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EAT, BEG, BARF
A novel.sort of
SATIRE!!!! (in any case)
MJ Politis Copyrighted, 10/10/10

INTRO 

It all started with this little short man I met on a trip to Burma, or was it Thailand, or was it Fiji?  It doesn't matter anyway.  It was one of those small, cute countries where everyone is thin and on diets that make their hunger so colorful.  And interesting.  Particularly to me, because, after all, it all really is about me.  That's what the little man with the horribly looking teeth said.  I suffered so much when I had to look at those teeth.  Yes, I agonied when Helika smiled at me.  I felt his pain.  Not that I would give him any money for dental work.  It would be.bad karma, and besides, I did need all the money I could get for my publicity deal.  And my wardrobe.  And the plastic surgeon who would make me look and feel so, ya know, fucking real.   As a beautiful and so, so cool person, I have the right to become more beautiful and even more cool.  No, a DUTY to do so.  After all, this book is about MY journal, not Helika's.   Or yours, unless of course you want to be as cultured as I am, and as, ya know, deep, and, ya know, as literary.  Fuck, I'm literary.   God knows it too, damn it.   I speak with Her often, you know.   Because I am Her, though you aren't unless you like and admire this story of mine.   

I know that your little life is a big deal to you, and even though you're a little person, you are an important one.  But only if you listen to MY story.  About ME.   And about YOU if you can be cool and deep and spiritual too.  And, like, fucking literary like I fucking am.   Besides, you paid a lot of money to read about how I found fulfillment living the simple life.  I'll use the money you paid me for a good cause, of course.  The betterment of ME, which of course will, in the end, result in the bettermen to YOU.  But lets try to do the betterment dynamic.together.  BD, my BFFs.   So.where did it all start.Oh yes, now I remember. 

Chapter 1 

It was a night after one of those parties.  My publisher had finished showing me off to her buyers and had me sign some advanced copies of my new book.  I DID sweat to right that book.   Two hours a day for a month I worked on it!   Right now I really don't remember what the book was about, and it probably didn't matter, but it was a really great book.  After all, I'm a great writer.  I can't fucking help writing great books.   But did I really experience the life behind the words?   Someone asked me that question, I remember, and my publisher said that I did.  Everyone else in the room said I did too.  The person who asked the question walked out of the room.   

I don't remember what she said after she challenged me with that 'who are you, really?' question of hers, but more importantly I do remember what she was wearing.  A plain, low cut blue satin top with an eye-grabbing tan skirt that wrapped around her perfectly shaped, tastefully tanned and roasted legs like a.I couldn't come up with an analogy, or is it a simile.How do you spell simile, anyway?   I don't know, but it doesn't matter anyway, because when you're a great writer like, me, who is hard working and humble, you don't bother to re-write anything.  You just fucking keep going because your fans will always say it is fucking fantastic.  Yeah, that's was I was, fucking fantastic.but not to me.   To me, I was just.fantastic.  Maybe because of the guy I was fucking and my fucked up life being so fucking rich, giving, and fantastic.  Just.fantastic. 

Anyway.that night at our apartment, actually MY apartment, since I'm the woman in this relationship and I paid 30% of the rent, Billy finished making what he thought was love to me and fell asleep.  The nerve of him!   He experiences the joy of moving boxes around on his first job and people around the city on his second job and ideas around the classroom at his third job teaching engineering at a very small community college, topped by writing some cute 'love songs for the working stiff' on the way home on the subway and HE things he has the right to be tired, and, like, so procedural in his love making.   Either he's cheating on me with someone, or has become procedural.  Yeah, that's what it was like with Billy.   And he wanted to have kids with me so he could make ME procedural.  That was his plan, anyway.  I knew it.  Me and three procedural kids, enduring lives of six figure incomes and all those social functions for other procedural people.  True enough, they would be rich procedural people, but, like all hard working stiffs (including fucking great writers like me know), Man (or woman) can't live on caviar and espresso alone.  

