January 21, 1979. I'll never forget my first date with Gordon.
Our Forever Friend, Walter Busby, was very good at playing Cupid. Walter worked at the University of Florida with Gordon and knew me from the Temple of the Universe. One day, he called Gordon and me to say he thought we had a lot in common and might enjoy getting to know each other. He asked if he could give Gordon my phone number and said the same thing to Gordon. We both said yes. After three weeks, Gordon still hadn't called me, so I called him and invited him over to see my new House-in-the-Woods in the little town of Hague, Florida. Gordon assumed he was just coming over to see my unusual new house. A few years later he said he didn't think of it as a date. Being a woman, I suspected it was, but I was wrong once. Ha!
I lived alone with a rescued cat I had raised from a tiny kitten. I named him Krishna. We grew very attached to each other. Krishna cat was born free and had the run of the woods when he wasn't following me around the house. Occasionally he brought me furry gifts. He'd stand outside the closed patio door with a field mouse hanging out of his mouth for as long as it took until I noticed him and coaxed him to drop the mouse and come into the house to eat.
I had read that cats instinctively hunt and are taught by their mothers to associate hunting with eating. Since Krishna was found all alone, he missed learning that finer point of hunting which would normally have been taught by his mother. The article I read said when your cat brings you a mouse, he is attempting to teach you to hunt. Guess I missed that lesson but at least I taught him to associate hunting with eating.
Several times a week I bought an extra large fish dinner on my way home from my stressful job at the blood bank so Krishna and I could eat our fish supper together on the wooden deck outside the kitchen. He ate quickly and usually finished his meal first and tried to cozy up to me to eat from my plate. It didn't work. I did have my boundaries and wanted to teach him that his domain was outside and I was the Alpha Female in the house.
After my long day at work, I often took a nap in the cozy sunken pit in the living room, and my cat friend continued to curl up in my arms and fall asleep just like he did when he was a little kitten. Life was sweet. One of my kids must have taken this picture because cell phones and Selfies had not taken over the world yet.
We had a great relationship, except for one thing. Krishna would attack any male that entered the house, including repairmen. His only exceptions were my four children and Ray who had been around him all his life. Ray was gone by then and living on the boat he had always dreamed of owning.
When Gordon arrived on that first night, I gave him a tour of the house. Krishna cat followed us too closely and had that look he got with his ears back and pupils constricted that told me he was angry. I thought he might pounce at any moment. I made a mental note to put the cat outside soon to avoid any possible incident. Gordon and I sat in the seating I had designed for the Great Room. It was my favorite part of the house. Instead of the usual couches and chairs, there was a round, grey-carpeted sunken pit where eight people could sit comfortably or several could take a nap. Above it were massive cypress beams in the high ceiling near the fireplace. They were made to order by Griffis Lumber and Saw Mill on U.S. 441. I still don't know how Randall and Ray managed to get those heavy beams up to the ceiling all by themselves.
This picture shows part of the sunken pit and the balcony railing on the second floor that opened into the master bedroom. The people, left to right, are my son Darrell, me, my Mom "Ida" and my daughter Priscilla (Cilla) holding Krishna cat in her arms.
I was just about to put the cat outside to avoid a possible attack on my unsuspecting visitor, but before I could, Krishna ran to Gordon and planted himself on his lap like he had been there all his life and proceeded to purr loudly for the remainder of the visit. He actually allowed Gordon to rub his belly and the back of his neck. first.time.ever. This behavior was so unexpected that I asked new Gordon if I could take a picture of them and explained that he wasn't usually friendly and often tried to claw male visitors, or at least threaten them. I treasure this picture now.
For some reason, I felt compelled to ask Gordon when his birthday was. When he said August 21st, I probed a little further and wanted to know what year. It was not like me to ask personal questions like that out of the blue, especially of someone I'd just met, but I couldn't seem to stop myself. I didn't care what his age was. He said 1935, and added, When were you born? For some reason, I was starting to feel a little queasy. I answered, August 20, 1935. What time were you born? It seemed like Gordon was studying me and trying to figure out why I was asking him all these questions, but he answered them, slowly, but politely. I was probably projecting because that's what I was wondering. Why was I asking him all these questions?
I had met people born on August 20th before, but never also born in 1935, like me. Gordon was born only 20 hours after me and hundreds of miles apart. I tried to figure out what the chances were of that happening, mostly to distract myself from whatever was going on in my head that had started to make me feel a little fuzzy. I couldn't think straight and felt more than a little sick to my stomach though I hadn't eaten anything unusual.
We had a nice visit and I learned that Gordon was born and bred in a small town called Jasonville, Indiana, population around 3500 when he was born and about 2500 when we met. I said something about him being a country boy which he quickly corrected and said he was a small-town boy but he had never lived in the country. My mistake, New York girl didn't know the difference then!
