Chapter Six


Part Two

Chapter Six


Chris: He picked me up outside Jacksonville, Florida, on his way to Dallas. He was a biker. But in a car this time, black leather coat, chains, etc. Mean expression. Recently betrayed in love… While we were travel- ing across Texas in the darkness of that winter night, something flashed across the road in front of us. It was illuminated—luminous, it was a wolf—by the headlights. Not an ordinary wolf. I thought that we should stop there to investigate. But forgot that intention as my ride began, at that moment, to tell me about his life. His parents had disowned him when he was ten. At eleven he was sent to the Texas reformatory school for burning down a Holiday Inn. At fourteen, he and a friend stole an expensive car and drove it to the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. As an adult, he once got picked up on a mistaken identity. The cop had cuffed him to the cop car and proceeded to beat the hell out of him. But the cop got too close. Wolf wrestled the cop’s gun away from him and shot him in the stomach. When eventually caught again, the judge was sym- pathetic, knowing Texas law enforcement, and told him to just get out of the state until the statute of limitations ran out on him. So, he went off to West Virginia and lived off the land for a while. During this time he had something of a conversion experience. He started to get into Jesus, but some preacher got into his girlfriend. So, he left girl, preacher and Jesus behind. None the less he was trying to live straight. He was tired of being a criminal. I stayed with his people outside of Dallas for a day. Then he and I went into town. He wanted to show me around. But first he stopped at what he called a “titty bar.” It was about ten in the morning. Very plain, mostly nude women strutting awkwardly beneath strobing lights that disguised the extra fat and puckered skin. What he got there was ‘speed’ on credit from a friend. Sick Wolf injected it in his arm, in the car, in the parking lot. Well he couldn’t show me the town because neither of us had any money. So after a while he let me out on the freeway heading west. Too bad, we liked each other, oddly. He was an artist too. He painted scenes on the sides of vans. He wanted to go straight. But where could he channel energies like that?

After this ride dropped Simon off, he wanted to talk to Cat, badly. Maybe because of the Jacksonville dream, maybe because Simon didn’t find Wolfman at all attractive, maybe just because he was in love, Simon found a nearby gas station/convenience store with a public telephone and he called her.

No answer. So Simon returned to the road. And almost immediately had a ride all the way to El Paso. Simon and his ride talked for hours as they covered the nearly 1000 miles to El Paso. It was almost confessional. But fun as well, both young men out and about—on their own. Then, Simon begins to doze. And again as he sleeps, he dreams, or maybe it is something else than a dream. It sure isn’t anything ordinary. In this dream—somehow this time this was something more than a dream—Simon was on his way to the Middle East:

Getting to Yemen required flying first to Cairo to obtain a visa from the Yemeni Embassy there. The airline sent our luggage to Paris and took a week to find it. It took that long to get our visas anyway. Once, while waiting for all this, we went horseback riding across the Sahara to a particularly ancient pyramid. We made friends with the family who owned the horses and stayed that night in their house. My window looked out directly into the face of the Sphinx several hundred yards away. The moon was full that night. We returned about three in the morning. I stayed at the window until sunrise, watching. However many times one sees these monuments they maintain a unique and powerful presence in my imagination.

Still our visas were not ready. So, we decided to take a couple of side trips. The first was up the Nile to Luxor and Karnak. As we started out, I realized that I had been traveling to this destination for a long time. There had been many indications along the way. One such was the ele- phant! I now remembered that I had been having visions of a great ele- phant lumbering slowly but determinedly along the shore of the ocean. It knew unquestionably its destination. The destination had something to do with a wonderful golden light that I had first seen while doing some energy work with Chris several months previous. Now the ele- phant seemed to be nearing the “place” of that Golden light. Luxor. The Hindu Elephant God, Ganesh, is the aid of pilgrims. In Africa, the ele- phant can be the shaman’s ‘spirit guide animal.’

We arrived in Luxor and took a hotel just south of town. Our win- dows led out to a balcony that looked across the Nile to oasis-like farms on the other side and the vast barren desert beyond. The Nile here is randomly embroidered with a negligee of floating plants: cities of lilies—no, islands, populations, continents of lotus, moving as if carelessly choreographed; pushed and pulled, eddied and twirled by that ancient current.

We visited the usual sights: Valley of the Kings, Valley of the Queens, the rest. It was hot. Very hot. What would one expect for August in the Sahara? There had been for such a long time, a barren sense of waiting. Long, tedious, often lonely waiting. Now, the heat and more waiting. It all seemed endless. I am a priest. I celebrated a Mass in my room once. Somewhere inside it, I felt a great sense of arrival, completion of prepa- ration. I saw the god enter the realm of golden light. I identified com- pletely with the god. Wonderful, wonderful, joyous light. I don’t know what this means for the journey, for Yemen. Is it preparation? Is it con- clusion? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. If it is conclusion, then I’m ready. It is peace, absolute peace and meaning. I made a medi- cine bundle and threw it in the river. Then we left.

