In the middle of the night before, Ophelia had wakened in the first aid tent. Her head was pounding; her throat was dry. As she began to recall the details of the previous day, Ophelia wished she were dead. She had come to Kissimmee in answer to a call from the living Lord, but her experience thus far had led her to despair. Of course, she had only herself to blame for her lack of devotion. If only she truly dedicated herself to Maharaji and her practice of Satsang, Service, and Meditation, then she would be happy. She knew she was responsible for this pain, and her self-loathing worsened as she lay in the dark.
A blanket five feet away moved and frightened Ophelia until she realized that under the blanket was a young man only just finishing meditation. His aura was glowing and golden. His curly hair appeared to be encircled by a beautiful halo. Ophelia observed that Light was streaming out of his heart and crown chakras. A thin ray of Indigo Light projected from his Third Eye like a laser beam mesmerizing Ophelia and sending her instantly into trance. After folding his blanket and unscrewing his baragon, the young man noticed Ophelia and immediately smiled beatifically. He began to laugh softly when he saw that Ophelia was essentially catatonic.
'Jai Satchitanand,' he whispered.
Those were Ophelia's least favorite two words in the whole Hindi language right now. She popped out of trance and came to her senses. She peered at the man in the darkness and said, 'I wish it were so.'
'My name is Richard. What's yours?'
'Ophelia.' She sat up straight and tried to pull herself together. As she raked her fingers through her hair, clumps of mud fell all around her, and she realized that it would be impossible for her to feign dignity under her current circumstances.
'I need a shower.' Ophelia said.
'I have a hotel room in town.' Richard replied. 'We can take the truck, but I need to tell the coordinator first. Wait here.'
Ophelia nodded and began putting her shoes on. Her mental fog lifted long enough for her to seriously consider whether this could be classified as grace. But wait, hadn't she come to Kissimmee on the wings of grace? (Never mind the intolerable VW bus trip to Florida, the horrible meeting with Timothy, the early morning drinking binge, and the generally dismal environment of the cow patch-Ophelia decided that maybe Maharaji was right. She needed to send her mind on a permanent vacation and relax in the arms of her true lover).
As soon as Richard returned, Ophelia realized how attractive he was. For the first time since she and Timothy had separated, romantic feelings stirred within her. As they climbed in the truck, Ophelia mused on how labile her emotions seemed: one moment she was ready to dedicate her mind forever to Maharaji, and the next moment she was ready to give herself entirely to this beautiful stranger.
Richard started the truck and the conversation. 'Remember last year, in Philadelphia, when Guru Maharaj Ji said that He will make it real for us by His Grace? Nothing else can do that for us. Only Guru Maharaji can make it real for us. And he does it in an instant!'
'Hmmm,' Ophelia responded. 'So, where are you from?
'I just know that without Guru Maharaj Ji, I am Slime. Just like He said! It's all of humanity-we're all Slimes. We're molded by the world. And just like He said, the Lord comes into the world and everyone thinks he's nuts. Everyone asks lots of questions, and only a few devotees recognize Him and love Him.'
'Slimes.' Ophelia repeated as she pondered the wetness between her legs and wondered what Richard would do if she reached over and tousled is brown curls.
'And remember what He said? When you first tip out Slime, it won't pour out easily. It slowly drools out until it splatters.'
'Fascinating how you can remember his satsang verbatim, Richard. Drooling out, right? Tell me more.' Ophelia inched closer to Richard and brushed her leg against his ever so lightly.
'Well, the part I really liked was when he talked about how we must pull ourselves together and really surrender.'
'Oh yessss.' Ophelia allowed her breast to brush against his arm. Richard continued to drive, unaware of the glazed-over look in her eye, the pounding of her heart, and her increased breathing rate. He was encouraged by her enthusiasm but mistook it for a spiritual connection.
'I think it was during that Satsang that he talked about how Tulsidas went looking for his wife and thought that a dead body was a boat, and a snake was a rope. Then his wife lectured him on how he should use all that affection for the Lord so he could be liberated. Remember? And it's because of maya!'