I told him I was born in Brooklyn, New York, and he wanted to know what it was like to grow up in a big city. I told him what I tell everyone, I don't know, I never felt like I was living in a big city. Within each borough there were pockets of immigrants from other countries. My Williamsburg neighborhood's borders were clearly defined by my parents when I was growing up, but not on a map. Not only was it 99% Italian-American, but the immigrants around Conselyea Street had come from the same small town in Italy where all four of my grandparents were from, Palma Campania. In my own way, I was a small-town girl with subway access to Manhattan which introduced me to a big-city melting pot culture I didn't know existed.
Gordon and I learned a lot about each other that evening. When he was ready to leave, I walked him to the back patio door. The empath in me felt a strong urge to touch him, ever so slightly, just to see if I could feel or tune into his emotions. I think of empathy as clairsentience that is focused on other people. I put my arm lightly around his waist as I ushered him out the sliding glass door. That's when the strangest thing happened. I heard a loud male voice in my head say, very clearly, Some day, you're going to marry this man. I silently screamed, What? No I'm not! Then I felt a tingling sensation on the top of my head as I saw a picture in my mind's eye of a bunch of teenagers all dressed up for a wedding. I clearly saw five boys wearing traditional black tuxedos. Less clear, I think there were a couple of girls in the background. I didn't say a word of it to Gordon since I had just met him and didn't want him to think I was some New Age hippie living in LaLa Land. Gordon looked like a serious '50s kind of guy. I would soon learn that appearances can be very deceiving, but clairsentience without judgment rarely lies.
After saying goodbye and slowly walking away on the back deck shown above, Gordon suddenly turned around and asked me if I enjoyed going to the beach in the winter when it was cold. An odd, out of the blue question I wasn't expecting. I answered him truthfully that Winter was my favorite time to go to the beach. I had a strange feeling that somehow he already knew that and it was not a rhetorical question. While waiting for him to carefully formulate his followup remark, my mind drifted back to a freezing winter day at the beach in Coney Island with my best friends from Grover Cleveland High. To keep warm, we danced in a chorus line on the wet sand, singing By the Sea, By the Sea, By the Beautiful Sea. Huh, I hadn't thought of that for almost thirty years.
I've always been intuitive and empathic and I sensed that Gordon was the kind of guy who liked to think carefully before speaking, unlike a lot of people I knew (and some politicians). After a pregnant pause, he finally invited me, in the most polite manner, to go to Crescent Beach with him for the weekend. His friend had to take a short trip and had offered Gordon his oceanside condo to stay in if he wanted to get out of Dodge.
I must have been frowning because Gordon quickly added, Oh, I should have said it's a two-bedroom condo and you will have your own bedroom, of course. I think I surprised him when I immediately said okay without hesitating. I know I surprised myself! He seemed like such a gentleman and didn't come on to me like men with ulterior motives did. I felt unusually safe with this nice stranger. Besides that, my cat seemed to concur by demonstrating his approval of Gordon by not clawing him to death! I also trusted that Walter would never introduce me to an ax-murderer. Gordon seemed pleased, said goodbye and walked down the steps into the dark where he had parked his car.
I was extremely curious about the voice in my head that sounded an awful lot like my father's voice and not like the usual voice I heard in my head at times. I hoped it was my Dad. He passed away when I was thirty and I missed him every day of my life after that. I still miss his unconditional love for me and talk to him often whether he hears me or not. He would never lead me astray if he was the one sending me a message, but did he know my heart was locked up real tight with no key in sight?
I couldn't figure out the meaning of the wedding picture in my mind's eye either. I thought surely Gordon couldn't be The One I was going to marry some day regardless of what the voice in my head said. I was only 43. I thought the Universe knew I didn't want my Soulmate to appear until I was 55 because I had never lived on my own until my divorce in 1972. I lived with my parents for my first twenty years, then with my first husband for the next sixteen years, and had only been single for a measly six years. I just wasn't ready for a new relationship yet. Plus, I wanted to deal with that vocal prediction in my head. I had learned to trust that voice. Maybe I could risk opening my heart just a tiny crack, just in case. Doth I protest too much?
There was something so familiar about this Gordon guy that made me wonder if we had known each other in another lifetime. Could reincarnation be part of the answer? That was before Gordon taught me that Time, as we know it, is only an Illusion and not part of bedrock reality and should not be taken too seriously. If we had other lifetimes, they were all happening at once, but I'm getting ahead of this story.
If truth must be told, I must admit I felt a growing sense of anticipation as I thought about my upcoming chilly weekend at the beach with Gordon. I recalled a poem I had started writing long ago and wondered if it was meant to be a premonition about my meeting with Gordon again in this incarnation. I could feel my heart opening more than a little crack and didn't know what was happening to me, but knew one thing for sure, this was one time I was going to go with the flow.
draws me to you
be part of the answer
have I known you before
perhaps on Atlantis
or sunken Lemuria
we laughed and we loved
is that why this feeling
I have to be with you
whatever the cost
for a life we once shared
with reckless abandon
you make no advances
you force my aggression
I want you now