It was Kewe’s initiation time, and because of that, because he had a flow of initiation energy, Kewe had gone to the site.   The Great Spirits had requested this of him, and his intention was to bring the force by giving a special focus to the mantra prayer he would use.   The mantra would be permission.
           Chapter Two — ROBERT
The retreat is over.   Kewe, knowing most people were taking the early shuttle, had made his farewells the previous night.   His intention was to rest up for a couple of hours in the morning, which he did.   He didn’t need to be at the airport until the afternoon.

Kewe thinks he has the entire upstairs of the retreat center to himself.   He is shaving having a few moments exploring the events of the night he left the physical body.   He is asking himself about the sensation, how it felt being in another body, floating above the physical one.

It seemed just like waking from sleep, only he was suspended, hovering.   He felt lighter (maybe) he’s not sure.   He could see painted wood in front of his face.   He had touched the wood with his hand.   It felt solid, like wood.   A soft, metallic shine emanated from his body.   This glow lit up the dark.

The quizzing Kewe believes he is giving himself is very persistent.   “Describe the space below you?”

Kewe replies in his mind, “I didn’t look down.   I was always looking up.”   The thoughts then ask if he was afraid to look down.   Kewe responds that he doesn’t recall being afraid.

“Why did you not remember that you had come to a place to get out of your body and that you were in a unit?”

That he cannot answer.   Intuitively he knew his other body was lying sleeping on the bed below.   The hovering, being suspended in air with wood on four sides, had been confusing.   The cramped space made no sense.

Space had been below him he was sure of that.   There was a bed below.   He was not confused about that.   He was just confused about where he was.

The more he concentrates on the questions, the more the thoughts seem to be focusing on his loss of memory.   On his not knowing where he had found himself with white painted wood all around.

There is one reason, he keeps thinking to himself, why I probably didn’t remember.   When a face or a building is recognized, we connect with many other memories.   Memories associate us with what we are seeing, and becoming awake in the upper part of the cubicle nothing was familiar.   He couldn’t identify anything.   The visual site all around him was only wood.   He thinks another reason might be the new brain—rather the inner mind, for it wasn’t a brain that accompanied this inner body—it, the new mind, might not have had a chunk of his memory.

Picturing his memory as files on a computer hard drive, he’s figuring some files were missing.   It had been like trying to access files and the hard drive was unplugged.

He was not sleepy.   It wasn’t that.   Where he found himself—floating near the top of the cubicle in his other body—he would say he felt more awake, more alive, except for the loss of memory.

He keeps returning to the idea that the brain stores facts relating to the physical world.   The other mind doesn’t do that, its substance relates to Kewe’s other world.   It deals with where it lives.   His attention focused on the confusion he felt, even to asking himself why he was confused.

Mystics call the second body the emotive body.   One characteristic of the emotive body is that we learn to expect detail to develop around us, to be created by our desires.   We are in the, almost immediate, experience.

His mind expected him to be able to go through the wood, and when he couldn’t, he had no idea what to do next.   To penetrate his hands into the wood seemed normal and he would he’s sure have tried again, if confusion about where he found himself hadn’t superseded any other thought.

But he hovered up there long enough?   He was experiencing a span of time, and he had options?   All he remembers is that he wished to escape from the trapped state, and to do that he had to return to the body below.

Once he made that decision, he recalls everything going black for a couple of seconds.   Then he awakes in his human body, staring through his physical eyes.   He remembers thinking “Oh that’s what it’s like to re-enter the brain.   I always wondered how it would feel.”

Turning on the light switch after he’d returned to the physical body it was obvious that the wood he had been staring at so closely only moments before was indeed the ceiling of the cubicle above him.   He’d been peeved, almost angry with himself for not staying in his other form longer.   He should have pushed the wood more.   The trip had been truncated because all his attention had focused on the confusion of being trapped.

Out-of-body flying is a learning process he thinks as he continues shaving in the bathroom.   He has to do it more than once.