It was around 2 AM, according to the hundred dollar clock on my nightstand that I got for ten bucks after bargaining down the clerk at the 'Fight Poverty Now' benefit auction.   It was chipped on the side, but I was split down the middle.  Particularly when I looked outside at a poor, pathetic soul looking for something in a dumpster.  It seemed to be food he was looking for and he looked thin.  I envied that.him looking thin, and feeling free to eat anything he could find.   I couldn't!   He was wearing a really cool retro 70s Army jacket and these baggy pants that were Armonis, from thirty years ago.   Both were tastefully worn down at the knees and the crotch.  Mismatching shoes that presented an interesting color scheme with the dirt on the streets and somehow matched the hue of the rats that seemed to be competing with him for whatever he was looking for in the dumpster.    Yes, he was poor in pocket, but he wasn't broke in spirit.  (Though I really didn't take the time to confirm this by looking into his eyes).   I thought about throwing down some money to him, or one of Billy's coats (as it seemed to be a cold night down there) or a box of those dreadfully tasting quiche's that Billy so 'uncooly' asked if he could have to take home with him.   He said it was to feed people at work, but I know he asked for them so he could embarrass me.  

Anyway.I thought about giving all of these things to that interesting Steinbeckian man below me dumpster diving so athletically into the pile of refuse, and landing in shit after he landed on the ground afterwards.  I thought, and agonized, about what to give him.  Food?  Clothing?  Money?  Or better yet, a copy of my book!    But something I remembered from my visit to that little man in Fiji, or another one of those colorfully poor places overseas, came to my fantastic but not fucking fantastic mind.  "It's all about me" and it would be bad karma to give something to him unless I REALLY knew what I was all about.  

All of the questions came to my mind.  The important ones, with no answers this time.  Who am I?  Why am I here?  Why am I so fantastic but not fucking fantastic?  And why do I feel so empty?   Like I live in a world that seems to have nothing to do with reality?  I mean REAL reality.  Maybe that's what that critic of my book, and me, had said at the party.  And maybe that's what Billy was saying to me with his closed eyes, and his pathetic heart that was still open to me?  

I looked at Billy and imagined a life with him, his way.  I'd send the kids off to school, then college, then graduate school in the morning, agonize over what to write in my next book in a modest $800k shack in Stanford, Connecticut all day while he went to work all day, then played 'love songs' to me when he got home.    And did I say kids!   All those over-educated simpletons giving me 'love' and expecting me to give something back to them!  For thirty years of happiness!   What is happiness anyway?   Does it involve smiling?  Does it have to involve smiling?   And does it have to involve 'love', at least Billy's kind of love.  

Yes, I was bored.   I think that's the term for it.  And I had to save myself, and find myself, and serve myself.  For that noble soul dumpster diving below me.  For Billy snoring his way through the night in a bed that I once called ours but which I now called his.  And for the procedural children Billy might have, and probably deserved to have, with someone else!!!! 

Chapter 2 

I went up the elevator to meet with Billy's divorce lawyer.   He was suck a prick.  So was Billy.   Particularly because he decided to become his own lawyer, and honestly think he could say what he had on his mind by himself.   The pathetic prick.  Can I say prick?   No, he was an asshole.  And a moron.  I should know because I'm no idiot.  I'm a fucking literary genius, after all.  Created in Her image, wherever the hell She was.  She didn't come to the meeting.   I guess She should have.  What business did I have giving away everything to Billy?   Well, maybe not everything, but what do you call giving away 25% of everything 'we' had to a loser like him who actually thought that success is only earned when you, like, suffered for it?   But it was done.  I signed the papers, and let 'the lad' go.  Maybe he would figure out his life by playing in a rock band somewhere.  But he'd fail.He was so boring.   Like so boring.   I was going places.  Like, real places, ya know?   He'd bury that drug-free nose of his in some Steinbeck book, and try to write a song about it.  "Grapes of Wreck", or "Of Mice and Molecules", maybe.   Or better yet---"The Pink Pony".   No, that would be too interesting for Billy, but maybe not because maybe he was gay, or wanted to be, or should see if he is.    After all, I tried to see if I was a lesbo five times.  Required experimentation, you know.  No one is worth anything unless they learned how to be emotional abusers, you know. 

Either way, like, so much in my past.  All he did was do cancer research and teach nerdy biology students and deluded degree-less Crusaders how to be medical doctors.   Like they could heal ANYone.  They were, like, dull and boring themselves.  And the worse thing about Billy is that he kept repeating himself.  Did I mention that I had to let the lad go because he was boring?   

