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THE SATYR

    Once a satyr set himself up as a lifestyle coach.
    It looked like a sure thing, what with the number of potential clients out there complaining about their lives, and complaining nonstop. At times the dissatisfaction with all that life had brought their way could be deafening. Nor did it seem to matter what blessings they’d already enjoyed; it was never enough or else never what they believed they really deserved. 
    So it hardly surprised the satyr that there was such an immediate and intense response to the advertisements he placed in glossy magazines like MeMineMyself and Get A Life. Or that the lines forming at the door of the modest office he’d leased required the city to field extra police trained in crowd control from three nights before the opening date.
    Perhaps he should have set his fees higher, the satyr thought to himself as he prepared to meet the first client in line and wrote his first “note to self” on his PDA: raise rates today, move to bigger office tomorrow, upgrade atmosphere with potted plants and sylvan aromas and mellow flute music, hire massage staff of nymphs and smooth-cheeked boys.
    The satyr was still writing when the first client timidly peered around the door and asked if it was okay to come in now.
    “But of course,” the satyr replied with a welcoming gesture towards the one other chair in the room. “Enchanté.”
    “Excuse me?”
    “I said, ‘Enchanted to meet you.’”
    “Really? Oh, I just knew we’d have this instant rapport. Already, I feel as if I’ve known you for years. Do you feel that too?”
    “Of course,” the satyr responded with a smile, running his eyes appreciatively over the client’s Rubenesque figure. “Now, to what do I owe the pleasure?”
    “Oh, you put me totally at ease already, let me tell you. I’ve had so many lifestyle coaches in the past who told me, first thing, I needed to form a better body self-image.”
    “Whatever for?”
    “Why, to enhance my self-esteem before making all the lifestyle changes they suggested. If I didn’t have a better body image, every last one of them said, I’d never be able to find maximum fulfillment in life. I just can’t tell you how much that stressed me out.”
    “Now we wouldn’t want that. So let’s start on the body image, shall we?”
    “Oh yes, let’s.”
    “By the way, aren’t you feeling a little warm in that sweater?”
    “Warm? Well, yes, now you mention it.”
    “Would a refreshing glass of wine help?”
    “Oh, I just don’t know. My last coach told me I needed to assert more self-control.”
    “You can’t be serious.”
    “To reach my 12 ‘improvement outcomes,’ of course. The list-making stage in shifting my awareness paradigm to a vibrant, purpose-guided, values-affirming, peak-consciousness life is no problem, but I just don’t seem able to reach those peaks.”
    “Are you sure a little wine wouldn’t get your paradigm shifting? Loosen things up a little?”
    “But don’t I need discipline more than loosening up?”
    “You want discipline?”
    “Oh yes, give me discipline! I never have enough discipline, I’m told.”
    “It is getting a bit warm in here, no doubt about it,” the satyr responded, touching a handkerchief to his horned brow. “You don’t mind if I take off my tie and loosen this shirt, do you?”
    “Oooo, are we going to do some Pilates positions here in the middle of the floor?”
    “Something like that.”
    “I just love Pilates! It makes me feel so good about myself when my whole body gets a workout, right from my powerhouse to my thighs and buns, you know!”
    “Oh, I know. And where on your body would you like us to start?”
    After a long first day of such appointments, the satyr emptied what remained of many bottles of wine into his glass, swirled it a few times, and made a new “note to self” on his PDA: schedule group sessions and videotape for national syndication.