I am pretty sure that I was not really the best at dating. In fact, one could say that I was extremely uninterested in it. I was an introvert, a thinker. I took my craft pretty seriously. As such, I was certainly the last to consider that with another person my thoughts should reside.
Yet, as the passage of time consumed more of my life, the need for companionship grew stronger and stronger. At first, it was building friendships with associates in the media industry. Naturally within those environments my relationships were within circles of models, dancers and musicians and then finally with a single person. I don’t want to give names. I think names should remain anonymous unless they have made themselves otherwise. Memories that do not carry into actual parts of your life, like children, should remain personal reflections and the tales you tell those who have actually become part of your living moment in whatever now you are in.
The transition from “the single life” to the front line of “in your face interface” with another human being was indeed both intensely satisfying and deeply horrifying. I was on a constant juggernaut of elation followed by abject fear of loss/discovery. To be discovered as something that was not as beautiful as love’s balm cosmetically hid was always lurking, always lurking. I was terrified and it drove my art and my intense dive into my business at the time. I used work as a decanter to waterboard the part of me that was terrified into a submissive whimpering art slave/business man. It was an aphrodisiac as well and served its purpose in igniting what was my first true love.
She was tall, skin like creme, hair like fine platinum and she held a classic beauty like the statues of antiquity. Her face was beautiful because it was enourmously interesting, fascinating even. She was a photographer. We were introduced by mutual friends who thought we might be good for each other. They were half right, but never wrong. It was the half missing that spelled our doom and has always been what has stripped me of any love I have ever had. Forgive me, I digress…
She was my muse, the one who propelled my thinking to new levels and I was addicted from the second she entered my life. Dripping with anticipation from the moment I last saw her until she would grace me with her presence once again. We lived the classic student lifestyle and were as close to close as close but not too close could get you. But that was the half missing. I was madly, deeply, head over heels in love with her and she was with me until she wasn’t. I know she cared, deeply. I know she truly felt with me and toward me. She was always genuine and truthful. But there was always the part of me that was striving for something way beyond what she really loved about life that made it awkard and eventually the stuff of heartbreak.
Up until the time I was immersed in the swoon of being with my statuesque muse, my supernatural experiences were subjective. There was expression in painting and music and in the media I drove into the world through my company, but ultimately it was all in my head. That all changed one night as I was doing some breathing exercises.
I had heard about prana from reading some books on Yogic transcendence and that there was a substance in the air that was a type of energy that one could harvest or ingest through a specific type of breathing. This type of breathing was like a self induced form of suffocation that required extreme self control over all aspects of one’s physical, mental and emotional beings.
So I recollect that I laid down that night next to her and after she had fallen asleep, I began to practice my pranayama, which literally (in Hindu yoga) means the regulation of the breath through certain techniques and exercises. I would let the breath in by slowly opening my lungs using my chest muscles and diaphram so that the air would simply fill them and not rush in with the force of autonomic breathing. It was like you were allowing the air outside to replace the air inside like if you opened a door from one room and the air outside mixed with the air inside. This was done slowly, painfully (literally) so. The effect was as if you were drowning. Yet, enough oxygen was getting to your brain that you did not pass out. Once the lungs were completely full, the breath was held for a number of seconds counted in the otherwise silent mind. Once the number was complete, the breath would be removed in the same process as the breath was taken in. This process was repeated until you either passed out or something very different happened, as I was to discover.
After a few weeks of passing out and waking up in the morning, I didn’t. Instead something else began to occur. A type of relaxation. In the midst of the absolute panic of suffocation (self imposed I might add) the physical body submitted to the process and became completely physiologically aligned with the reality of that breath pattern. It was a moment I will never forget. It was a release of a grip that held me in place, my Soul. In that moment, I discovered that through pranayama, I could command my body to release my Soul, by threatening it with cessation through passing out of consciousness (passing out) or not letting it have what it needed to overtake me. It was a siege warfare of sorts if you will. A battle of wills.
It was in this moment that I “met” my Soul. It was distinct from the body. Distinct from the mind. Distinct from the emotions. It was its own distinction with its own atributes. I had been in this state before but never like this, i.e. self induced. I lay in that state spacially associated with the bodymind complex but not aware as it for some time. My Soul was now in complete control of all autonomic functions of the body and the body knew it. The body laid there obediently.
I remember seeing the Soul body. I looked at my hands and saw the distortion of the visual field that indicated its presence. If one were to draw an outline around a body and instead of the body inside the lines you had what looks like heat waves coming off of hot pavement or sand, that is what it was like. Only the heat was not hot. Not hot, not cold, not either, not both, not with or without temperature. Something so unique there really are no words.
