Beyoncé woke up this morning with nothing to do.
While making a banana-avocado-soy milk blended drink, she realizes she has no particular goals in mind for today at all. This lack of immediate purpose makes her feel anxious and her thoughts begin to wander into themselves.
Beyoncé thinks about what she was like at this time last year. She seems to remember having felt differently: Freer, less inhibited — but in reality she knows she was still just Beyoncé. Beyoncé opens her google alerts (keyword: “beyoncé”) and scrolls through the results.
“People like me because I am good at acting like a confident person,” she thinks, staring at the endless images and blurbs.
“I am good at strutting and making the kinds of faces people like to see,” she thinks, looking at a picture of herself making a face. But acting is certainly different from being. Beyoncé wonders if her public persona is somewhat dishonest. She decides it isn’t, because when she is acting a certain way, she is being the way she is acting at that moment. A person can’t really “be” anything, at least not in any permanent sense, Beyoncé reasons. They can only “be being” something.
A person has habits and tendencies to be certain ways, sure, but a person also has free will. Free will has to count for something, right? Beyoncé feels like she wouldn’t want to live in a world where it didn’t, so she decides that it must. She figures that making this decision is, in itself, an act of free will. Beyoncé feels satisfied and decides to leave it at that. Another act of free will. Nice.
Beyoncé wonders if other animals like her as much as people do. She isn’t sure and begins biting her fingernails then makes an effort to stop.
“No,” Beyoncé says fiercely.
“We are the sum of our thoughts and actions,” she says aloud, as an affirmative exercise. She repeats this phrase as a mantra several times while wondering if other people have to try as hard to be themselves as she does.
Beyoncé decides to practice a mindfulness exercise she has been working on with her therapist. She sits in a lotus position on her kitchen floor and closes her eyes. With her eyes shut, she focuses on her breathing. Calm, steady breaths enter and exit Beyoncé’s body as she watches the colors on the backs of her eyelids, mostly light pink with some bluish hues. Pretty.
Remembering her therapist’s instructions, she attempts to observe her thoughts as they arise, watching them come and go without judgment or reaction.
Beyoncé observes what she thinks is a thought starting to form.
“The floor is cold.” The floor is cold. Ok. She sits with the thought for a little while and then watches it go.
“I can feel my knees right now.” Beyoncé can feel her knees right now. She wonders if she has ever been this aware of her own knees before. She starts to feel a little proud of herself for being so mindful before quickly realizing that she has violated her therapist’s instruction not to judge her own thoughts.
“This is hard,” Beyoncé thinks. She imagines an archetypal Zen master from a kung fu movie swatting her with a fan. She feels a little frustrated and decides to come back to this exercise some other time.
Beyoncé gets up off the floor and asserts to herself that she has nothing to be ashamed of, with regards to her failed attempt at meditation or her professional career for that matter. Everyone makes a market of himself or herself to some extent, of this Beyoncé is certain. This past year has been one to be proud of. So many people have assured her of this. She performed at the Super Bowl. She sang at the Presidential Inauguration. Both are a definitely a big deal. Everyone says so.
Beyoncé admires the President a lot but doesn’t really feel like she has gotten to know him that well. She senses a similar distance between her and the First Lady, but isn’t sure what the cause is. Maybe they’re just like that, she thinks, or maybe I’m just weird. She thinks it would be cool if she could just call them to hang out sometime, but knows that isn’t how these things work.
Beyoncé takes out her laptop and scrolls through pictures of her and the Obamas together on google images and finds herself wondering what it’s like when they have sex. She feels a little guilty, but keeps thinking about it anyway.
Beyoncé imagines that it always begins gently, with loving intimacy; the two wrapping themselves in a firm yet tender embrace, their complementary motions escalating gradually into compassionate aggression, surely leading to ecstatic release. Beyoncé imagines the Obamas lying peacefully in each other’s arms, holding each other tightly; their powerful bond reaffirmed once more by the intensely satisfying product of their exceptional physical connection. She sighs and closes her laptop.
Beyoncé wonders what her mom is doing right now, but decides not to call her. She makes up her mind to turn her anxiety into adrenaline. It’s time to exercise. Beyoncé takes out her yoga mat and assumes a Child’s Pose. While executing a flawless Downward-Facing Dog, she wonders if she is happy right now.
Beyoncé wonders if a dog can feel happiness like a person can.
She doesn’t feel remotely qualified to say.
Maybe that’s what has been missing from her life lately. Beyoncé thinks maybe she needs a dog in her life.
Tonight she will talk to Jay-Z about getting a dog.