'Maya, maya.' Ophelia was breathless. 'Richard, have you noticed the stars tonight? It's lovely out.'
'For me, it all started in Orlando in 1975 when Guru Maharaj Ji said that we are responsible for getting the country in synch. We have a duty to perform by Guru Maharaj Ji's agya. Remember that?'
Ophelia wasn't listening. Instead she was imagining herself and Richard in various postures she remembered from the Kama Sutra.
'Richard, has anyone ever mentioned your golden aura before?' Ophelia could not resist the urge to tousle his curls. He looked at her with blank unawareness. Perhaps it was the mud on her cheek and in her hair, but Richard considered Ophelia a patient and increased his acceleration to get her to the hotel more quickly. The Jeep in front of him had stopped quickly, and Richard wasn't able to avoid rear-ending the vehicle whose driver got out immediately and walked angrily toward the driver's side of the car.
'Holy shit,' Ophelia cried. 'You hit Maharaji's jeep!'
Maharaji could not contain himself. ''You goddamned idiot! What's the matter with you! Who the fuck gave you a drivers license? If only I was like my dad-I'd kick you back 3 lifetimes, you sonofabitch!'
Richard climbed out of the truck and fell to the ground in a humble pranam. Ophelia stayed seated in the truck, and bowed her head to the dashboard. Volatile men scared her - was this a lila of the living Lord, or was Maharaji just an ordinary angry man? She felt shocked and numb.
'Goddamn fucking asshole.' Guru Maharaj Ji examined his bumper and cursed. 'Do you have your head up your ass? Is that the 5th Technique? Jesus Christ, what I have to put up with from you stupid premies!'
'Guru Maharaj Ji?' Richard ventured to speak. He was kneeling in the mud with his hands pressed together as if in prayer.
'I humbly beg your forgiveness. May I kiss your feet?'
'Hell no, you idiot. You can kiss my ass!' The Lord climbed back into his Jeep and drove off leaving Richard in a cloud of dust.
As he climbed back in the truck, Richard was crying. His radiance was astonishing. Ophelia stared at him in awe. Golden Light now poured out of his Crown and Heart Chakras, and the light of his aura was even more bright than before.
'Wow,' said Richard. 'I really needed that lesson. What grace. What love. He did that just for us, you know?'
'Yeah, right,' Ophelia replied. 'Could you let me out here, please? I have a date with destiny.'
'Sure, Ophelia. I have to get back and tell my darshan story. Oh my God! What a night! What Grace! Jai Satchitanand!'
'What a waste,' Ophelia thought as she climbed out of the truck. 'These premie guys are way too devoted. And what a bunch of masochists!' But deep within her heart of hearts, she knew she wasn't done yet. She set off walking toward the town, and the sun came up as she arrived.
That afternoon, Lena was heading for the first aid tent yet again. If only she could be as focused in her practice of knowledge as she was in acquiring the migraine medicine!
The first aid tent was full of the usual crazies. The 'brother' that came forward to help her seemed skeptical of her purpose. He offered to give her a massage instead of Fiorinol. Lena never trusted that offer. Why did it always seem sleazy? Somehow she convinced him to give her 3 Fiorinol and she took one immediately and took off from that zoo of a first aid tent.
The combination of caffeine and codeine and barbiturate of the Fiorinol made her feel like her old self. Suddenly she had an idea. Why stay in the swamp in a tent tonight? This was the last night. The only reason she had camped on the grounds was to be near Ben. And a lot of good THAT had done! She had gotten to give him a blow job in the woods. At least he seemed willing to help her get out of Miami.
In a flurry of manic energy, she convinced a family she knew from Miami to drive her tent and a few things back for her. Not for the first time she pondered the sorry state of so many of the householders at this festival. It looked like a camp for the homeless. Dirty kids, mothers looking exhausted. Fathers irritated and desperate. Well, it wasn't her problem. They must be having an experience or they wouldn't go through all that, would they? She had money! She was going to town and find a hotel. She packed her bags and headed out.