One thing he does know.   There is another mind, a second mind.   It makes sense to think his inner mind works differently, not having physical brain cells.   He had been calm in his other body he is sure, but if his other mind uses emotional jumps more than the brain uses, if this mind is more tuned to instancy, and does not use the type of thinking the brain uses, then it might not have been able to access the physical detail it needed.

Kewe is taking some time to cotton to the idea that the thoughts that keep grilling him are not his thoughts.   Half understanding he has been having a thought conversation with someone else he finishes his shaving.
.  .  .
Back in his room, he’s done with packing.   The housing-staff are around changing sheets, cleaning rooms.   A housekeeper is knocking on his door, asking if he’s still inside.   It’s time to go.

Casting one last look around the room, Kewe carries his bags down to the lodge’s outer entrance.   One of the women in the group is standing by the door waiting for the airport van.   They begin to chat about the retreat.

Kewe mentions his plane doesn’t take off until four.   He says he has half the day to mess around somewhere.   He doesn’t want to arrive at the airport early.   Save him please, from an hour in the concession store.

The woman laughs.   She says she’s going to miss him.   She’s going to miss everyone.   It was such an exciting week.   The retreat had been a big surprise in so many ways.

The shuttle-van pulls around the corner.   The woman grabs his hand, asks if she can hug him.   “It’s been good to meet you,” she says holding him close.   Before she lets go, she whispers in his ear, “Stop off at the university.   You’ll be glad you did.”

It wasn’t the words she said, but the way the words seemed to come through her, as if she were speaking from some inner her that was more.

Kewe looks at the map after the shuttle takes off.   The university is not far, almost no diversion from the airport road.   He throws his bags into the car, follows the road back to the highway.   As he drives up to the entrance gate of the university, he notices a row of old shops opposite.   The street with its cafés, its tables on the sidewalk, its bookstores, and bookracks to skim through, has a quaint, villagey atmosphere.   He decides to browse the racks before going to the university and he parks on a street at the back.

When he gets out of the car he walks right past the bookstores and eateries, forgets he planned to stop.   He doesn’t even realize that he’s on university grounds until brick buildings and a quadrangle loom before him.

The quadrangle has a large lawn at its center.   Two students at one end are kicking around a ball.   As Kewe approaches the ball escapes one of the boys, plows directly towards him.   Not usually this agile with his feet, Kewe captures the ball, kicks it back.

“Good save,” the student shouts as he begins running towards the ball.

“Thanks,” Kewe yells.   “Hey, how come it’s so quiet around here?”

“Schools out!” the kid bellows back.   “We’re finished with classes.”

Sending a wave to the students, the first people he’s seen since the shops, Kewe strolls on.   An arcade passageway connects the different areas and soon old red brick surrounds him.   The direction he’s intent on taking brings him through old alleys and pocket gardens, next to rooms that seem like old student rooms.   The seasoned masonry, the decorative walkways covered with overhung plant life—which creeps down at him at times—it all gives the feeling of an overgrown and slightly forgotten garden.

In the silence, it feels so restful to be here.   As he walks, a drop of rain brushes his face.   Kewe looks up.   He hadn’t noticed it getting so dark.   The sky seems ripe for a heavy cloudburst and he needs somewhere to shelter.

The arcade passageways afford little protection, he’s looking for a building where he can stay dry, not just rest inside a thin doorway.   He sees a building across from an area of grassland, a classical design that has a tier of steps, columned pillars, and more importantly, an overhang.   Running up the steps, he tries the large, main door at the top to see if it opens.   The door is firmly locked.   It appears that the buildings, at least in this part of the university, have been closed the day before the holiday weekend.   He doesn’t mind.   Under the overhang he can sit, wait out the shower.

With his back propped against the wall, Kewe begins to identify the various trees in the parkland across from him.   He sees a sycamore, maybe an ash, a hickory.   Sitting on the stone slab he watches as the branches bend to the quickening breeze.   The leaves rustle and beneath the stir of the leaves he can hear the wind-sound as it snaps across the tall grass.   He waits as the drizzle begins in earnest.

Well protected by the overhang, it feels as if he should be here.   He’s not sure why, but he knows the message given him to come here had been correct.   As he listens to the rain, to the wind, his thoughts take him back to the wind energy that had lifted his body just a few days ago.