But enough about Billy.  This is about me.  And my journey.  My arc.  My evolution into being an even more caring and perfect soul.  Okay, I had a lot to learn.    But my mentor, friend, and Comradess, Oprah, showed me the way, once again.  Not that I blindly listen to Oprah and believe that everything she says is right, but.she is right, and correct and, like so, 'cool', and 'warm' and feeling.  She's rich and popular because she HAS to be, to fulfill her darma.   Just like me.   And you.  No man has the right to tell us open-minded members of the EMOTIONALLY superior gender that we're wrong, after all.  Because being the open minded women we are, we are always right, one way or another.  

One way of being right and making starting the arc had to deal with hunger.  So much hunger in the world.  A tragedy, after all.  So, it was only natural that I started my journey to help all the hungry by learning to eat.  In Italy.  At all those expensive restaurants that served all that suculent food.  I love the word suculent.  I never look it up in the dictionary, because I'm writing my own dictionary after all, and when I complete my journey, the world will spell words the way I write them.  It's a hard job but someone has to do it. 

Chapter 3 

My first impression of Italy was the men.  Perfect men, on the outside.   With names that sounded so musical, all of them ending in 'o'.   Carlo, Guido, Fucko.  No.  Fucko was my lingering memory of Billy.   Or more appropriately, the affair I had with that actor in New York that told me that all American men sucked.  None of them knew the basics.  How to earn a living by being creative, and strong.  How to make a woman feel loved, and respected.  And how to grow a beard that's always 4 days old, but always.new.  Without the gray speckles, of course.   But where was I?   Oh yeah.Carlo..in Rome.  He was my Italian teacher.   And, yes, he had the courtesy to have a 3 and a half-day old beard with non white in it.  And a full head of wondrously wavy black hair between those purrrfectly sculpted ears.  Not that I was treating him like a boy toy.   I wasn't.  But in exchange for him teaching me Italian I HAD to teach him something else.  It was only fair, and after all, I am fair.  So why did I become so rich, in my pocketbook, anyway?   God must have wanted it that way, so I had no choice  but to, well, do what She wanted me to do.  

Anyway, back to Carlo.  My new galfriend, Caroline, reminded me to be careful about Carlo.  Who is Caroline, you asked?  I asked that of myself when I met her.  It was when I was trying to order an espresso.   Pointing with the fingers, then snapping them, seemed like the best way to tell the clerk what I wanted.  And this clerk knew exactly what I wanted.  An espresso and a croissant.  Coffee and a donut back in New York.  Made of the safe things, just smaller and more expensive here in Italy.   But what else was Billy's or, rather, my money for but to spend it on a spiritual vision of discovery.   It was the clerk who forced that discovery.  He knew my Italian was spoken in flash phrases with lots of English between them.  I tried to add an 'a' or 'o' to all of the English words to make them sound Italian, and be understood as Italian.  And they were, as soon as I pulled out an Italian coin with a cute guy on it to pay this clerk who seemed to still be living in the 'be true to the Revolution' fucking 60s.  Then another coin with a not so cute 'adult' on it.  Then another with an old fart who looked he had constipation.  The clerk reached for all three coins, but Caroline stopped him.  She said something in Italian to him, then 'shut the fuck up and listen' to me in English.  The Clerk's frown turned into a smile and he presented me with the espresso and the croissant and gave me back the coins of the two old farts, keeping the one with the younger one for himself.    He looked at the guy's face, or maybe he was looking at my ass.  The nerve of him to consider me so beautiful without asking my permission.   Then again, I AM beautiful, so I guess he couldn't help himself. 

Meanwhile, Caroline brought me over to her table and told me HER story.   I was hungry, so I let her talk.  That croissant tasted so good.  And I know there was something fattening inside of it.   But did I care?   About as much as I cared for Caroline's hairdo, which was, like, so 'short cut suburban soccer just discovered the male side of myself but not ready to go lesbo but if I did it might be interesting even if the men DON'T want to watch'.   You know exactly what I mean.  