She knew a lot of premies had already checked out that morning in order to save the extra night's hotel fare. One way or another she was going to get a room, a decent shower, and at least some rest before the grand finale. The shuttle dropped her off and she headed for the first hotel. She knew she was in luck when she saw the lobby full of checked luggage. You can always count on premies to be too broke to do things conveniently.
She approached the desk. The haggard-looking clerk stared at her in confusion. 'You want to check IN?'
She realized she looked as insane as the others. Mud-smeared and sweaty and spaced out from too much sun, too much satsang, too many people, and lots of bad food. Still, he gave her a room. After she had taken a shower, she felt restless, and went down to the lounge. There were some familiar faces but no one she particularly wanted to talk to. She had 4 hours to wait until nightfall and a shuttle back to the field.
Suddenly, she saw Ophelia, sitting alone at a table. Lena approached cautiously. She wasn't very close to any premie sisters. There was the group she went to dance class with but they were kind of snotty.
'Hi, remember me?'
Ophelia stared at her, dazed although she seemed to only be drinking coffee. 'I was wondering if I could have the address and phone number of that house in Santa Monica?' Lena asked. 'Remember, you told me you were moving in, and you could help me move in also?'
Ophelia looked at her, shrugged and pulled out a pen and paper. 'Sure I'll help you. Please don't mind my attitude right now. I have just had it with premie men.' She told Lena the jeep accident story. Her tone of voice disturbed Lena. She sounded so distant.
'Maybe it will be different in California, Ophelia. It can't be any worse. Do you mind if I sit here and have a glass of wine?'
'Sure, have a seat', Ophelia said in that listless tone of voice.
Half an hour later, Lena found herself bringing Ophelia up to her room so she could take a shower.
As Ophelia took her clothes off, Lena saw how beautiful her body was. Ophelia returned her gaze. They stared at each other for several seconds. Ophelia smiled at Lena and headed for the shower.
Lena listened to the sound of the shower and wondered about what had just happened. She had never been with a woman. But she felt so loved at that moment, so good. Who was this amazing person? Acting impulsively, she went down to the front desk and requested another key.
When she returned to the room, she wrote Ophelia a note and left the key with it. She took a few things and headed for the door. She wasn't ready for any more drama, not quite yet. And anyway, there were 2 beds, she was just offering Ophelia a place to stay the night if she needed it.
Lena bought a few things at the local store, noticing with amusement that premies were still shoplifting. They were so obvious. She wondered what would come of all that. Then she caught a shuttle back to the cow pasture. She walked through the small crowd that had gathered early for a chance to be closer to the Lord if they sat there for several hours. A kind couple with a beautiful baby offered her a part of their blanket to sit on.
Lena sat back and started to think of what COULD have happened in the hotel an hour ago. Suddenly she realized the whole experience had really turned her on. She gave into it, letting her fantasy grow. She fell asleep. The couple commented on how blissed out she looked and what an experience of Maharaji's Knowledge she must be having.
Hours later, the band had played all the hits, and the Mahatma's and special People Around Maharaji had given their speeches. It was time. A ripple went through the crowd. All knew HE was coming on stage. He came, in all his glory, mala on already!! Lena tried, she really did, to listen. She could only catch the main points, 'Enjoy THIS life, by THE master's grace. Trust THAT experience.'
Then the band played 'Dance Dance Dance' and Maharaji wiggled and everyone, except Lena, it seemed, went nuts. But in spite of her confusing reaction to the spectacle of Maharaji dancing shirtless, Lena was OK. Feeling nice that the couple had shared the night with her. Lena had never had much of a family. She felt good about the feelings of love that were coming from the premies around her.
Later, she searched the crowd backstage, careful to keep away from the baleful eye of security. She knew where Ben would be. People were commenting on Guru Maharaji's HEAVY satsang and she wondered what she had missed. Finally she saw Ben. She called to him and started in his direction. A big bulky security guy grabbed her, a little harder, and a little closer to her breasts than necessary. But Ben had seen her and came over. Quickly she scribbled the name of the hotel where she was staying, giving him the room number and phone. Ben agreed to at least get in touch later that night, and to drive her back to Miami tomorrow.