It was a great beginning.   A wind of life is the best he can describe it.   He can think of no other term to give to the strange force.   The sense he makes is that electric energy came in a form that was able to transform, rearrange his brain, or part of his brain.   Whatever came did so in a way as to create something new.

He still doesn’t understand everything.   Even now he has difficulty knowing how to think of the personality that had emerged the day after the wind ceased.   Was it a sort of variant of himself?   Could he call it an extended modification, or a separate version?   He’s sure everyone must have been dumbfounded when the new personality appeared.   Afterwards, only George the elderly psychiatrist talked to him about it.   George said to him, privately laughing, that he could do with a younger persona himself.

It was so extraordinary, the personality appearing, and not the less so because the group had been talking about ghosts.

Kewe is back at the retreat center nights ago....

The day had gone well.   Kewe had been enjoying the sultry evening with the others out on the deck.   The evening presentation, as the previous two nights, would be in the hall, a short distance from the retreat center, and to get there, he was walking along the white pathway by the fields.

Tonight, the smell of earthiness rising from the fields, it reminded him of hot summer nights spent as a child.

A cloud passes over, darkness folding across the hills.   He shuddered, just as he always did when darkness came at this time, he didn’t know why, the night beginning, a sense of a closing to the day.   Evening always carried some mystery.

As he made his way through the small lobby into the hall, Kewe could see the amplifier, the electronic equipment stacked by the front of the stage, the massive speakers at each side.   The hall itself was a simple country building made of wood, but not being used to this type of building, Kewe would feel for moments as if he was in some Salem type hall.   Try as he might to ignore it, the hall and its vaulted roof did acquire a spookiness.   Perhaps because the group only came here in the evening, perhaps because it was only when shadows crept about, when night was on the brink.

The sixteen began to assemble on the long benches.   Benches that had table-boards in front that allowed them to write or doodle.   The benches faced each other.   The center of the room was empty.

Eric, standing by the side of one of the tower of speakers at the front of the hall, waits until everyone takes a seat.   “We are gathered here tonight,” he says in a doleful utterance, “to listen to a lost soul.”

Kewe knows Eric is playing this for all its worth.   “We will present to you a spirit,” Eric intones.   “A spirit who has not passed.   A spirit who has lingered never entered into the light.”

Kewe can hear people in the group gasping.   He himself, looking up at the angled roof, found it easy, in the beams, the cracks and the nooks, to conjure some ghostly outline; a glimpse of some specter, hidden, waiting.

A sudden hiss from the huge speakers brings his attention back to the stage.   A boy’s voice begins to talk.   “The ocean is cold.   I am keeping afloat.”   Every intonation, every syllable, every quiver of the child’s voice, resounds through the speakers!

A man speaks next.   He asks the boy how long he has been swimming.

“Hours, for hours,” the boy replies.   “I’m on my own.   Can you help me?”

Long moments go by where there is only a whispering, hissing from the tape.

Startling everyone, suddenly the man’s voice asks, “What year is this?”

The thin voice of the child seems confused.   “What year?”

Over the hushed breathing emanating from everyone in the room, the boy gives a date.   The date is more than a hundred years past.

“Our ship has downed.   It comes up sudden,” the boy begins to shout.

“The fierce storm it tosses me over.   The mates are finished.   Only me left now.”   He is choking with sobs.

There is a pause while the tape hisses away.   Eric reaches over from where he is standing and presses a button stopping the machine.

Kewe can see the people across from him trying to make sense of the voices they’re hearing.

The explanation Eric gives is that an interview is taking place between a man and a woman spiritualist talking in a studio.   The woman is a sensitive who has the ability to tune into the spirit boy’s thoughts.   It is her voice vocalizing as the boy.   The sensitive has made a bond of support, an adhesion that has attracted the spirit of the boy.   The boy hears in his mind the male interviewer through the sensitive.   He thinks the male interviewer is talking directly to him.

Eric looking out at the group’s mystification switches the tape machine back on.   There is a click, a sudden crackling.   The interviewer asks, “How long have you been swimming?”   More silence so that the interviewer has to repeat the question.   “How long have you been swimming?”