The Sinai. The drive was long and uninspiring. But the valley sur- rounding Moses’ Mountain is ignited with wonder. The White Fire was there. The shamanic presence was there. The surrounding mountains brood and nurture in a way nothing short of the maternal. The ancient monastery at the foot of the mountain is dedicated to St. Catherine and the Virgin Mother of God. The whole area earlier in history has been named for the moon Goddess, “Sin.” The “Wilderness of Sin” it’s called. The air at this altitude is cool, the breeze fresh and strong. The sense of the place is gentleness, care. I was happy to be there and felt ready now for Yemen.

After Cat threatened the Yemeni consulate with a complaint to the U.S. Embassy, they finally granted our visas. We completed our dusty stay in Egypt and flew to the capital of Yemen, Sanaa. Leaving the airport there, I was invaded with a feeling of dread, of sickness, of regret, almost of despair. I couldn’t localize these emotions. Was it simply my sense of the place, its dragon? I couldn’t indulge such sensations though, since we had to locate some place to stay and deal with all the rest that accompanies arrival in a new place.

Actually, I like the people of Yemen that I met and enjoyed the ancient mud brick skyscrapers for which Yemen is famous. But my sense of the place is violence. There was a movie out in the U.S. not long ago called “Blue Velvet”(1986?). The sexual violence of that movie expressed something of the violence I sensed when first in Yemen.

Soon after arriving, I began to have a series of spontaneous visions. These occurred unexpectedly and continued throughout our stay. They were of myself in a “great monk’s robe” with a staff of steel. I’m striking the ground over and over with the staff. It is some kind of shamanic action. There are leather strips hanging from the top of the staff. Sometimes I used these to help strike the ground with greater force. I seemed to be chal- lenging something. I was completely intent on what I was doing. I was on the Plain of Sanaa. There was no city there. I was alone. Toward the end of our stay in Yemen, I, in the vision, was becoming exhausted. Then two Saint/bishops came to aid me. One was St. Augustine. The other, unidentified. They act to console and strengthen me.

It seems that Simon is being infused with some kind of visionary energy! Not a dream, but a transference of some kind that is seen in these images and places. But is something else… perhaps pure knowl- edge! Darshan!

We checked into a room at what was once a posh hotel, now decrepit. Then, we all went for a walk in the marketplace. Simon and Cat went off to look for antique Arab jewelry, and I went to find the incense shops. Yemen is the ancient, famous source of frankincense and I wanted to get some. I met, in this process, a young Italian man. He was an interna- tional salesman. He seemed friendly and helped me with these transac- tions. We hit it off pretty well. He spoke some English and Arabic. We had chai in a little tea shop, then determined that we wanted to try out the variety of incense that we had just purchased, so we went back to the hotel. I had earlier set out some pictures of the Theotokos. He had brought some lit charcoals in a burner and proceeded to arrange all this on a table in the room. We put on the first incense. A wonderful, full, resin smell drifted through the room. It was late afternoon, warm but not oppressive. The young Italian burned some substance that he had brought with him. I don’t know what it was. Sticky sweetness filled my mind. The room was becoming dark. The furnishings vague. I became very tired. I was sad somehow. Somehow I could no longer quite grasp where I was. I lay down on the bed. He lay on top of me. I passed out of consciousness. I came to consciousness firmly in the embrace of a pow- erful man, not the Italian. We were naked. I resisted. But he simply over- powered me. He took me. I don’t mean just sexually, but some other way. It seemed like my father, but wasn’t exactly. He took me. And I have never been the same since. I passed out.

Not out of consciousness, though. I was laughing. Next it was Cat. She was in the room. We embraced. Lay together. For hours. We were one… Dreams… She a goddess, I was a king. We are in a palace long ago somewhere on the Mediterranean. We are in a room with a window over-looking the sea. In one corner of the room. She and I kneel before a niche that contained her image in the form of the snake. It is a very positive, light-filled ambiance. But then through the window, one could see our harbor filling with enemy war galleys. Our palace is in a panic. We have only a small navy. They send out a small ship to test the strength of the enemy. It is overwhelmed. The enemy takes the harbor. The goddess disappears. The palace is taken. I am taken prisoner with a group of other men. An enemy warrior prods me in the back with the blunt end of his spear. We see distant mountains. Some in the group of prisoners are planning to escape there. I debate to join them.

