Back in Lenaís motel room in Kissimmee, Ophelia came out of trance just long enough to hear Lena's plans to leave Miami for Tucson. At that moment, she decided to return to the West Coast as soon as possible. She sought the comfort of her old hometown; the sanity of California. But something told her things would never really be the same again. She fell back into a deep trance state and began to channel the spirit of a travel agent who wasn't able to help Ophelia due to her lack of money. Rather than dealing with her destitute situation, Ophelia slept until morning. When she awoke, she was all alone.
Later on that morning, Ophelia collapsed in a chair in the Western Union office in Kissimmee. Her sister had promised to wire her bus fare back to Los Angeles, but the wait seemed interminable. Despondent and disillusioned, Ophelia allowed the tears to flow steadily down her cheeks, wiping her nose with the back of her sleeve.
'Hey there, beautiful. What's the matter?' Ophelia was startled. A tall, dark, handsome man stood before her offering a handkerchief. She took it and blew her nose without a word.
'May I?' He asked, gesturing his desire to sit beside her. Ophelia could only nod her assent. She noticed his tight designer jeans and his button-down shirt, opened to expose a forest of black chest hair and the expensive gold chain around his neck. He was clean-shaven, and smelled of Old Spice aftershave. His jet black hair reached to his collar in the back, but displayed the beginning of a receding hairline on top. Ophelia found herself attracted to his confidence, and relaxed as he delivered an intriguing monologue about himself.
Dominic Da Vinci, 36 years old, warm, family-oriented, and arrogant. Ophelia welcomed the opportunity to focus on his stories told with such excitement and a spirit that was foreign to her. She felt safe with Dominic; his demeanor expressed self-love and a complete and total faith in his life's purpose. Moreover, he was a premie.
'Yeah, I've been invited to the Residence lots of times; I give hefty donations and get invited to lots of parties. I'm tight with all the head honchos, but I like to do my own thing. I dedicate all my actions to Maharaji, and everything works out perfectly. Miracles happen all the time. I probably shouldn't be telling you this, but I've seen the Grace unfold in my life in ways that show that I'm totally above the law.'
Ophelia decided that this man was a special gift sent to her from the guru. As he continued to extol his own greatness, Ophelia envisioned their wedding, a beautiful mansion in Malibu, and gorgeous children with huge brown eyes and curly black hair. She and Durga Ji could be neighbors, maybe do the coffee klatch thing. Their kids could play together. Suddenly Ophelia felt the desire to re-dedicate her life to the Lord. Things were going to be different now - she could feel it.
Dominic offered to take Ophelia as far as Tucson, but needed gas money because someone had lifted his wallet back at the cow pasture. Ophelia gladly offered the money wired from her sister, and Dominic promised to pay her back.
Ophelia's mouth dropped as he escorted her to his car: a red Ferrari. Little did she know that strategically hidden throughout the vehicle was $25,000 worth of cocaine. It did seem rather odd that Dominic was able to drive both day and night without a break until he offered Ophelia a thick line and a straw. Ophelia leaned back to enjoy the ride; Dominic reached out and placed his hand on her thigh. Ophelia smiled and thought of Lena.
Suddenly Dominic unzipped his pants, grabbed the back of Ophelia's head, and forced her face down in his lap. Ophelia gagged but did her best deep throat imitation, and fortunately, Dominic came quickly. It was all over in a minute. Ophelia watched him nonchalantly zip his jeans, check his hair in the mirror, inhale deeply on a cigarette, and increase the pressure on the accelerator. In her typical escapist fashion, Ophelia dissociated from her emotions and went into trance. While she was under, the spirit of Al Capone came to her with a warning to be careful because Dominic had come with more power than ever before. Ophelia meant to ask Al about his after-life experiences, but she was awakened suddenly when Dominic abruptly stopped the car in a hotel parking lot.
They had arrived in Houston in record time, and apparently Dominic had some business to attend to here because he grabbed his briefcase and told her he'd be right back.