Long seconds go by before a subdued voice speaks.   “Hours,” the boy says softly.   “I’ve been here hours.”

The interviewer responds, “Is there anything above you?” The tape hisses away.

Suddenly, “Stars!”

“I’m bringing help,” the man says.

Another long pause.   Seconds slip by in silence.

People must be sprung tight because when the interviewer returns and tells the boy to look for a light the whole room moves in collective shock.

“Look for the light approaching.   Can you see the light?   Can you see it?”

Everyone waits expectantly.   The boy is silent, until suddenly he begins to shout joyfully, “Ma.   Ma.   I see you.   I can see you Ma.”

He keeps calling, “Ma.   Ma.”   until at last his voice fades.

Eric turns off the machine.

There is complete stillness until a man remarks with a chuckle, “She must be a really good actress.   Those mediums, they sure know how to do their stuff.”

The groan that emanates throughout the length of the room is intense.   Like a play, the people listening have until this moment suspended their belief.   With reality back, they now have no idea how they should think.

“Was he really in the ocean for a hundred years?”

“In my opinion he was,” one woman says, defending the tape.   “The medium wasn’t faking.   It’s real.”


For some there’s a sense of wanting to believe, but people are snickering.   “The date given, had he been swimming in the ocean for a hundred years?”   The woman who is defending speaks up.   “A boy lost in an ocean might be disoriented.   You have to look at the situation.   He no longer has a body.

It’s no longer the physical world as such.   He’s in a dream and the dream keeps reoccurring.”

The man who thinks this is a medium’s fanciful creation shouts, “Fake!   Bullshit!   Real it might sound, but no one is in an ocean for a hundred years.

It’s overblown nonsense.   That’s the beginning and end of it.   Period!”   Another woman decides to intervene.   “Why blame the medium?   This might disturb you, but the boy’s inability to escape from his swimming is likely to have more to do with his fear than anything else.   It’s the same as any ghost who repeats, repeats, repeats to infinity its death scene.”

“Bah!”   The man is livid.   “The boy isn’t stuck.   No, this doesn’t happen.   Souls go on.   They don’t just swim.”

“That’s the question isn’t it?” the woman who has just spoken asks.   “Do we sometimes just swim?”

People are nodding.   The woman turns to stare at the man.   “Have you considered that time on the other side has nothing to do with a clock.   The boy is stuck.   He cannot see himself as being anywhere else but in the ocean water.   He’s in the middle of his own fantasy.   I don’t see it as strange at all to think that we might keep focusing on where we believe we are.”

She looks around.   “That surely is the fantasy the interviewer was attempting to change.   He was allowing the boy a shift of attention.   Telling him to look for a light, this new direction brought the boy to see his mother.”

“Tell me please the out-of-body experience is not this?” the man cries.   “I cannot believe a boy has been swimming alone for a hundred years.   Please tell me this is not something that happens when we die.   Eric and the center have done this to wind us up.   Can’t you see?”

Everyone is now talking.   “Well, what happened to the light?”   “Where are the angels?”   “He is only a child.” Kewe hears another person saying, ”Don’t we in this world rely on our minds to build the world around us?   Our own consciousness determines how we accept external reality.   Why should it be different on the other side?   We forge our world with the beliefs we adopt.   The boy imagines he is in the sea, so he is in the sea.   Until that changes, he will always be in the sea.”

Some people are laughing.   They think this is too bizarre for words.   One smiling soul makes the comment that when death is accidental there is a natural disorientation.   People might wander for hundreds, maybe thousands of years in some illusionary state.

There is another general groan after this comment.   People sit stunned.

Kewe himself has a favorite expression to describe the mechanism he thinks controls the universe.   He likes to refers to it as, ‘The organic computer in the sky.’   He calls it organic because he believes it is in some sense alive, and he doesn’t know any other way to describe this wholeness that people seem to consider the working attributes of God.

