I can understand the upset she feels. Now that our night together is over -and we're just going to assume that's not why she's crying, there are real problems out there somewhere that need solving; Cameroon still waits.
Holding her while she cries is all I can do. Well, I could try thinking while she cries. That might even help the situation. But, you know what? All I really want to do is hold her while she cries. When the sobs subside, I reveal my brilliance.
"OKay, Gabe, here's the plan." I love that! Ever since the A-Team I've wanted an opportunity to say that. Do you realize how much of our life is influenced by the movies and TV? Positively disgusting. We should be quoting Kant, Aristotle, Montagnian, even Shakespeare. Here I am quoting the A-Team.
Like I said, mediocre B-movie.
"We're going back in. Now. We take ten steps left and exit. Figure where we are; go back in take 10 steps the appropriate direction and check again. We keep that up till we know how to get back to Cameroon."
I take her hand and lead her toward the mist. Remembering this is the Gabe who always has an answer, I wait until the shimmery stuff starts before I say: "You're wrong about what the mist is doing. It isn't sending us to places to change history." But I don't tell her what I think it is doing. I turn left and start 10 paces.
April 4th, 2003, 12:22 PM
Ten Paces. Oh good. Not enough time to affect that much physical change. Great. He is still gonna be younger and more beautiful than me. WHAT? Jeeze Gabe.....when did I start referring to myself as Gabe? Yikes, he's pulling me out of the mist.
Oh great.........a cruise ship! Always wanted a cruise to......where ever we're cruising to! We both start looking around and see some newspapers being read by people in the chaises. Look at Dan go! Walks up to the nearest one and snatches the newspaper right out of the guy's hands. Then dumps right back into his lap grumbling "Can't read that language!". Snatches the next person's paper, dumps it, still muttering. I see a steward and stop him. "Excuse me. Can you tell me the date and time?" He says something. I don't understand the language. I look over and Dan is still yanking newspapers out of people's hands and then dumping them. After about ten, I see him hold his hands up and yell "DOES ANYONE SPEAK ENGLISH ON THIS DAMN BOAT? Why didn't I think of that.
A gorgeous girl, can't be more than 22 strides across the deck to him wearing nothing more than dental floss, saying elegantly "I do. How can I help you?". Suddenly I want to throw her ass overboard! Those breasts aren't real, honey! You can't fool me! Dan's another story, I don't think he's made eye contact with her yet.
April 4th, 2003, 01:00 PM
Never saw dental floss look so good. But, the young lady standing behind me has a temper, I know. So, I turn, look her straight in the eye and announce, Andrea Doria, 1956. Take her hand and lead her back into the mist.
10 paces left, out again.
Omigod. we can't stay here. Gabe can't be more than 11 years old, all gangly youth and braces. And I can't be more than 18 busting out of whatever blouse the mist dreamed this time.
Look at that, boy! Even at 11 years old! He's positively slack jawed!
Times Square. Torn Curtain is playing.
April 4th, 2003, 01:38 PM
Danielle yanked me back into the mist, quick thinking girl, and I stumbled and fell. Gangly comes to mind! Plus my stupid boyish pride is hurt in front of a older woman! By the time, I recover and we take our 10 paces, we come out on another island. I look around and I know this place! YES, finally! I look over and Danielle is not more than 22 or 23, and drop dead gorgeous in her bikini, with a deep tan. I don’t have to look, somehow I know exactly who and what I am. I smile and said “Dannie. This time we’re not moving. This is near the end of March 1982. I am on leave from the Navy right before I am called in to be an American observer to the British Royal Navy in the Falklands. That means that we have time to think, and plan, and figure out this mist stuff, before we step back in.” She’s so damned beautiful! When I was here, I had wanted to have a girl just like her and didn’t have the time to find one. Too busy with career opportunities. She’s getting ready to argue but I stop her. “Dannie. It’s 15 years before Morgan and I even start the refugee camp. I met Morgan when he served with the Royal Navy in the Facklands! We have time!” My hand slides around her waist and pulls her to me and I kiss her gently first and then more passionately. “Besides,” I whisper “I haven’t made love to you yet - as the woman.” She laughed softly. Good sign! We stroll the beach headed back to my small bachelor camp further down the island.
April 4th, 2003, 02:00 PM
I had a good idea what the mist is thinking and this only confirms my suspicions. Me at 22 and female; Gabe at 41 or 42. Wonder if this is a good time to be modest and virginal? Probably not.