Anyway, Caroline said that she was a travel agent then decided to stay in Italy, liking Rome in particular.    She was making a living doing something with children too.   She didn't go into any details.   But she spoke English with an American accent, the way it was intended to be talked.    Probably from Minnesota somewhere.   It matched her blue eyes and short, perky blonde hair that was I guess 'easier' but not really flattering.  Then again, I don't care anything about how people look on the outside.  Apparently, she didn't either.  But she dressed great.  And classy.   I could smell Italian designer labels under those polyester and cotton garments which skillfully wrapped her perfectly shaped hips, narrow waist and succulent B-cup breasts that felt like they were D's.   Not that I was going experimental on her, or myself.  Yes, me.This book is supposed to be about me, for you.   So where was I?  Yeah.Now I remember.  It was when Caroline was reading a book, 'agonizing and ectasizing' in a way that was like so, 'yesterday'.  Written by some obscure Greek author who was, like, so outdated, after she said she was 'absorbed to the core' by a statue of some scientist who looked more like a chimney cleaner.  "So, Plato,"  I said reading the cover of the book.  "Cool name, but if he didn't make it to the New York Times best seller's list, or Ophah's Book Club, is he really worth reading?"
Apparently 'yes' to Caroline, who remained pensive, ignoring my literary experteez that got me on the air on all the literary review shows on CBC, NPR and  PBS.  "The Republic?"  I noted of the title as she kept reading. "What's it about?" I enquired. 

"It's a.mystery." She replied from the side of her perky, ruby red lips.  

"About who doing what to who?" I asked, knowing of course that any book that isn't about what someone did to someone else and what they were wearing at the time is like so, well boring.  And irrelevant. 

"It's about what we do to each other, and ourselves," she muttered back, her eyes still on the page of this 'Plato' guy who obviously never won any prizes for being popular, or interesting.  But maybe the statue in front of Caroline would say something about it all.  He looked so.common.  And stupid.  Why else would he have so much struggle in his eyes.  "So, Galeleo," I said to him.  What can we do to get Caroline here liberated?  

This was about being liberated from, well, worrying about being fat.  Not that I was fat, or ever could be.  But Caroline was, a little thundery on the thighs.   It was her biology.  And the food in Rome was, like, so 'Rome'.  So, I decided to expand her education by feeding my appetite.  "Do you want to go to Milan with me?" I told her. 

"When?" she asked. 

"Now," I said. 

"How?" she shot back. 

"On the train, so we can appreciate the real people along the way" I informed her, flashing the first class tickets in front of her face. 

"Why?" she asked. 

NOW I wanted to ring her pretty little fucking neck.  And NOT for the erotic experience I knew it would be for both of us.  She kept reading that stupid book by that like so outdated author, so I made her read something else.   A picture of a perfect pizza.  THE perfect pizza, which we could only get in Milan.  God's orders, and She must be obeyed. 

So we went to Milan to have pizza, and found myself ordering it in Italian.  Carlo's lessons really did work.  For some things anyway.   "That one."  "That price is fucking ridiculous!".  "Fucking great, I'll take it."   And, of course, "Yes, I want it fucking 'now'!"   So many ways to say 'fucking', and 'fuck' and 'get fucked up' in Italian, and not all of them with your hands.  Anyway, the pizza.I looked at mine and it stared back.  "Eat me" it beconed me in a deep, otherworldly voice, emanating rich texture through the bursts of vapors carrying its unique aroma into my petit, yet to be really opened, nostrils.   I had to obey.   No matter what that other voice in me was saying.  You know, the 'calorie accountant' that said, 'if your business decision is to take in X number calories, you'll have Y number of more slabs of fat on your waist, tummy then face, calculated into Z number of NON-looks from men who might be interested in you, and Z plus difficulties in finding anything in what USED to be in your size to hide the problem'.   The ABCs of looking  good versus feeling good.  But, She was saying from the angellic messengers in the olive and pepperoni toppings immersed into the cheese and tomato layer of 'mmmm'.'Do it already.  Discipline of the senses and holding back from the pleasures are for losers.  Or those Catholic girls who were put on earth to be baby machines.   And, baby, you ain't made to birth no babies now, and not with no losers anyway.'   Amazing how God sounded like Oprah.  Or how Oprah sounded like God.  I never could figure it out, which was which, but maybe it's just does the chicken come before the egg thing.   Or 'if a tree falls in the forest does anyone hear it'?   Or 'does the opera really end only when the fat lady sings?'   This opera had to move onward, and upward, so I took the first piece of the pizza into my mouth, opened it, let the juices spill onto my tongue, let the Carlo's at the other tables see that tongue, then saw Caroline being all philosophical again.  