The computer placed the intervention, Kewe would say.   The computer in the sky became involved in the boy’s plight through ‘knowledge’ it has of everything taking place.   It was aware of the interviewer, and the medium who became involved a hundred years later.   He thinks it was likely the boy had been in the ocean for only a short time.   Maybe minutes, at the most, hours.   The computer in the sky merely activated a possible fate.

The freeing of the boy might have taken place differently, if the boy had chosen not to accept his ocean swimming reality.   As it was, the focusing of the sensitive, and the boy, and the mother, taking place more than a hundred years apart, meant nothing to the computer.   The computer was outside our perception of time.   Our time was not a factor in connecting them all.

Kewe thinking about this has become increasingly more agitated.   He’s not sure why he is getting so excited, but some stimulus, some prodding from deep inside is beginning to rise up from his stomach.   There’s a feeling trying to get through (an overwhelming sense of a child-like energy).   It’s moving him into a strange space.   He hears his voice say, “Excuse me.   Excuse me.   To talk about this I need to enter into an altered state.” The squeaky voice might be loud, might be coming through his mouth, but it’s not him speaking.   A child’s voice, in a high-pitch, is talking.   The room has become deathly quiet.   Everyone turns.

“The boy might have been swimming,” Kewe’s voice is announcing.   “Kewe had a similar experience when he tried to release some ghosts.”   Kewe’s neck is stiff.   His eyes blink rapidly.   He has a strained and altered expression on his face.   People seated on the line of bench-tables opposite stare at him.   People on his side of the room lean over their tables trying to get a better look.   It’s obvious just by watching him that in the very essence of his disarray he exudes an awful weirdness.

Across from him a woman leaves her seat, runs along the line of benches to the front of the stage.   She dashes up the empty center, stands in front of Kewe.   Bending low, she starts to wave her hands in front of his face.

Eyes blinking rapidly, his body taught and stiff, Kewe sees the hands moving.   Up and down the hands shift, up and down right in front of his flickering eyeballs.

The child, ignoring the hand movements, continues to use Kewe’s vocal cords to talk.   “The message came from the higher beings.   There were those who wanted to be released, and some who didn’t.   Kewe’s task was to release the ghosts.   To see them back to the light.”

The child’s voice is intense.   “He needed to give the spirits permission.   To give the ghosts a focus for when the light would come.”

Kewe understands everything being said.   The explanation the child is giving is the same as he would say.   The thing is, he wouldn’t say it.   Everyone in the room is staring at him.   His neck is protruding.   His muscles are locked.   His eyes blink non-stop and he’s aware he’s entered some altered state and has no idea how to get free.   In this moment, the idea sets.   He shouldn’t have come here.   The retreat, all this stuff happening, he never, ever should have come here.

Unexpectedly a voice booms from the back of the room.   “Did you release the ghosts?”

The whole room turns towards the back.

Kewe, who is continually blinking, has only blurred peripheral vision, but he knows the voice, it is Eric’s.   The last time he saw Eric he was by the speakers.   Now he must be standing at the rear of the hall.

Kewe moves forward slightly, his stiff body straining to see, straining to turn to where he thinks Eric is standing.   He can see two figures at the back.   The other has to be Charl.   Both are standing in front of a table that is set up with brochures.

“Did you do it?” Eric shouts.   The question rams into Kewe.   He’d answer if he had any control of his voice, but his voice is disconnected, locked.   The child has to answer.   He is waiting for the child to answer and the child isn’t answering.

“Did you do it?” Eric bellows again, loudly.

The woman in front of him suddenly steps back in either fear or surprise.   There is another voice talking.   Kewe more surprised than anyone is hearing a third voice, not the child, not him.   A masculine sounding, young man’s voice has suddenly begun to speak, is speaking through him, through his body.

Kewe hears himself saying in this new, young, masculine voice, “Some of the ghosts would not go.   Kewe was surprised by that.”   In the absolute quiet, Kewe has an image of a young man staring through his, Kewe’s eyes.

“What did you do with the Spirits?” Eric shouts back, not missing a beat.