Lena was almost free of Kissimmee! Just a crowded shoving shuttle ride back to the hotel and it would be over. She wondered, not for the first time, if Ophelia would still be there.
Ophelia stepped into the shower wondering whether Lena felt the electricity she had felt when their eyes met. The water awakened her from the stupor she had been in ever since she'd seen the guru flip out. The awful memory melted away as she shampooed her long, golden tresses and soaped her voluptuous breasts. She closed her eyes and allowed herself to become aroused. Her nipples hardened as she rubbed them gently, all the while visualizing Lena undressing and joining her in the shower. Fortunately the shower head was positioned just right. Ophelia leaned back, allowing the water to massage her. She moaned as she came repeatedly. It felt as though it would never end. But suddenly the guru's face reappeared in her mind, breaking the spell and creating shame. Ophelia sank down into the tub and cried until all the hot water ran out.
Emotionally and physically exhausted, Ophelia was barely able to dry herself and comb out her hair before collapsing on one of the beds. She fell immediately into a deep sleep and almost as quickly, found herself in a darshan dream.
In her dream, Ophelia found herself back at the swamp. She searched the crowd, looking for a familiar face. After wandering amongst the strangers with no luck, Ophelia realized that she was in a long line headed for a blue tunnel. Recognizing that this was the darshan line, Ophelia became fearful because she hadn't meditated recently and knew that the guru would see through her and know she was a phony. She became concerned that she didn't have a gift to give her Lord. But as she looked down at her hands, she noticed she was carrying a beautiful, sparkling crystal. Upon closer examination, she realized that she held in her hands her very own soul. At the same time, she decided that she wanted to keep the crystal and to get out of the line. But alas, she was too late. She was already within the tunnel and approaching the Holy Lotus Feet quickly.
Thinking fast, Ophelia decided to slip the crystal in her pocket and press her hands together in prayer. Thus, she tried to remain calm and get through the inevitable meeting unscathed. She wondered if he would recognize her as the girl in the truck that ran into his jeep. As soon as their eyes met, Ophelia no longer had to wonder. An unusual event ensued (even for a dream). The guru stood up, pointed at Ophelia and roared, 'What is Holy Name? What is the Word?' Ophelia struggled to remember, and weakly replied, 'So Hung?' 'No!' He screamed. 'You have not gotten it at all! I have done everything for you, given you everything, showed you the Knowledge you couldn't get in college, and what have you given me in return? All I've asked for is you unquestioning faith and total commitment, damnit!'
Ophelia looked around to see if the other devotees were shocked by the outburst, but their eyes were glazed over and they smiled like brainwashed sheep. Looking back at the guru, Ophelia was surprised to see him swigging off a bottle of cognac and holding a cigar. 'Well, you're a fine one to talk, aren't you?' Ophelia retorted. The guru shouted, 'Off with her head!' whereupon Ophelia realized she was dreaming and roused herself just long enough to recall the beautiful, charming, sexually-charged Lena. She drifted off again, this time dreaming that her head was resting on Lena's full breasts while she proceeded to stroke Lena's supple, welcoming thighs. As she began to lick those lovely nipples, Ophelia felt herself coming more intensely than ever before. Because this was her dream, Ophelia felt no obligation to ensure Lena's satisfaction and so drifted off into the astral plane only to be awakened by something really shocking.
The usual after the festival shuttle scene was taking place. Premies jockeying for position. One of the 'sisters' had the nerve to say to Lena, 'Please sister, can I get ahead of you in line? I have been waiting so long.' Yeah right, as if the festival DIDN'T end at the same time for all of them. Lena pretended she didn't hear her. Her feigned deafness was exposed in the next minute when she heard a familiar, tentative voice.
'Lena? Can I talk to you?' Oh now what, not Red! Ever since his crotch darshan, he had been desperately looking for her. 'Lena please, can I ride the shuttle with you? Maybe have a cup of coffee?'
'Red, I don't drink coffee at night. You can come up to my room, but I am leaving early tomorrow morning so you can't stay long'. They rode the shuttle in silence, mainly because they were standing apart in the middle of the aisle, with premies stuffed between them.