"I shouldn't do this," she said, as the Goddess in her pizza stared her in the face.  "I worked so hard to lose this weight, ya know?"  She showed me pictures of herself before she went on those crash diets.  There she was, blimped out, with that 'I guess I'm okay, but better that others are okay' smile, with the 'beautiful people' at the party behind her all paired up, with big grins on their wrinkless faces.   

I felt for her.  Agonized over her dilemma.  Felt her pain, but not so much that it actually hurt me, of course.   I gently took her hand and placed the fingers around the crust of the biggest slice in front of her, a very erotic experience I might, and will, add, and brought the tip of it up to her mouth.  "This food is beautiful.  Enjoying it is beautiful.  And YOU are beautiful," I said.  Besides, how was I going to enjoy being beautiful if I was going to eat alone, and with a woman who, if she kept her figure and I lost mine, would be more beautiful than me?  After all.this journey is about me, and what fulfills me fulfills everyone else.  So the Goddess in the pizza said.  

Both me and Caroline both obeyed Her, our new commandments dictated to our tongues with the seasonings in the sausage toppings, infiltrating directly into our brains through the aromas that melted perfected and invaded, in unison, into our brains.   It made my cerebral cortex expand.   And after a few days of worship at the pizza palace, my tummy 'breath' a little bigger too.   Caroline's waist porked out, of course.  But it was all in the divine plan.  She had a Carlo back in Rome, or at least a 'Carl', and it was good medicine for him and her to both let go of their Barbie and Ken expectations of each other.  But I was still attractive to other Carlo's in Milan.  And Guido's.  And Franco's.  My burden, after all. 

Anyway, me and Caroline went shopping for our new bodies and new lives, me looking one size up, her going from a one digit size to a firmly two digit one.   The way it was supposed to be.  Besides, real womanhood was between the ears, right?   And wow was Caroline all woman.at least to the side of me that loved women in a way that men couldn't love and don't deserve to experience anyway.  Maybe I liked Caroline better as her more natural self.  She was less competition like that, anyway.   More looks from the men for me, a few less for her.  Less temptation for her, more opportunities for me to break hearts (and of course thereby strengthening them) for me.   And the Goddess was pleased.   As was I, because after all, all women all the Goddess inside.   Men are just.people inside themselves.   Yeah, I thought.  Maybe it is time to write that 'the real New Testament' from the Goddess' perspective.  Revealing that God really is a woman.   He couldn't be stupid enough to be a man.  Maybe 'He' is secretly gay?   It would explain why in the entertainment business, where all the hippest, coolest, and therefore smartest minds are, 50% of the men are gay, and the rest wonder if they should be, whereas only 10% of men in the 'common' population are, or wonder if they should be.  But that was for another book deal.  Maybe I'd hire an author to write it for me.  Yes, better that way.  Let them earn their enlightenment by working for it.  I certainly worked hard enough to see It.  And to be it.  And to free It within me.  

So, I stayed in Italy and went back to Rome.   My publisher (and I suppose you, who kept overpaying for all of my previous books) kept my Mastress American Card Gold paid off.    Besides, I had more basic problems to solve than how to feed, cloth and shelter myself.  I was looking for God, or rather, we were looking for each other.  But before the 'wedding' (in which I was going to get a prenub, like, for sure this time), it was time to do some quality time with my Italian friends, who invited me over for Thanksgiving.   Three courses of pasta, two of fish with a turkey in the middle of it.  A bird that they didn't know how to cook.   Strange that these people who could turn crushed tomato and macaroni into sauce and pasta didn't know how to cook a turkey.  You stick your hand up its butt, do some messaging, some stuffing and add some spices to make the dumb brainless bird feel 'filled' inside, then let it all incubate in the oven.  For more than an hour.  Particularly if it was frozen.  I think that's how turkey's cooked.  Of course I never had to do it.  The maid, who was here semi-legally.eh, I mean, the hired help who I got real cheap..eh.or.well, someone else always did the cooking.    But this time I had to do the cooking when roast turkey turned out to be iced bird at the center of the table.    

