Across the water, back from the edge of the rock strewn low tide mud flat the width of the narrow two lane asphalt, the mountain rose summer burned gold to the cloud stained sky.

Over the hill was what they called the other side of the mountain- where the world
was- where everything I didn't want to think about now that I had found heaven on earth was- where Suzie disappeared to every few days in her old BMW with a mysterious package on the seat beside her.

When I asked her what it was she smiled her Mona Lisa smile, said "Oh never mind Bobby," kissed me and rolled away, leaving me to wander aimlessly through the big old house until she returned.

I could have done something productive but I didn't. Her being gone made me restless and unable to concentrate, as if the peace of mind that I felt was dependent on her- as if, without her, I was unable to make the necessary connection to shut off my errant mind.

I didn't want to walk into the village because there was nothing interesting there to see, only scraggly people in shabby clothes. I didn't want to walk on the beach because, without her, I felt like sleeping, not walking. When I tried to sleep I felt as if I should be working at something except there was nothing I felt inspired or that I conspired to work at. Life was dull without her.

I was disappointed. Being in love again, in my new incarnation, was only a different form of the same addiction that created all the problems I thought I was finished with. So much for the delusion that it's possible to "reinvent yourself". Addiction made my fullfillment dependant on something other than myself. I was too old to get tangled up in the insidious brier patch that love was- or at least that's what I thought, but what could I do, remain alone?

Suzies return didnt end my dilemma. Her nearness only made me more aware of just how much I had grown used to.

I hated it.

Her refusal to tell me where she had gone actually was not a refusal at all. She just carried on as if nothing had happened. It wasn't that I was jealous, only that I now felt vulnerable and she was the reason and I wasn't used to it. Not since Kitty had I felt so frustrated with a womans independance but then, with Kitty it was different. She was, as her namesake, herself, on her own terms, take it or leave it. Suzie was more insidious and secrative, as if there were mysteries that were glimpses of an uncharted territory beyond my knowing.She said it was because she was a Scorpio, as if that meant anything but that she was a hippy at heart.I wondered what else I didn't know.

Naturally, through all of this I never once saw anything unusual in my having told her nothing about my history. My justification was that it no longer mattered who I had been in a previous life. To alude to it would have been as embarrassing an experience for the recipiant as someone telling you about their past life as Napoleon, or Jesus. This new realization that my reincarnation was more a matter of delusion on my part than a matter of actual fact caused me to think that there was something wrong with the picture I was viewing- that, perhaps my vision was flawed, even though I wasn't really too commmitted to delving too deeply into just what the picture really looked like.

Not yet anyway.