Lena unlocked the hotel room, hoping Ophelia was there, but also hoping she wasn't there. She didn't want Ophelia to have to deal with Red. He seemed to be a mess, shrunken somehow. Something was very wrong. She felt a sudden compassion, and decided to give him a little more attention than she had planned.
Ophelia was, thankfully, sound asleep. Lena took off her clothes and pulled Red towards her. He half removed his clothes and they stumbled onto the other bed. They kissed, and Lena remembering why she had once loved him. There was a gentleness, a sweetness, that was still there.
'I hope you don't still need me to give you satsang to get you hard, Red. I am all out of that right now.'
'I don't even know anymore, Lena,' Red said softly. However, he didn't need much more encouragement and started to enter her. Suddenly, he let out a blood curdling scream!
Lena, Red, and even Ophelia all sat up, scared to death. Lena turned on the light. There Red sat, his penis in his hand. Lena almost fainted at the gruesome sight. It looked like part of the top layer of skin was completely stripped off! 'My God Red, what happened to you? What is wrong?'
Haltingly, Red told her the story. 'Lena, I have tried so hard to follow Guru Maharaji's agya. To be pure, to have a sincere heart. I kept getting aroused, though. I've really been having problems since the first night of this festival. The sisters here are all so tempting, so beautiful. So I've been taping my penis to my thigh to keep my erections down.'
Lena stared, too horrified to speak. She felt so sad for him, yet so disgusted, and most off all so FRIGHTENED!!! How could someone go this far? (Interestingly enough, Dear Reader, it never occurred to her to blame the Guru for his part in this bizarre act of self-mutilation.)
'Oh Red, I don't know what to say.' Lena searched for something that might make him feel better. She wasn't going to get back in bed with him, that was for sure. 'Uh, maybe you would feel better if you meditated.'
Too overcome to deal with it, she put out the light and climbed into bed with Ophelia. They hugged, and as her eyes adjusted to the welcome darkness, she saw Red put a sheet over his head.
Ophelia was trembling. Lena assumed it was because of what she had just witnessed, but Lena's instincts were wrong this time. Ophelia was feeling something entirely different as she felt Lena's body next to hers. The incident with Red had put Ophelia over the edge, and she had withdrawn to a safe place where she had convinced herself she was still dreaming. She gently stroked Lena's breast.
'Shhh,' Lena whispered hoarsely into her ear, 'Let's wait until the poor guy falls asleep meditating.' Ophelia and Lena quietly awaited Red's natural reaction to the knowledge techniques. Soon they heard him quietly snoring. By this time, the sexual tension between them was intense. Ophelia was definitely awake now, and she was driving Lena crazy!
Lena wasn't sure how or if she could reciprocate but found that it was natural, and beautiful. More natural and beautiful than sticking her tongue up the back of her nose, that's for sure!! After multiple climaxes, Lena fell asleep. Ophelia remained in her safe place, in a partial trance. When she heard a knock at the door, she didn't really wake up. She opened it to let Ben in and wordlessly returned to bed with Lena.
In the dark, Ben mistook the shape in the other bed to be Lena. He crawled in, and had an idea. Why not get right to it and return the favor she had given him in the feces grove? He gently moved the sheet and bent over her crotch. After one kiss, he jumped back with a startled scream. Once again, everyone sat up and the lights went on.
Lena was the first to speak. 'This can't go on! We are trashing each other's hearts! And we are wasting the most precious gift anyone could ever be given!'
'Ben, what are we going to do?' she cried. 'I think we need to head to Tucson this next week. I just can't wait any longer. Miami is a free fall zone for nut cases. Maybe it's the toluene and MEK all the premies are inhaling at DECA, I don't know, but I want out!'
Never mind that this 'gift' had always been with Lena, all her life. That she had experienced it as a child long before any guru. That, in fact, it had been more elusive since she had been around the Miami premies. None of that came into her thoughts - only the hysterical feedback of years of brainwashing. She got up and started packing. The only thing in her mind at the moment was the frantic hope that being near her Guru Maharaji's humble home in Malibu would help her.