“Do with them?”   Kewe has all the knowledge.   A great treachery had taken place.   The warriors had been butchered defending their homes, and even though it had been many years, these incorporeal souls still remained where they had died.   It became their purpose as they saw it to enact revenge, on the families, on the descendants of the traitors.   As Kewe understood from talking to some of the families, those families that never came to the fields, the harmful acts the spirits tried fell only to passing strangers.

It was Kewe’s initiation time, and because of that, because he had a flow of initiation energy, Kewe had gone to the site.   The Great Spirits had requested this of him, and his intention was to allow by giving a special focus to the mantra prayer he would use.   The mantra would be permission.

Those spirits who wished could recognize this as a moment, a passing phase wherein they could return.   They would be told, and they would know in the flow that they would be welcomed.   The spirits would depart as the phase would be invoked.   Kewe can still see the silhouettes of the few ghosts who remained.   He can still sense the anger.

He listens curiously as the young man responds to Eric’s question.   “Do with them!   Nothing!” the young man answers.   “The ghosts could not be forced to leave.   Those who stayed, still haunting the place I bet.”
.  .  .
The pitter-pattering of the rain seems to enhance the emptiness of the building behind him.   Sitting under the overhang, waiting out the rain, Kewe can hear the whooshing sound the wind is making.

Watching, watching, while the wind moves through the branches, he thinks almost that he hears his name.

For a moment he catches a touch on his shoulder.   He turns having the sudden thought that someone might be at the great door behind him.   No one is there.   The wind picks up and he shivers.   It must be the wind.

Kewe had known about the child for years.   Long before this recent experience—of the young man emerging—the child had made itself known.   The child he felt was not the inner child people joke about.   It was more a micro-personality, a part of his personality that had started to develop on its own, had retained its own unique child-like characteristics, but was still a part of Kewe.   He had seen these half-personalities emerge in others, especially when they came with a sudden jerk, a strange voice.

The micro-personalities were unfinished, but a style the brain still activated at times that were different to the adult person.

It was always a surprise when a child emerged.   Kewe would notice the body language change.   The body became much more feeling, with being inside an earlier emotional state.

The masks he’s seen in others came mostly as a sexual response, to seek some sexual favor.   When the child appeared in a partner, Kewe would pass if off jokingly.   It was role-playing if the other person didn’t understand.   Recognizing this inner aspect—how the partner, for a moment, had become—it was always a shock.

On the steps of the university building the breeze shuffles around him.   The rain is streaming down in buckets and the stone underneath is cold, too cold.   He shifts.


Staring across at the park, all he sees are the trees.   He swears he hears his name, but with the rain pouring and the leaves crackling, he’s not sure.   There could be someone.

Now he has a new personality different from the child.   That is going to take some evaluation.   This other might be a better him, he’s thinking.

Drifting in his thoughts, he keeps reminding himself there is a mind outside the brain.   This other mind is much less restricted without the physical mechanism of the brain.   He is wondering if somehow the young man is a downgraded version of his inner, extended mind.

Resting on the stone steps, almost as if in a trance, he hears his name.


This time he recognizes the voice.

“I’m hearing you.”   Kewe responds guardedly.   “Yes.”

The voice answers, “—I was the voice who told you who you were.”

Kewe knows the tone.   He’s been hearing the voice all week on the damn tapes.   Sitting there on the slab of pavement, his back against the wall, there is no mistaking whom he’s hearing.   It is the man he thought he came here to see.   The man who died!

“Yes, I’m hearing you,” Kewe says.   “Yes.”

“—Kewe, I’ve been waiting for you.”

Whatever is registering in his brain is the voice of this man.   But then, suddenly extremely excited, he goes into hyper mode.   Kewe has a thousand questions, and the questions he asks in his thoughts, and the words that return in his thoughts, they become scattered in his own complexity of thinking.   His head is suddenly a confusing jumble.   His own thoughts getting in the way are creating a fog.   He is no longer hearing words.   The sound of the voice, the hearing as if the man is talking, is lost.

“Was that you talking to me this morning?” Kewe asks, trying to clarify the conversation in the shower.   Only this moment did he really know.   This person speaking to him now was speaking to him while he was showering and shaving.   “That was you quizzing me?”   Suddenly it all made sense.