Ophelia waited patiently until she realized how badly she had to pee. She got out of the Ferrari and followed the path she'd seen Dominic take. The door was ajar; and Ophelia hesitated before entering. She heard a strange voice - a man begging for a few more days. She peeked around the door and saw 2 men standing over the beggar, who was bound tightly to a chair. Dominic appeared from the shadows with a knife. 'We have to be sure you learn your lesson.' He approached the sobbing man. Ophelia saw Dominic lift the knife and bring it down across the man's palm. A scream caught in her throat and she retreated backwards in horror as swiftly as she could. She made it back to the car and stood there looking around for a place to hide. Fighting the urge to descend into trance, Ophelia realized that she couldn't think straight. She decided to practice Holy Name and pray for guidance. Immediately upon closing her eyes, though, she passed out on the sidewalk and didnít awake until Dominic returned.
'What happened, my love?' Dominic tenderly lifted her into the car. 'Are you hungry? I know a great Italian restaurant downtown.'
Slowly the scene in the hotel room reassembled in Ophelia's memory. She was speechless, but allowed herself to be lulled by Dominic's reassuring satsang.
'It's all about love, you know? It's all about surrendering our concepts of right and wrong and connecting to that place inside which will guide us perfectly. When I go to that place within inside, nothing can hurt me. I am sheltered in the ashram within. Hey, could you pass me that pipe?'Ophelia complied and smoked a bowl when it was offered. She was immediately transported out of her body. In through her crown chakra walked the spirit of an Italian priest who traveled to India in search of Truth but tripped and fell to his death in the Himalayas. Coincidentally, the priest happened to be Dominic's great-grandfather whose affair with a local grape crusher had produced Dominic's grandmother. The priest, using Ophelia's voice, began chanting a Latin Mass.
'Shut the fuck up!' Dominic shouted. The spirit of the Priest took off, and the next entity to take control was the spirit of an Indian Shaman who warned Dominic to change his evil activities before it was too late. Dominic back-handed the Shaman, who fled; instantly, Ophelia was back, but unconscious. She stayed that way all the way through Texas.
Ophelia awoke to find herself naked and underneath Dominic who had entered her abruptly; he was pounding relentlessly, attempting to awaken her slumbering sexuality with his battering ram. She turned her head to see where they were and noticed a man lying on the other queen-sized bed watching television intently. Never having been in a situation like this before, Ophelia wondered what the right action to take might be.
Rather than making a scene, she decided to examine the curtains and matching hotel bedspreads to see if she could guess what city they were in. Dominic grunted, fell on her with all his weight, and then rolled over and started snoring. Ophelia pulled the covers up over her luscious breasts, cleared her throat, and asked the man on the other bed if he knew where her clothes might be. The man ignored her, and Ophelia decided that perhaps he was only an apparition and she shouldn't be speaking to someone who wasn't there or she might appear insane.
To pass the time, Ophelia stared at the ceiling and meditated on Holy Name. Thoughts crept in, but she was vigilant and shooed them away. She knew that if she allowed herself to think too much, she would be swept up in the Maya and might feel awful about her current circumstances. Who was she to question the Grace?
When the sun came up, Ophelia crawled out of bed and took a hot bath. As she began drying herself, she heard Dominic arguing with the apparition ('Whew! At least she wasn't totally bonkers!' she thought). Dominic was angry because the man wanted his car back. Ophelia curled herself into a fetal position next to the toilet, sucked her thumb, and rocked back and forth until she didn't hear voices anymore. Loud pounding on the door brought her out of her catatonic reverie. She opened the door to Dominic, who grabbed her by the wrist and told her to hurry. She noticed blood on his shirt as he dragged her out to the parking lot.
Wearing only a towel, Ophelia climbed quickly into the Ferrari and barely had time to close the door before they took off - tires squealing. 'What was that all about?' she asked, readjusting her towel. Dominic did not answer, but drove directly to the nearest freeway on-ramp and sped as fast as he could, weaving through the morning commuter traffic.
'Well, I sure hope we make it to Tucson by tonight. I really need satsang!' Ophelia muttered.
