The glue that held Gaby and Phil's so-called
relationship together was the delicious sex they continued to
have almost every night. All their insurmountable and insoluble
problems melted away during those moments when the lotus petals
of Gaby's sweet sex opened to receive Phil's turgid love pole.
But the other 23 hours of the day revealed
their incompatibility at every turn. Phil was jealous of the secrets
Gaby kept about her life out east. Gaby would lock herself in
the bedroom and have long talks with her father over the phone.
To Gaby these talks were both a lifeline and a curse. Her father,
Senator Dawes, encouraged her to continue with school . He genuinely
loved Gaby and reassured her in his usual sunny, effortlessly
charming, charismatic manner. In truth, Gaby had always been a
little in love with her father. But she could never please him.
The types of things she was interested in, like writing and teaching
children, were trivial to him. He was always pushing her to go
into politics or law. Little did he know that Gaby could barely
get up in the morning, much less consider something as onerous
as a career in law. He was blind to his daughter's desperate state
of mind, and to the fact that his exalted plans for her were akin
to an effort to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.
Gaby's life with Phil was so far away from
the privileged world of finishing schools, horses, and
debutante balls she had grown up with. But she would never let
Phil see the extent of her family's wealth. She knew he would
use it to ridicule her when he was having one of his petulant,
On the few occasions Gaby would fly home to
DC to visit her family, she came back to Iowa and cried for days.
The only thing that he could get out of her was that Mrs. Dawes,
a cold, bitter woman, loved to maliciously embarrass Gaby in front
of her high society friends. All Phil could do was rock her in
his arms, stroke her hair, and give her satsang.
It pained Phil to see how Gaby's attachment
to her parents tore her apart. This was exactly what Maharaji
was talking about when he said that attachment was the source
of all our suffering. He saw it so clearly. If only Gaby would
just meditate and have more faith in Maharaji, their life would
have been perfect.
To Phil, Gaby was at her most beautiful when
she could just let her mind go; when she laughed uproariously,
when they hiked out in the woods, when they partied with friends
and she had a few tokes in her. And of course, when she shed her
inhibitions and became a tigress in heat in the bedroom. But
the shadows of mind always loomed around Gaby, constantly threatening
to come back down over her spirit.
Phil was still unemployed, except for occasional odd jobs like giving blood. Gaby lost
her job at the battered women's center, a job
she loved, because she missed so much work to travel to festivals.
This caused her much shame and grief. Of course Phil couldn't
understand her attachment to the job. She started working at a
child care center, praying that they would understand when she
needed to tell them she needed time off. In addition to working,
she kept plugging away at school and a second internship writing
for the college newspaper. She was still financially independent,
One day, she suspected something was wrong
when she realized she was 3 days late for her period. She went
to the women's clinic, peed in a cup, and found that she was indeed
pregnant. Terrified, she told Phil of the life growing inside
her, a life that was indifferent to the fact that she and Phil
were immature children themselves.
Phil soothed her. 'Baby, everything will be
fine. We love each other. Maharaji will take care of us, baby.'
His stoned out eyes were so simple, so sure, so positive.
Gaby vacillated. One moment she could surrender
everything to Guru Maharaji, thinking of all the premie woman
she knew who had one baby after another, like Mother Goddesses,
radiant in their long flowing Indian dresses. She would be like
them, she would be graceful and serene, and never bitchy.
But then reality would set in and she would
feel the morning sickness and the lethargy caused by her rapidly
changing hormones. She would sit in the bay window of her apartment,
smoking joint after joint, then packs of cigarettes. And she knew
it was a sham. She'd never be like those premie women, who floated
along in a perfume of holy name, living only to be vessels of
Maharaji's grace. At these moments she would stiffen her jaw,
knowing that she had to do the most efficient thing for the sake
of her own survival.
Eventually she had to face the fact that she
was in no position to have a child, and that she didn't want to
spend the rest of her life tied to Phil. As a financial provider
he ranked down there with the male lion in the pack, lazing around
while the women did all the hunting.
Secretly, she made an appointment at the local abortion clinic to have her and
Phil's baby sucked into oblivion. But on the
morning when she was to have the abortion, Gaby felt an unbearable
pain in her uterus and doubled over onto the living room floor.
Blood starting gushing out of her, soaking her underpants, dress,
and even the carpet. Phil, wild with fear, called an ambulance.
At the emergency room, Gaby inhaled the anesthesia
mask eagerly, praying to go under, into oblivion. She awoke from
the emergency D & C clinging to the nurse's hand and sobbing,
'I love the Lord so much, I love the Lord so much.'
The night she came home from the hospital,
she lay alone on the living room floor in psychic agony. She didn't
realize that her hormones were crashing after losing the baby
and that she was anemic from losing so much blood. She hated
herself for getting pregnant, for deciding to abort the baby,
for the mess her life was in. She hated herself for finally telling
Phil that she had been planning to have an abortion, and for the
look of horror and grief on his face. He had packed his things
and had moved out that morning.
Tears would have eased the pain, but tears
were acts of self forgiveness, and she would not forgive herself. This clawing, tearing
self-hatred was a familiar but unwelcome friend who came to call
without bothering to telephone first. She wanted to annihilate
herself from the planet, but that would have been an act of self-will,
and since she was always passive, instead she ruptured, imploding
Gaby stared numbly out the living room window.
Outside, snowflakes were falling in the quiet hush of the night.
A gentle blanket of new snow lay in the streets and lawns of her
neighborhood, illuminated by the streetlights.
Suddenly Gaby felt her spirit leave her body
and float down the stairs to the street below. She was Guru Maharaji's
bride, her long flannel nightgown was a gossamer fairy princess
wedding dress, the snowflakes were a glittery crown for her head.
She floated along a carpet leading to the altar
where she was to wed her beloved. The carpet led to a beautiful
garden covered in freshly fallen snow. Suddenly she saw her Beloved,
approaching to join her so they could be united in wedded bliss
for all time. Maharaji was wearing an exquisite black silk tuxedo.
His face shone like a thousand suns, his smile was one of charm,
uncomplicated by ego, unconditional radiant love, and humor.
Oh Maharaji, Gaby cried, You never let anything disturb your bliss,
you are my Satguru, my Savior, my guide, my sun, my stars, my
love. Your lotus feet cleanse me of all my sin.
Maharaji took his place beside Gaby and took her hand in his. She felt waves of
darshan bliss move through her body as his
divine touch blessed her. Then Maharaji turned to her. His smile
vanished and his eyes became menacing slits. 'You'll never leave
me, Gaby. You belong to me. If you ever try to leave me, you'll
be sorry,' he said in a voice that held the universe under its
Gaby collapsed, sobbing into the icy cold snow.
She tried to hug the earth beneath the snow, she cried to Mother
Earth to protect her from whatever was happening to her. Mother
Earth had comforted her so many times before when madness threatened
to engulf her. She rolled over and looked up at the vast Iowa
sky where millions snowflakes rushed around in a busy dance. They
had tiny voices that sang, 'Be careful, be careful'.
Gaby sent her SOS out to the full moon which
dimly glowed beneath the heavy cloud cover. She inhaled and the
sharp winter air stung her nostrils, but the smell of nurturing
pine trees soothed her.
The soft-needled pine trees closed around Gaby in a healing circle. 'Rest, my dear child,' said the Mother Pine Tree, caressing Gaby with her silky branches. 'Rest, you are so tired, we will watch over you.' Gaby closed her eyes, and rested at last.