I remember shifting my “visual” focus over to the one laying next to me, my beautiful muse, the love of my life. I could “see” the same presence hovering in the same spacial location as her body and so I “reached” over with that mirage hand and touched hers. I could “feel” the contact and so I shook her Soul and it responded to me! I said, “hey, let’s go out and play.” Her Soul said, “I have to be asleep.” My Soul said, “who told you that you have to be asleep?” Her Soul said, “no one, it’s just what I have to do right now.” I asked a few more times and then I got the feeling that something or someone was watching me, very closely, like when you lean in for emphasis on something you say.
I was immediately aware that it was the same presence that I felt on my 14th birthday. This time the presence was giving me the impression that what I was experiencing was not in and of itself sustainable. It was connected to something much bigger and much greater and my experience of it was isolated and connected to the body and therefore limited and temporary. The presence wanted to share my inner being in a form of intimacy that I had never experienced before. I refused and then in an instant of panic released my body from the grip I had on it and immediately it gasped and breathed deeply and as soon as its consciousness received that food, the consciousness as my Soul faded away.
The memory remained. But the experience did not. I found that fascinating. I was also fascinated to see if the love of my life remembered too. I was determined to not spoil the pot and I was not going to say anything about what happened. If she said anything about it, then it was going to come from her without any prompt from me. I acted as normal as possible. At first she did not say anything, and acted completely normally. We kissed said hello and good morning and started to get ready for the day. Then I noticed that she was acting wary, standoffish. This was not normal. Normally we were inseparable, suffocatingly so. It was the way we both liked it. We were in love with our suffocating love.
As we were getting ready to go out for the day to our daily routines, everything changed in a single moment. I went ahead of her as she locked the door to our apartment. She said, “wait for me.” I said, “we’re late, catch up.” Then as I turned around I was struck in the back by a force that knocked me down. I was out of breath and could not get back up. When I got my breath back, I still could not walk and she helped me back into the apartment and onto the bed. My legs were not working. I was literally paralyzed from the waist down. I had no idea what had happened and neither did she. However, I realized I could not work and that they had to be informed. I had sick days saved up and told her to call down or go down and let them know I would not be at work. She was hesitant to leave me, but did so. I did not see her for quite some time because she did not come home.
It must have been a few days. I was able to slowly get up and my legs returned to me enough to get around but not strong enough for a full day at work. I started calling around to find out where she was. It turns out she was with a friend of ours and her boyfriend. She was scared and did not want to come home. I asked her friend why she felt that way and she said that she was scared of me and could not explain why. She wanted to know if I had harmed her in any way and I said no. I found out later that my love had confirmed the same to her, there was no hurting, physical or otherwise. She was just scared to death to be around me.
I hung up the phone and it was another day before I saw her. I had gone back to work and came home from work and she and her girlfriend were there packing some things. I came in the room and they stood by each other defensively. I was totally taken aback by this behavior. I had done nothing to her and she and I both knew that to be the case. We loved each other and so something else was the matter. I asked her what the issue was and she said, “I just don’t feel comfortable around you. There is something about you that is not normal, not like everyone else and I am scared of it. So I am going to go to my friend’s house for now. I’ll call you.” Then they left with a few things of hers and for the next week we talked on the phone, my heart breaking with every single sound that struck my ear through the earpiece of that phone.
I knew it then, it was over. It would be several years later that it actually “ended”, that great and mighty and strange love, but it did end. We would have many more adventures together and try and patch things up, but it eventually ended in her finding someone else that was more aligned with her way of looking at the world and they hooked up at a photographer’s retreat and left me in the dust.
All this time I never broke my commitment to not speaking about the incident in the hope of finding some confirmation that she remembered the experience that freaked her out so bad she left a sincere love because of it. The only line I ever got out of her was this, “you should try and be more physical, not so spiritual.” I will always love how direct and ultimately wise she was. As I looked back on those words said in a supermarket check out line as we saw each other for the very last time, I could feel that they were like words of advice given to an alien who needed to not be exposed on a very hostile planet. Like, “if you wanna stay hidden, you better not do that again.” I could see it in her face that she knew what happened, but she never said it out loud and I never pressed her about it.
I went on, so did she. I heard about her here and there, tried to go to some extreme lengths to get her back, but ultimately resigned to my broken heart and my room in the last house we shared that I now shared with an ambitious roommate who had a plan.