If you're looking for the gory details, well some things should remain between Gabe and I but somethings you probably should hear.
Bikini tops are not nearly the challenge that bra straps are.
8 hours beards can be irritating; but they have their uses.
It is better to receive than to give.
My grandfather was right; women should not have big hands.
Up or down doesn't matter near as much as I thought.
When the other side has no confusion about the intricacies of your anatomy, amazing things happen.
Sand annoys both sexes; blankets never keep the sand away.
Skinny dipping in the Atlantic usually starts with cold water between your thighs; there is nothing romantic about cold water between your thighs.
And there are not enough hours in the night so you have to use the morning and the afternoon.
30 paces to 1986. 25 paces to go.
April 5th, 2003, 09:38 AM
We were left on the island, perfectly clear days and nights for nearly 3 days. No mist, of any kind, could we find. Dannie said she thought the mist would find us. Strange comment to make. Wouldn't that imply the mist has some kind of intelligence or purpose? And why us particularly? I ain't buying it! I am still convinced I am going to wake up somewhere terribly unpleasant like maybe a Navy hospital and find out I've been in some deep sleep due to heavy medication. If so, then I'd rather stay right here, right now with Danielle, and let the sleep continue.
Our third afternoon there, after some more incredible love making (and for someone who had never made love as a woman, Dannie is incredible!) we went for a long walk and talk on the boardwalk. Life is good! Where have I heard that comment before? Whenever she slips her hand in mine, I feel the tingling begin. We are so wrapped up in each other, neither of us notice the mist is building immediately behind us.
We hear loud noises and look up. Three idiots are racing their 3-wheelers down the boardwalk, curving madly around each other. I don't think they see us. I wrap my arm around Dannie and pull her tightly over to the edge of the boardwalk with me. Bad feeling about this, really bad. Right in front of us, one tries to outpace the others and loses control and flips his wheeler. Reacting only, I push Danielle and myself over the edge of the boardwalk. High tide and plenty of water but just as I pushed us over the edge, the mist enveloped us.
I have the sensation of falling and never hitting anything. Don't know how long we're in there but I do know one thing for sure - I pushed us off the right side of that boardwalk. If the mist is consistent, we're headed backwards in time again. DAMN and just when life was so good.
April 5th, 2003, 09:54 AM
Three-wheelers coming; Gabe reacts; we hit the water; and he's gone.
Cold, strangling salt water and he's gone.
Come up for air, look around frantically, beach ahead, people running on the beach. Who cares?
Twist around, look all around.
Deep breath, dive to bottom, water is warm now, look around. Bright sunlight plays on the ocean floor, rocks, seaweed, fish, no Gabe.
Come up for breath, go back down. Rocks, seaweed, fish, no Gabe.
Come up for breath. Hear the people screaming at me from the beach. "Come in, come in," they yell as if they know me.
Who am I this time?
Male, middle aged, early 40s? Don't know. Can't tell here in the water but that's what it feels like.
Ah, hell, no Gabe. Those are tears on my face. I'm crying because there is no Gabe. I ought to be ashamed but I let myself cry.
They're still yelling, demand I go in.
Do I want to go in without Gabe? Wouldn't it be better just to let it all go? If there is no Gabe, why should I care about going in?
Because I'm alive and if I can find the mist, by god and all the saints and devils, I am going to find Gabe, that's why!
I swim to shore where people rush to meet me; to pulll me in; to stand me up and start me running and I hear over the rush to doom: "It's your brother, Dan. It's your brother Gabriel. He's been shot!"
April 5th, 2003, 03:31 PM
Now I'm f*****g pissed. Been shot by some low life like that over a bowl of soup and some bread! Geeze! As many damned Navy missions I was sent on into some incredibly hostile areas, I had never been hurt before. Bruises and cuts, sure but never really hurt. I don't like it. I don't like it at all.
Looks like a deeply depressed area! Maybe 1930's. Can't tell. But I get my belt off, noticed I am wearing men's clothing again, and tighten the belt around my leg for a tourniquet. As soon as I do I look around for Dannie. Quickly looking for any familiar face, male or female, but I don't see him...her. Some kind of food line. Terribly depressed looking area. My clothes are old and well worn as well, some kind of uniform. I hear running behind me and I hear his voice. I smile as soon as I hear it. English mixed with Spanish.