It was to be an evening meal.cooked while everyone else was on siesta.  That Italian thing where you sleep in the afternoon so you can get up in the evening and make it a night.  It would never work in America, or course.  I never could sleep during the day.  Unless of course it involved sleeping with someone as boring as Billy, most particularly when he thought he was having sex with me.  But I'm not surprised.  Even in my sleep I was a better lover than Billy ever was.  Maybe because he tried so hard.  How.uncool, to try so hard, at ANYthing.  

So, as I continue this book that is like so 'channelled' from the Goddess within that it would be a sacrilege to stop writing or correct anything, especiallee my creative spelling..Everyone else was asleep in the arms of someone they loved, or tricked into loving them.  Even Caroline looked happy.  Every ounce of her now plumping out body seemed so happy.  Maybe because her man plumped out too.  He wasn't a Carlo and by now my Carlo had found a Guido and was doing a gay thing across town.  His loss.  The nerve of men to become gay after all we did was to emasculate them.  

But all part of a higher plan, and probably more lucrative literary contract.  My time to consider the next part of my journey, and journal, and make that appointment I put on my calendar to meet the Goddess where she lived.   I was so sure She would be Om. (God I'm so good with puns, most of which I don't have to steal.eh.I mean acquire and transform) 

Having completely understood the Italian culture and traditions of the Renaissance that started here, it was time to go to the Source.  The place of Enlightenment.  That location where one HAD to go, or say you had been to, in order to really be cool, hip and, ya know, culturally superior back in NY, TO and LA, those places so cool that everyone knew them as initials.  

 CHAPTER 

It was only fitting that the fee to enter the Ashram where I scheduled myself to learn the simple life or surrendering to the Goddess cost $25,000 a semester.  Only fair that everyone else had to pay $50,000.   Or work it off somehow.  Good karma.  I did all my hard work in past lifetimes, most probably.  The ease by which I could get what I wanted from anybody certainly couldn't have been due to being a bad or manipulative person.  

The Ashram did have some locals in it,  They all looked so.like Indian.  And smelled Indian.  And talked like Indians.  Maybe that was because it was India.  You know, the place we all talk to when we think we're calling our local telephone, department store complaint line or travel agent when we're in America.   But we were talking about India here.  I was anyway. 

The food was marvelous.And we could eat as much as we could.  I did, anyway.  I couldn't figure out why most everyone else didn't.  It was free, after you paid your tuition, so why not eat?   I got to understand the heart and soul of Italy by eating, so why not understand India and the Goddess by eating twice as much food there?   Besides, there were no Carlos, Guidos, Fuckos or even Billy's there to impress.  Yes, I would be celebrate for this 2 month journey through the desert.  Pay my dues.  Go hungry.and maybe even fast, for as much as 4 hours a day.   I know that Jesus fasted for 40 days, but, honey, that was then and this is now, and he was him, and I'm.not him, or the pleasantly thin holy people who hung out in the Ashram and on the streets just.like praying, sometimes with smiles on their emaciated faces, which looked like so cool.   Time for ME goes by slowly because I'm intense between the ears.  Four hours of fasting for me is like forty days in the desert for someone two thousand years ago, or lots of thousand dollars lower than I am on the economic scale.  Makes sense.World goes faster now.  Internet transmits messages in seconds that used to take days, or weeks, or years way back when.  So, naturally, the Goddess would keep up with the times and get Spiritual messages to movers and shakers like me via the express lane.  

It didn't quite work out like that.   Not that it was MY fault.   Or maybe even the Goddess' fault.  It was RICHARD'S fault.  This old fart from Texas who thought he was so enlightened and really thought he was so, like, sincere in his searching for the meaning of life, but was actually trying to get into my pants, or Sari.  'Sorry' I had to say to him.  Okay, he had a beard.And a sexy one if he kept it at 5 days or growth instead of letting it grow out into, like, a 'real' beard.  And he was bald.Yes, I know it wasn't his fault, and Buddha didn't get people into his fan club by twirling his head and drawing their attention to a Favio mane (a trick which probably worked for Jesus.super hot stud that he probably was).   And I know that men lose their hair due to bad genetics, But is that MY fault?  No.  If it's anyone's fault it's.maybe the guy who has the bad genes.  

