Chapter 10 - Mr. Oracle and the Oracle
Mr. McNeely was home when Robin walked in.
“You must be our new boarder,” he said offering his hand.
Robin shook it, “Yes, sir. That’s me. I really appreciate you both for taking me in like this.”
“Think nothing of it. I’m sorry I wasn’t here to greet you earlier, but today is my day to help out down at the church after work. Anna told me you had arrived. The living room’s yours. I’m heading for bed. Let us know if you need anything.”
“Thanks. I will. I’m a bit tired myself. I’m going to bed too.”
Around eleven O’clock he fell asleep.
He slept well, but he was still having weird dreams. Then something changed. He was in a strange apartment. There was a party going on. He looked around, but didn’t recognize anyone. For some reason he had the feeling they were all academics. They were speaking in a foreign language. It sounded like French.
Across the room he saw a shapely woman standing by herself next to an open sliding glass doorway. Behind her he could see the Eiffel tower. She was wearing a silky lavender floor length gown that shimmered when she moved. He couldn’t believe his eyes.
She had long beautiful auburn hair that fell to her shoulders and the face of an angel from heaven. Her skin was alabaster white.
I’ve got to find out who she is. I have never seen such a beautiful woman in my life. I think I’m in love.
He pushed through the crowd and managed to get up enough courage to say, Hi, My name is Robin. I saw you across the room and I felt like I had to meet you.
Nice to meet you, Robin, she said with a voice so lovely it made his heart ache. Are you enjoying my party?
Your party…? Oh my… I think I owe you an apology. I wasn’t invited. I don’t even know how I got here.
That’s all right, Robin. I don’t mind. I saw you come in and I hoped you’d come over to talk to me.
Really? I hope you’re not just saying that to make me feel better about crashing.
No. I mean it.
She gently moved closer to him, her body barely touching his, and looked up into his eyes. Hers were a beautiful shade of green. He could smell a hint of Jasmine perfume. Robin knew he had finally found the woman he could spend the rest of his life without ever giving any other a second look or thought.
Do you believe in love at first sight, Robin?
Well… I… Yes, as a matter of fact, I certainly do … now.
She reached her hand up and gently stroked his cheek. Robin wasn’t sure of whether he should say something or kiss her, but before he had a chance to react she moved her hand to the back of his neck and pulled his face down to hers. He instinctively took her in his arms and kissed her. Her mouth tasted of Jasmine. A huge wave of euphoria engulfed him. He felt as though her soul entered his body and they became as one. He felt light headed and dizzy. They kissed for only a few moments, but to Robin it felt as though their souls were joined forever. She smiled at him. Her hand was still behind his neck.
I feel the same way, Robin. You and I were meant to be together in this life just as we were in other past lives. I felt that the minute I saw you come in the door.
She tilted her head and pulled his neck again. Robin was only too happy to comply. As his lips touched hers he heard a loud beeping sound. The party faded out. He opened his eyes to find himself lying in bed with the alarm clock blaring in his ear.
“Damn! He hit the off switch and rolled over. Damn! Damn! Damn! It was a dream! The most beautiful girl in the world and she’s just a dream! Why, Lord, does it always have to be a dream?”
He punched the mattress. It was then he realized the bees were back. He knew there was no chance of trying to go back to sleep to find her again with that noise in his head. He crawled out of bed, dressed and went to the bathroom to take his pain medication. He showered, ate breakfast, and decided to go to the park to clear his mind. He crossed the street and entered the park gates. He walked over a bridge and found himself in front of the Arts Museum. He was in the area they call the Prado. He walked along the causeway passing other museum buildings. At the far end he saw a large fountain. A couple of kids were wading in the water. He sat by the fountain wondering what he was going to do with his life, now that he had it back.
He thought of his wine binge of two years and about living in the alleyways.
No. I definitely don’t want to go back to that. Well, first things first. I need to buy some wardrobe.
He left the fountain and headed toward the Carousel and the Zoo. Out on the lawn there appeared to be a carnival of some sort. There were quite a few people milling around. He could see tents and booths set up and people dressed in what appeared to be Renaissance costumes. There was a large banner that read, “Psychic Faire.”
I wonder what that means…
He walked from booth to booth. There were palm readers, Taro card readers, fortunetellers, and booths where you could buy fortune telling equipment and accouterments. There were candles, crystals, and the like. He was amused by the idea that people actually believed in that “stuff.” He began to notice that as the crowds got thicker the buzzing in his head grew louder. He was feeling claustrophobic. His head began to ache in spite of the medication he had taken before he left for his walk. The buzzing was now a roar.
This is just like my dream!
He began to panic. His only thought was to run. He had to get away from this place as fast as he could. The throbbing in his head made him stagger like a drunk. His vision became blurred and he felt as though he might pass out, but the pain in his head wouldn’t let him.
If I don’t get out of here I’ll go mad!