People are gathered around us as he looks at me and smiles. "Thought I had lost you!" is all he says. "Where are we, when are we?" I ask quickly. He starts asking those around us. They all look like we are well known to them. Someone answers Dan. I see Dan looking for the mist. Suddenly he pulls me up and I wrap an arm around his shoulders. He pushes me to my left and I see it, lingering just around the corner of the old run down store. I'm limping but he's got me. He seems to be older than me this time. As if he can read my thoughts he says "We're brothers." "Oh!" is my simple reply. I don't care as long as we're together.
"DAN! The medic is the other way!" one of the town's people yell. I get a few more glances around. Looks like Spain. Based on date told to Dan by the towns people, and my love of military history, I realize we're in Spain in late 1930's.
April 5th, 2003, 04:18 PM
Lot's of things you plan on seeing in your life, a tourniquet on your brother's leg ain't one of them. Hell, I beat him bloody enough times that it isn't his blood that bothers me. It's the damned hero worship that lit up his face when he saw me.
...wait a minute...my baby brother has blonde hair....back to reality. Now. That's an order.
Gabe, here you sit like my baby brother and I know deep inside it's you, the guy I spent the last few days...that doesn't sound right, either.
It's you, Gabe, I can see it in your eyes. It's you and I love you and I got to get you out of here. Look around you. Pay attention. Santander, August, 1937. Detached out of the Abe Lincoln Brigade. These people are sitting ducks. The rebels are coming through hills above town from Bilbao and we got few guns, less ammunition, and no leadership. This is not a good place to be.
There is no way to turn this around. No matter what you believe about the mist and our roles in this whole thing. You know it isn't what I believe. You know that!
But you look at me with those hero worship eyes just my like my brother did. I had to let him die, Gabe. The machines were running and his chest was moving but the ward nurse told me it was a sham. His wife was gone; he wanted to go. It was his kids keeping him around. I had to tell them to let him go. That was my brother, Gabe, my brother! And his kids listened to me, Gabe. They did what I told them had to be done. They think I'm a hero. You think we're heros.
Ah, ****, Gabe. This makes no sense.
"Okay, Gabe, we're going into the mist."
He can almost walk so I just need to support him.
Blasts, six of "em, edge of town. Here they come. We got 30-40 yards to the mist. Towns people screaming, running by.
"OKay, Gabe, here's a bicycle. You use it as a crutch. Get your ass to the mist. I'll join you. First, I buy some time so you can get there."
Look at those eyes. Oh god, oh god, I'm not a hero. I just want you to live this time.
"Get your ass moving, Gabe. I'll be there."
Carbine unslung, move forward to the bad guys entering the town. More blasts as the mortars start to walk their way down the street. Quick glance at Gabe. He's moving. Keep moving, brother........keep moving, Gabe.......
Squeeze. A bad guy falls. Gabe must be getting closer. Squeeze and a miss. Dumb ****. Settle down. Squeeze; a bad guy falls.
There's the whistle; it's comin' in; it's gonna hit damned close.
Try for a look at my brother. Try to see he makes it.................
April 5th, 2003, 04:57 PM
I'm almost to the mist and look back, just to make sure Dan is behind me. He's not! I hear the incoming whistle and start to yell to him to get his ass over here. But the yell dies in my throat.
I see the hit almost immediately in front of him. He's blown up and tossed back like a rag doll. My instincts take over and I run. Sure, I won't lie and say I don't feel the pain. I do. It hurts like hell. But now I have something more important than my pain.
The blast blew him half way to me anyway. I get to him and.....
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I scream inside my head. He won't survive this, I can feel it. I grab his body under the arms and start pulling his dead weight backwards, stumbling more times than I care to think. But the mist seems to realize and help me. It moves to intercede, I think. Maybe Dannie is right. The mist does look for us.
But a horrible thought occurs to me, and I reach down and place my fingertips against his neck searching for a pulse. There's one there but so weak. The mist swirls around us. I don't move left or right once inside the mist. I simply sit and hold him.
But just like the first time I can't look at him. I can't stand to see any more of this stuff happen to buddies and friends. All I can do is sit and hold him. I feel myself changing. It has become a familiar process now. I can feel the slight shifting of weight and anatomy. The tingling feeling it gives to our hair and skin.
I can't really describe it. The way the mist makes you feel as it changes you. I wish I could. But even with my eyes closed, I can tell by the slow shifting of organs and weight, I am going to be a woman again. I wonder how old or young, does it matter? Not one damned bit.