Anyway.Richard made me think about myself and get angry at what I saw, or at least what he seemed to be showing me.  The least I could do was to be 'tender' to him, tease him towards the bedroom door then close it on him, and, more importantly, make him cry.  Make him confess all of his shit, so he would cry on my shoulder.He'd owe me, and the universe would be happy in that I would have showed, and expressed, my Spiritual superiority and humility, both of which I was rightfully proud of.   

But about the Ahram thing.  Yes, I did try to meditate.  And yes, I did say the prayers, in English and Sanscript.  And yes, nothing happened.   Except for me meeting Mita, sort of my Indian Caroline but without the blonde hair, the sooner kum louder degree from university somewhere important, the credit cards that she so wonderfully let me manipulate into using when we went on shopping trips, and the crow's feet developing under those sensuous, glowing, lick smacking eyes (which I was only attracted to Platonically anyway, and am not sure what Plato has to do with Platonic or who he was in the first place, being a contemporary literary genius that I am) .   But Mita did have her Carlos.  Actually, her Mr. Patel. It was a grand wedding.which me and Richard went to.  With great food.  And those dances that the East Indians are famous for.  Big.  Everything big.  Then, because I was so good at.ya know, world and charm things, I was put in charge of greeting new arrivals to the Ashram.   And promoting the Ashram to everyone else.   The Goddess doesn't mind me doing it.  She created everything, including money.  And people to spend it, and get it.   

So.my India visit was about knowing I wasn't Indian.  So what was I?  A heartbreaking, single woman in search of a heart I could connect to.    But first, there was some business with a little man who was probably laughing at me with a big fat grin on his face to deal with. 

CHAPTER 5 

As in Italy, I learned most of what India had to teach, being the sponge brain that I am.  One of those things was that serving the Goddess, or the Teacher, for me, involves being in the REAL world.  You know, the one that runs on plastic rather than ethereal octane.  The one where it really IS about who you know, not what you know, because, after all, it's people, not things or jobs or what's produced from that job that really matters.   Something is only worth what people say it is, and I am a people person.  Actually the people's person.  I had to tell that to the little man in Burma, or was it Fiji, or someplace else, that sent me on this wild goose chase to just wind up where I am already.   Besides, my publisher requested it.  And she works for Oprah, as all reputable publishers do, and to disobey Oprah is, well, just not cool with the Goddess or Her servant, God.  

Anyway.the old coot with the Einstein eyes and Deli Llama smile was writing these manuscripts, which were like, real valuable.   Invaluable wisdom in them, that if printed, and interpreted by, well someone like me, would make me even more famous, my publisher and her boss Oprah rich, and trickle down into her giving away even bigger cars and on her show to her adoring fans in the audience.  A fair exchange and reward.  That what goes around comes around rule working.  

So, I went to the old coot, and asked him where his manuscripts were.  You know, the Secret BEHIND the Secret which would tell all about getting what you want.  Maybe even helping others get what they need.  So I asked him, 'Where is this book of Truth, and Wisdom you said you would show me that I would understand and feel if I went around the world?' He smiled with that British Dental work make-over (three teeth, as he was probably hiding his real teeth inside his gums somewhere) and pointed to his head.    'Okay" I smiled back, gritting my own teeth between my gums.  "What about that book of Happiness you said you were entrusted with?  Where is THAT?"  The little twerp pointed to his heart, then mine.  I felt like biting his finger off.  Then he laughed.  As he seemed to be hiding something, and his eyes veered off into a the corner of his hut (yeah, I really believed he lived in this hut all the time.as much as I believe that homeless people in New Delhi or Brooklyn really don't have apartments they go home to at night after begging money from everyone else).    So I did the Hindu 'I bet to you and kiss your ass thing' with my hands, bowed a bit, then remained while he went off to give some food to some kids who came by pretending they were hungry.  They had smiles on their faces too, and these bodies that were covered by this interesting dirt-hued body lotion. Maybe a Thailand trick or treat thing.  

