"Uh hunh..." Diane nodded without agreeing. Pamela simply waited.
"Yes, well, It's my choice to how strictly to supervise that bonus -- since I used to model before my standards are a little higher than those of some of the volunteers. Stacey just found out she isn't going to getting anything extra today. She didn't agree." Dawn left out any mention of her own additions - or rather, deletions - to their posing routine.
"Enough of that unpleasantness, ladies; where were we?" Dawn closed her own heavily mascara'ed eyes for a moment and one could imagine her reciting one of the soothing phrases to herself as she put away her troubles, and Stacey, for a later time. "We were going to start you two posing. That's good; there might be a chance for you to model today after all, or at least one of you..."
"Okay, here goes!" Pamela jumped into an active pose, looking almost like some martial-artisan caught in mid-'Hai'. She froze, holding herself very still.
"Good, Pam, for a start." Dawn encouraged her. "Are you feeling calm and at ease? It's alright to talk to me now."
"Sort of. It feels strange, staying still. All my muscles are locked. How do you DO this for hours at a time?" She blinked a couple of times while speaking sotto-voce. "My feet hurt a little..." She was wearing what looked to be new designer pumps.
"Let yourself relax a little bit, let the calmness replace your tension. It's a very natural feeling, being at rest. Don't fight to stay still. In the same way you can quiet your own thoughts, you can enstill your body almost totally and have it yet be the most natural thing. No extra effort, simply static serenity."
Pamela may have shifted a millimeter, but did not seem otherwise any different. She continued to look uncomfortable, but she was hanging in there.
Dawn turned to Diane. "While the lady Pamela finds her tranquility, are you ready to assume a pose?"
"Yeah, just a second." Diane swept up the cobwebs of her thoughts and did a quick limp stretch. She willed herself to breathe more slowly as she prepared.
"Excellent, excellent!" the window dresser beamed. "You're really a superb listener, or you've done this before..." Diane shook her head 'no' "So go ahead now; you are ready. Let your body find a moment in time that you're going be comfortable staying in for a while. Do not force it; you'll know when you have reached the right place..."
Diane followed the dresser's guidance, imagining herself taking a step swinging her arms natually, keeping the image in her mind, then thinking about slowing down time like a stop-action replay. Slower... slower... slow... stop. She did not move in the slightest, yet felt completely at lease. Her mind was centered, her thoughts serene. There was nothing to disturb her timeless moment. Hey, this is trippy!
Even Dawn's words seemed hushed. "That's the idea. Now, stretch out that moment, let your thoughts fly at ease while your body remains at rest. Staying still is the most natural thing you have ever experienced. You want nothing more than for this captured moment to last an eternity -- and it can! Even my touch on your body does not concern you. Remain at rest and at peace as I adjust your pose. The position of your arms and hands is always the toughest thing to master; let me suggest this aspect..."
Diane barely noticed when Dawn shifted her hands to a more upright location and tipped her head up slightly. She was completely at one with the universe and could stay that way forever. Timeless, that's how she felt. Eternal and ideal. No effort was required, simply letting this moment linger on and on. She was where she was. No worries, any more. Unconsciously her breathing became more shallow and slow; her eyes remained open and unfocused, blinking only once every few minutes.
Dawn knew she had found a new model, almost a natural, in this young girl. Seeing echoes of her own past experiences in the ease at which Diane had found 'her' pose and let her mind be molded into a state of inner-direction. She wondered if the subject had ever been deep hypnotized since she was delightfully suggestable. On the other hand, the older woman was still struggling. While she *was* holding a more strenuous pose, she was doing it by sheer force of will instead of letting her mind help her body rather than fighting it. Pamela had started to sway in place as she maintained her balance; trying hard not to blink was making her eyelid twitch.
"Pamela, that's enough for today. Let yourself relax -- loosen up now. You can move again."
All at once, the woman broke pose and lowered her arms. The transition was so abrupt it looked like a jump cut in a film. One instant still, the next in full motion. "Whooh. That's harder than it looks! How long was I posed?" Pamela glanced at her wrist-watch.
"Oh, around five minutes," Dawn replied, though in fact it was barely half that.
"It seemed like an hour! I was having trouble keeping stiff."
"I know. It sounds bass-ackwards, but don't try so hard. Work on your relaxation exercises tonight. If you have time, come back tomorrow and we'll set up a display session for you." In her thoughts, Dawn knew that this lady was never going to be a good mannequin model and would probably end up leaving in a huff like Stacey had done. Except this one doesn't need the bonus, she concluded. Her hubby could probably buy the entire mall for her without a second thought. They small-talked a little longer, both totally ignoring the statue-still form of Diane, then said their goodbyes.
"Thank you, Dawn. See you tomorrow." Pamela said, knowing that something would come up and she'd never find the time to drive back to the store. Well, I can tell Thad about my adventure and maybe pose for him some night wearing only a bow. She knew he got excited by such things and was willing to play along. With a little wave, she headed back into the swirl of her active life.
Dawn turned her attention back to the younger one, Diane. The dark-haired girl hadn't budged at all the whole time and didn't seem to be straining at all. Good enough for the time being, she concluded, but later on I'll take her mind to some places she's never realized existed. Leaning close to the totally frozen, mannequin-like model, Dawn whispered "Time to rejoin the world, my dear. You'll feel very refreshed and envigorated by your pleasant experience and want to continue it whenever you have the chance to do so. All you have to think of is how you let your mind and body achieve a timeless beauty. For now, remember. Remember..."
Slowly, she came back to life, first with a blink of her eyes, then with a languid stretch that ended with another rag-doll shake of her arms. When she straightened up to face the window dresser, she looked very happy.
"That was great! Is freeze modeling for a longer time going to be this easy?"
"If you allow it to be. Once you reach that timeless state of mind, you're -ah- timeless, in the best sense of the word. How long do you think you were posed?"
"I dunno, maybe a minute or two?"
Dawn smiled back. "You were standing there for almost ten minutes; you could have gone a lot longer. How did it feel?"
"Like you said, serene and calm. I was kind of daydreaming in a way, and the time just seemed to fly on by. I wasn't really paying any attention to standing still." Diane finally looked around, noticing who *wasn't* there anymore. "Hey, where'd Pamela go? She was here a moment ago..."
"Ah, she had an appointment to keep, had to hurry off for today.
Put that woman out of your mind for now, and think about your own experience.
I think you posed marvelously, especially for a first time. In fact, since
I lost one of my freeze models today, I was wondering if you'd like to
take her place now, instead of tomorrow?"
Fri, 15-Dec-2000 04:09:36