“Meditation” by Timothy J. Lambert from Foolish Hearts: New Gay Fiction (Cleis Press, 2014).

I went through a phase where I tried to meditate. My experience was roughly the same as the main character in this story, which is why it was only a phase.

The challenge the author created for himself by setting his story inside the Vipassana Meditation Center is an impressive one, because it renders the main character unable to speak to the man one row and six cushions away, who he nicknames “Cornfed Guy”.

Speak, schmeek. He’s not even supposed to silently convey any thoughts. No raised eyebrows, no half smiles, nothing. Hell, he’s actually not supposed to have thoughts. If he did it right, this story would be a few blank pages. Instead it’s a very funny piece, and engaging from start to finish.