He turned around to head away from the crowds, but there were too many people. He bumped into them trying to escape. He tried to focus on his exit path, but the ground seemed to be tilting and bending to prevent an even footing. He closed his eyes for a moment hoping it would stop, but it didn’t. Someone took his arm and he heard a woman’s voice say, “Come with me, Robin. I can help you. Let’s get you away from this crowd.”
He kept his eyes closed and let her lead him. He had no idea where they were going, but it was better than blindly stumbling around through the crowds on his own. She led him toward one of the tents. He opened his eyes long enough to see a sign over the entryway that said, “Madame Velvet Psychic readings”.
“Sit here”, she said as she helped him into a chair. “Now, try to clear your mind and concentrate only on my voice. That’s it. Try to relax your muscles. Take a deep breath through your nose. That’s it. Now, exhale through your mouth… slower this time. Take a deep breath – count to six as you do it. Think only of your breathing. When your lungs are full, I want you to hold your breath for another three counts. That’s it. Now, let it out slowly – count to six again as you exhale. When your lungs are empty of air hold it for another three counts. Good. Now we repeat the sequence several times. We’re trying to establish a rhythmic breathing. Now, breathe in…”
He found comfort in the strange woman’s voice and knew she was trying to help him so he obeyed her instructions without question.
“Good. Continue breathing slowly and deeply in that pattern always counting to six and holding for three. Keep your eyes closed. I want you to concentrate on my voice and your breathing. I need you to be here in this room… just you and me… good. Now that you are relaxed, keep breathing in the same manner… very good. You are a quick study, Robin. Okay, I want you to think about those buzzing noises in your head. Picture them as a swarm of hornets buzzing around a large paper nest. Do you see it?”
“Yes, and I hear it,” he said between breaths.
“That’s okay. Just think of that nest as floating in the air in front of you with all those angry hornets flying around it. Excellent, now I want you to gently push the nest and those nasty hornets away from you with your mind. Picture it gently floating away. The farther you push it away from you, the less you hear the buzzing… that’s it, keep pushing it.”
“I want you to picture a large brick wall in front of you with an open door in it. Keep pushing the nest towards that wall until it goes out the door. That’s it. It’s outside the door.”
It was working! The bees had quieted down to a dull hum, but his head still felt like someone was hitting it with a hammer.
“Don’t stop the breathing pattern. Keep concentrating on the rhythm… that’s it. Now that the hornets are quieted down, I want you to think about your headache.”
Like, I could think of anything else.
“I know it’s difficult, Robin. Instead of how bad it feels, you need to think about the pain as being a thing – not a feeling. Think of it as a ball of ice or fire. It’s an object that you can see.”
She could see him turning his pain into a ball of ice lodged in his temple.
“Excellent. Gently push that ball of ice away from you like you did with the hornet’s nest. You can see it leaving your temple and floating away toward that door. As it moves away you’ll notice that the pain diminishes. That’s it. Push your pain through the open the doorway and put it along side of the hornet’s nest… very good. You are a natural. It takes most people a lot of practice before they can do that.”
His headache was gone! Robin opened his eyes and looked around. He was sitting inside the tent at a small round table. In the center was a large crystal ball sitting on a large violet tablecloth. A huge Oriental rug served as a floor.
He looked at his savior. She was a woman of medium height; about five eight with long charcoal gray hair. She was wearing a pair of round wire rimmed glasses. She reminded him of the actress Jamie Lee Curtis. He thought she looked to be about seventy years old.
“I’m sixty,” she said.
“What?” He was jarred from his thoughts.
“I’m only sixty. Not seventy,” she said without animosity.
“I beg your pardon?”
“You were thinking that I was seventy. I was merely correcting you. Are you feeling better?”
“Yes. How did you do that? The headache cure I mean.”
“I didn’t. You did that, Robin,” she replied.
“That’s another thing. Do you know me? I don’t remember you, though after what I’ve been through the last few months it’s possible I’ve forgotten.”
“No. We’ve never met before. I know your name because I have the same gift you have been given.”
“What are you talking about? What gift?”
“Some call it intuition. Some call it a lucky guess. Some say it’s ESP. Those of us who have it call it the Gift.”
“I don’t mean to sound ungrateful, but you’ve got the wrong guy, lady. I have no ‘Gift’. I don’t have much money and I’m a bit short of any means to get any at the moment. I’ll be glad to pay you for helping me to cure my headache – and the bee trick, of course –, but if you’re trying to scam me out of my money, don’t let this suit fool you. It’s all I have. It was a gift from one of my doctors because my own clothes had been destroyed shortly after they pronounced me dead. I should really go now.”
He rose to leave. As he passed her chair she said, “Go where and do what? Live in your box in the alley? You haven’t a job and you have no discernible skills. As for the cure, it’s only temporary.”
He turned and stared at her incredulously. Her eyes met his and a light of understanding seemed to go on in his head.
“You know my name, don’t you?” she asked knowingly.
I do know her name. It’s Nancy, but how…?