The dry desert air on the outskirts of Tucson brought Ophelia back to a state usually unfamiliar to her. She felt grounded and awake and suddenly realized that Dominic had mob connections and was not to be trusted. He didnít own the Ferrari, he borrowed money from her for gas and food, and the cocaine he was snorting was probably not his own. Moreover, Ophelia suddenly became acutely aware of the fact that she was dressed only in a towel. After several minutes spent summoning up courage, Ophelia decided she couldn't handle the silence anymore. She turned to face Dominic and said, 'I need to know the truth: Do you think Iím pretty?'Dominic smiled and said, 'Sure, honey.' Reaching behind his seat, he pulled a pair of running shorts and a tank top out of a gym bag. 'Here, put these on.'
Ophelia complied and settled back in the seat, closing her eyes, and mentally repeated, 'Please Maharaji, help me' over and over again.
Dominic glanced sideways at the waif, noticing the way the tank top revealed the sides of her round, firm breasts. The outline of her nipples pressing against the T-shirt aroused his manhood, and he was tempted to allow her to suck the cream right out of him. However, they had arrived in Tucson, and he needed to concentrate to find the right exit.
Meanwhile, heíd also noticed that a police car had been following him for a few miles. Dominic decided to drop Ophelia off at the satsang hall so he could take the next exit and, with any luck, lose the cop. As he pulled up in front of the hall and stopped, Ophelia opened her eyes. 'We're here.' he said. 'Get out while I go find a place to park.'
Ophelia obediently got out of the car and watched Dominic drive away. Somehow, she knew this was the last time she'd ever see him. As she walked into the satsang hall, Ophelia was totally oblivious to the fact that her tits were easily visible, her shorts were two sizes too large, and she was barefoot. She brushed her hair with her fingers, and suddenly realized she needed to vomit. She ran around the back of the building to the alley where she was met by an amazing sight. There stood Lena, up against the wall, with the barrel of a gun in her mouth.
Ophelia forgot that she needed to puke and joyously called out Lenaís name. She ran toward Lena who pulled the gun out of her mouth slowly and dropped it to the ground. Ophelia hugged Lena as tightly as if she were a life preserver. Lena hugged Ophelia back, greedily breathing in the scent of her hair, her neck, her perspiration.
As she came back from the brink of her intended death, Lena anticipated Ophelia would ask questions about the gun. Why was Lena planning suicide? What had happened to put her over the edge? However, Ophelia, apparently oblivious to the event that she had interrupted, excitedly relayed her experience with Dominic, which culminated with an assertion that the guru had answered her prayers because they were together again. Lena chose to allow Ophelia's babbling to soothe her emotions and forgot for a moment the cause of her despondency.
The two eventually went to satsang, although they had broken a commandment by delaying in their attendance. It was almost time for satsang to end when Lena felt suddenly inspired to speak. She waited until one brother ended a monotonous dialogue, and she took his place, cross-legged, in front of the altar. After two deep breaths, she began.
'I had the barrel of a gun in my mouth this evening, but by his grace, I am here speaking to you now. Truly a miracle has occurred. You see, I was betrayed today by someone I trusted, someone I loved. But I've been shown, once again, that we canít trust anyone except our Lord. We can't trust our lovers or our friends because they can never really fulfill us like the guru can. They are destined to fail us; the only true lover is Maharaji. Attachment is the source of pain in this world. Maharaji has shown me clearly that I must be detached. I must dedicate my life to him. He sent an angel to show me that he loves me, that he cares about me, that I am his alone.'
Lena sat down next to Ophelia who leaned over and whispered, 'Great satsang. What's this about a gun?' Lena wondered whether Ophelia might have done too much acid, but Arti was beginning and the two sang with feeling.
After the final verses were over, the flame passed around, and the charanamrit distributed, Lena and Ophelia got ready to leave. Several brothers approached them to say good-night and get a hug (read: cop a feel). One very handsome ashram premie slipped Lena the tongue during a seemingly harmless kiss.
Instinctively, Lena's knee jerked into the brother's groin area. 'JaiSatChitAnand, brother.'
She smiled, hooked elbows with Ophelia, and they left the building.