So, I sneaked into the box the little imp didn't want me to look into and was caught, by his secretary.  She smiled too.  The Imp smiled also, and congratulated me on being me.  On seeking the Truth, and Wisdom.  All I wanted was Happiness.   After all, that was more important than truth, or wisdom, isn't it?   But, have to eat the broccoli and green beans before the ice cream, so I asked the toothless Wonder Teach about Truth and Wisdom.   He told me he'd pay me money, give me a place to live, and give me all the Happiness I ever wanted if I would translate the books.   A win win situation all around, so it seemed.  As long as I had time off, and could use his secretary, or find one of my own. 

I thought of putting an ad into the local newspaper, 'Wanted:  Caroline-Mita who can speak many languages but know when to shut her fucking mouth'.   Word for word, it made sense, and I was determined to go through with it except that there were too many words in the ad.  And, besides, there wasn't any local newspaper I could trust.  So, I did what I could with  'Teach's' secretary, and while doing his food (and I bet drug) distribution, found my own secretary.   Lana was her name.at least that was the shortened version I could say, and did.   She was done in by the wrong man (then again, all men are wrong men one way of the other) but laws in this country didn't favor women too much.   She was a pharmacist, and could make a real good drug dealer, I thought.  In a country where everyone seemed happy, without having money, or letting you know they did (or at least without showing off very much bling).   

Lana worked hard, and she helped me with a lot of medical problems.  I won't tell you what they are, because, well,.I just don't feel like telling you, and it's what I feel that matters, after all.   But I did feel for Lana and her child, who was deserving of help, of course ONLY because it was her daughter and not her son.   She worked long hours with little rest and seemed to know a lot.  Including a lot about languages.  She helped me with translating Teach's  manuscript (which you can read about in my next book, after buying and being mesmerized by this one) and helped me with my, again confidential, medical problems (which may be released in another book, discounted price if you buy my next book for yourself and this one for a friend).    But it all boiled down to one word about happiness.  Yeah, it's the L word.   And NOT 'lesbian'.   Love.  Getting it.  Keeping it.  Doling it out as YOU see fit to who YOU want to give it to, and of course being sure that you get back more than you give away.   The REAL translation of it anyway. 

But happiness.how's that connected with love, at least for me?  Well, his name was Nicko.  Yes, another 'o', who of course had to qualify by having the 4 day old beard, head full of just-curly-enough (but not Afro) hair and money in his pocket which he got the old fashioned way---by earning it and being cool.  And whose main reason for getting it was for reasons that could be trusted.To buy good food, good clothes, good shelter, good kids (yes, it takes a village to raise a child, a bankroll to buy your way into the right village) and a good woman.  Of course, I was that good woman.  Actually a great woman.  

We first met on the road when he accidentally bumped into me while I was riding my bicycle (for photo shoot reasons only, of course) and he was driving his car.   He apologized for messing up my clothes, and damaging the bike (which was insured anyway, but of course it would ruin his day if I told him that).   He invited me to a party where I met his kid, then him.  I got drunk, another thing the Goddess commanded, or course (since She made grapes and the process of fermentation.   I danced.  I sang (I think off key).  I went home with him, or did he go home with me?  In any case, I ended up going to his house a lot.   He was a great cook.   Good thing because I never was, and never should be.  What good's a man who can't be brave enough to hunt moose, smart enough to kill the moose, and civil enough to come home and cook it too?   After all, it's ME who did all the hard part.  Asking him questions about himself when I should have rightfully been talking about ME.  Smiling at things he said that seemed to be witty.  Laughing when he was funny (though I think this one really was funny).   And, or course, getting him to break down and cry.   It made him feel weak, me feel strong.  After all, he owed me.   Along with the chance to enjoy my own freedom while renting his.some of it anyway. 

Without ANY drugs, even from Lana's shop, I got what's his name.oh yeah, Nicko, to take me to his private island on what instantly became OUR boat and make me happy in my new life.   We'll see where his goes in the next book.  

EPILOG
Okay, so you've read this book and I am SURE you are mesmerized.   I know that you yearn above all to be like me.  But you can't.   Your should take your own Path to Happiness.  You'll get there.   And when you stumble and fall on your ass, or 'really in need of some of Lana's potions' face, please feel free to re-read this book, or read my next ones.   It is my pleasure, honor and duty to serve you, after all.    And if you want to ask the Goddess about anything, please, send your letters to me and, for a nominal fee, I will pass your message on to Her.