There are so many questions and he’s so excited, only now sending any question comes back as a blur.   Kewe wants to keep the connection the problem is all words he hears are mixed with his ideas, his desires, with an answer he wants.   There’s no way he can tell which are his thoughts, and which are the thoughts of the man.   He tries to calm down, to keep himself open.   He asks, “Am I still hearing you?”

Suddenly he calls out in his mind, “What name shall I call you?”

“—Robert,” comes back the answer.   “—Robert.”

Now he heard that.   He really did hear that.   It was as clear as if the man were standing next to him, as if someone were speaking on the steps.   He must still be connected.

Kewe apologizes in his mind for the problem he’s having.   He says he knows he’s having difficulty.

Then the thoughts spin out and become once again a jumbled mess.

There are so many questions that are flowing with answers.   Kewe asks if there’s something he can do for Robert.   If there’s some plan Robert wants him to fulfill.

Certain there is a plan Kewe says in his thoughts, “Please, I want to help.   I’ll do anything I can to help.”

“Please,” he keeps repeating.   “Please, let me know.”

He’s surprised at the sudden clearing in his head, surprised at the long pause.   Surprised even more by the complicated:


In the “Yes,” there is so much gravity, so much seriousness.   Kewe can feel the presence looking down at him only it’s more than that.   He feels it’s like God touching him, God reaching him.   He knows it is Robert, but the emotion he experiences is so somber, so extremely serious, and yet it’s detached, also so very detached.

Robert is looking down at him saying nothing, and Kewe has to figure out this new unspoken message.   Is it Robert saying it’s not Robert that Kewe has to help?   That it’s himself.   Is that this new message?   It’s Kewe that Kewe has to help.

He searches for clarification, for an answer, but all the thoughts from above have stopped.   Through the barrier of his mind he keeps trying to see if Robert is still there.   For minutes Kewe struggles to make contact, but the voice, the thoughts, the presence has gone.

In his head he says a silent, “Bye.”

The rain has stopped.   The clouds have begun rolling away.   The sun is shining on his walk back out of the University.   As he strolls under the old, red brick arches, the grounds take on a bright, washed, sparkly look.   When Kewe arrives at where he thinks he left the car, it isn’t there.

Searching the street, venturing into other streets, then even further streets he searches, knowing perfectly well he didn’t park the car anywhere near.   Overwhelmed, he sits on the still-wet curb, just sits there.

Then some inspiration disposes him to look behind.   Behind him is the window of a coffee shop.   He’s thirsty.   He’s miserable.   What else does he have to do?

A woman pops her head from under the glass counter.   “Hold a sec,” she calls out.   “I’m just finishing.   The glass gets sticky with all these cakes.”   Kewe watches while she rubs the shelves with a cloth.

“Would you believe I lost my car,” he says as she stands up.   “I parked it an hour back and now it’s disappeared.”

The woman doesn’t seem to bat an eyelid.   “Happens all the time.   I can’t tell you the number of times students come in here and tell me they’ve lost their car.”

Kewe blinks.   “They do?”   He stares at the woman who is now throwing the rag she’s been using into the sink behind.

“What would you like today?   I have some really good strawberry cheesecake.   The coffee’s fresh made.”

Kewe asks for a cup of coffee and a piece of cheesecake.   He finds a corner table in the empty room, sits, stares out the window.   When the cheesecake is brought, he eats in silence.

Minutes pass and suddenly he hears, “It’s getting late.”   The woman is standing there picking up the empty dishes, smiling.

“It is?”   Kewe shakes himself.   “Can you tell me the time?”

“Past two,” the woman says as she walks away with the dishes.

Kewe jumps up.   “My plane is taking off at four.   I have to be at the airport.   I have to find the car.”

All excited he rushes to pay the bill.   As he’s paying, the woman points back where he came.   “Try up the street, up there.”

He thanks her, says yes, he’ll look.

“Don’t hurry,” she calls after him as he leaves.   “You’ll make your plane.”

She was right about the car, and the plane.   No problem!
© Kewe   All rights reserved.