22 Love Is a Many Splendored Thing

Cesky Krumlov is a tiny medieval town that never entered the modern age. Everything is kept as it was in ancient times with cobblestone streets, little shops and one big castle. The past is the present here.

Otis came to Cesky Krumlov when he was 20 years-old, alone on a grand tour of Europe. He felt very lonely at the time and wished he had had a girl to share this lovely town with. Now, he has returned and I am the lucky girl.

We take two beds in a little hostel for $10 a night and end up in a huge dorm all by ourselves.

I can feel him standing next to me. My heart is full of love for him. We’re standing on a bridge, overlooking a gently flowing river. My eyes feast on his beauteous young face as he quietly observes the river. Wait, there is something not quite right with this picture. Otis doesn’t look like the Otis I know. This man is indeed Otis, but he is much too young to be the Otis I know. This man next to me is only 20 years-old.

Oh, I’m dreaming! I’m a lucid dreamer and at that moment that I awake inside my dream, I begin to observe the events with awareness and control my dream body. I’m dreaming about Otis being in Cesky Krumlov for his first time.

I observe Otis. He is smoking a cigarette and holds a half empty beer can in his other hand. He looks incredibly sad and lonely. My heart bleeds for him. How confusing it is to be a young man! Especially a man with a mind as brilliant as Otis’s. He looks as if he is lost in a world that doesn’t make much sense.

I touch his hand. Otis turns to me and almost drops his cigarette and beer bottle. I smile, “Hey, I’m from your future.”

He looks at me uncomprehendingly. I speak more gently and more lovingly than I’ve ever spoken, saying in a sing song voice, “You will be back right here on this bridge, in a future time not so far away with a very nice girl and the two of you will be in love.”

He smiles, “That would be great.” Although he is still sad and doesn’t believe me, I look at him merrily. At that moment, I wake up. My eyes open to see the inky darkness just before the break of dawn.

The lucid dream with 20 year-old Otis comes crashing into my half-conscious mind. I think to myself, “Nice dream. I am the one from the future who came to Otis in the past to tell him he’ll be there with a girl.” How I wish I knew him when I was 20. Of course, he wasn’t even born when I was 20. I am 26 years older than him. Haha! So, in a way, this dream is the only way that I could meet him and he could meet me at that time. How funny is that?

My mind is wandering aimlessly when I feel Otis reach out for me from his bed. We’re in two single beds. Now, he comes climbing over to mine. We’re squeezed together in one single bed. Half-asleep, Otis runs his slender fingers over my bare back ever so lightly that I tingle all over. I love how gentle a lover Otis is; he expresses his love in physical ways by hugging and kissing. I massage him all over, squeezing his muscles deep and hard. He likes hard squeezes and I like light touches–diametrically opposed twins.

As I’m touching him, tears suddenly well up in my eyes and freely flow out. I feel a tremendous healing for my mother and father. I don’t think my parents ever took time for each other like this.

There is a beautiful park which Otis and I walk through slowly, holding hands and following the meandering path through green trees. Leaves are falling and everything is in slow motion, including us. I notice we are taking very small baby steps. I look over at Otis and he has his mouth hanging open and I do too!

I say to Otis in a baby voice, “How you dan?”

He says, “Gooded, really gooded, gooded, good, good, good!”

We come to a park bench and sit down. We are simply sitting there, staring into space, enjoying the air with our mouths hanging open. There is nothing on my mind. I am just sitting here with my lover and it is wonderful. We just sit and sit and sit and do not talk at all.

I point at a cloud in the shape of a bird and Otis nods. He knows what I’m telling him. “Bird,” he says. He points at a tree and I know what he is telling me. We laugh with our mouths hanging wide open.

After a while, I think to myself, “We’re behaving like little children…” That’s when I hear my inner child say, “Yeah, this boy next to you is really the boy-next-door! Will you keep this one? I like him very much.”

I say to my Inner Child, “Yes, I will honor him as the boy you lost and have been looking for.” My Inner Child is delighted and happily rocks her body side-to-side. Otis does the same, as if he hears my internal conversation with her.

“He is only two-and-a-half,” the child says, looking at Otis. Oh boy! There we are, sitting together, rocking our bodies, enjoying the feeling of friendship and camaraderie in a childish way.

The sun is setting so we decide to walk again, taking little baby steps and swinging our arms back and forth. We walk into a little candy shop and we each get our own candies. He likes blue corn chips that are very crunchy and because I have no teeth, I like soft cheese puffs. We walk out and immediately eat our goodies. Waiting is not part of a child’s vocabulary. We do not share. Ever since I was a child, I hated sharing. My mother always made me share my goodies with my sisters or friends. The other kids would inevitably eat the good stuff. I’m secretly so happy about this man. There is no need for me to share! He likes the crunchy stuff and has no desire to eat my soft cheesey puffs.

A river runs through Cesky Krumlov so Otis and I rent a two man raft. Paddles in hand, off we go. I sit in front and Otis sits in the back. We paddle and the boat turns in a circle. We get it going straight for a second, but then it starts to turn the other way.

I yell, “You’re doing it wrong!” Otis yells back, “You’re doing it wrong!”

A rapid comes upon us and Otis gets soaked in white water. He is mad at me. I yell at Otis, “Don’t paddle! Just let me do it alone!” He yells back, “You don’t paddle!”

Upset, we manage to bank the boat by the shore. We sit there as two angry people. What the hell! Why can’t we get along? I suddenly remember my promise, “If I am mad, I am wrong. Doesn’t matter what I am mad at. Mad is wrong!” I calm my Black Witch down.

We change places, push off the bank and sail on again. In no time, we’re far from the maddening crowd, drifting in a section of the river that is moving very slowly. The trees wave gently in the wind and their reflections wiggle on the glassy surface of the river.

“I’m sorry I yelled at you…” His words drift by me like fluttering fairies kissing my face.

“Me too,” I whisper among the wild bird calls.

With him in front I get to observe his back. My eyes rest on the man I love. His pale skin glows in the bright sun. My man is at ease and is enjoying life. His happiness lights up my heart. I’m charged up with sweetness.

Absorbed in the beauty of the moment, Otis absentmindedly picks up the paddle, dips it into the current and gives it one little push. The boat glides forwards and then the bow turns ever so slightly to one side. Not really thinking, I pick up my paddle and give a small push on the opposite side. My push corrects the slight turn. The boat slides forward on course.

On the river, each moment is unique. The depth is unpredictable as an ankle deep section might hide a deep swimming hole. The rocks could be smooth or sharp. To stay on course requires relaxed dedication to each other.

Following his lead means appreciating what he does and wrapping my head around how he does it. This is true collaboration. Free of judgment, I can seamlessly match his efforts. In this way, silently communicating without words, we sail forward.

We smell roasting meat! Oh my, I am hungry! We bank our boat on a shore where they sell BBQ meat Eastern European-style: fat sausages and big slabs of pork. The Black Witch and Tizzy both love meat! We sit down to eat. Mouths full of meat, the witch and wizard are at peace.

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