on TV… ??? :):)

  14. I could not stop laughing this is the funniest thing ever, great story Lorna.

  15. I realized that I’m not used to “sharing” my name because it’s not common. It’s petty and completely not Buddhist. I got over it, especially when she stopped showing up! 😉

  16. 🙂

  17. Her mom loved the cookie!

  18. I thought you were taught to love one another…. her only fault being her having the same name…. mind you also being fatter, not a natural blonde, bad knees, over weight, bad nose, sits on a chair, wears baggy clothes…. hell now I hate her….

Silence can be just what the doctor ordered. You know I'm a doctor, right?

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