That vision ends. I am with Cat again. Our embrace is of divine duration. Then she was a friend of mine, Chris. Such profound frater- nity. Closer than brothers. Closer than family. Extensions of one another. Excursions into one another. Were one, the same. Then, it was Simon and Cat. Then blinding white light seemed to explode from our loins. The pain in my body, first just above the perineum, then all over, was excruciating. The light, like liquid, enveloped our bodies, our being. Invaded everywhere, filled us, filled the room, exploded and disap- peared as the real Simon rushed frantically into the room.

The Italian was gone. The room was clear of incense smoke. There was only the harsh glare of light from the neon in the hall. That filled the room with the ugly shadows of a cheap hotel room a long way from home. It was three in the morning.

Simon was desperate. Cat was gone! Gone?! What do you mean? Gone. Disappeared. Taken. Kidnapped. What are you talking about. Don’t be crazy. What’s happening. Chris explained:

“We had been walking in the market looking at ethnic wares. We were befriended by a youngish Italian man. He knew the market well and showed us the best shops. Then he took us to a tea room. It was very beautiful. Carved wooden walls, heavily embroidered curtains across the windows. Beautiful lush oriental carpets. We drank the usual Chai. It was drugged. Cat slowly faded out of my vision. I seemed to be in a forest, I was running naked. It was twilight. I was chasing deer. One in particular. A stag. It would sometimes stop, turn to look at me catching up, then bound ahead. It was like that all afternoon. It seemed to go on for days. There was nothing for me but the chase. Then I became the stag. And I laughed, as if I finally understood something very subtle but very important. I don’t know how to describe how a stag laughs. But I laughed inside that powerful body. And I ran. No longer pursued or pursuing but I ran for the exhilaration. Then it was twilight, I found myself standing over the stag. It was killed by my spear. I was bathed in its blood. I went to Cat covered with blood. She was waiting for me. She was prepared to receive me. I came to her. It was more than love. It was like the copulation of two universes. White stars exploding. The earth re-created fecund- all over again, with all manner of living things. Our embrace seemed to last forever. I couldn’t stop. I seemed to be dying. Then she was like a spider, withdrawing from me. She was still in human form but carried the energy of the spider. I was limp and dying on that web of oriental carpets in the room.

I came to consciousness. I could see Cat struggling in the grip of two amazon-like women. The Italian man was with them, but he was dressed like a woman. Now he looked like a woman. They took her. I called out to her. She screamed to me. But I could hardly move. I tried to rise but fell back unconscious. When I finally came to, I ran back here to find you. I didn’t know what else to do. I was desperate. All my train- ing to protect people, to defend, and I couldn’t even move.”

Simon was desolate.

We notified the authorities, went through endless paperwork and interrogations. Did not tell them about our visionary experiences. A search was mounted. After several excruciating days, nothing was turned up and we were invited to leave the country. We didn’t want to go, until I had this vision/dream. I saw myself and saw a vision that I had in the dream. A dream within a dream. I was once again the Great Robed Monk striking the ground with his steel staff. But this time he planted the staff in the ground on that plain of Sanaa, leathers trailing in the wind. The challenge is made. Whatever great being or ‘power’ dwelling there is roused. That is why we came to Yemen.

I board a plane. I fly to India. To a place in the north. The last scene of the dream is in a mountain place. A place of great power.

I wake from the dream slowly and know that to find Cat we must go to India. We don’t have any other lead. We decide to follow the dream. We will go to India. I will speak to my Tibetan friends there. We will find these women who have taken our friend.

There was something else in the dream. Something that I only remembered later as we were on the train from Delhi to the mountains above Dehra Dun. Something that I did not tell Simon. It came unex- pectedly. I knew that Cat was pregnant by both of us. Twin warriors. Grandmother spider was there. It was in the dream. But I hadn’t remembered. That baby is what the women want. But why?

This was a dream, But not a dream at all. But, but, what? A premonition? There were visions within the dream!?


What are you doing, man!!?? Simon wakes to the driver going down in his lap. Simon’s pants are unzipped, he is completely exposed. The driver sucks deeply, as his fingers seek a rythmic stimulation of Simon’s prostate…

The car with its steamed windows is parked in El Paso. Startled, Simon grabs his gear, gets out. The ride guns the engine and steals away. Simon stands staring, incredulous, feeling moist and a little slimy. They had had such great talks. Too bad it had to end like this… Simon gazes after the ride, as the car turns a corner too fast. He catches a final glimpse of the driver, no longer a young man, but middle aged, maybe old, larger more powerful, as car and driver disappear around the corner.

Now, Simon really needs to talk to Cat. He finds a small café and asks to use the phone. He tries the number again and again. Again no answer. Simon, stays for an early breakfast.