JOURNEY OUT OF DARKNESSPart Two
"Who is that?" I asked.
"Yvonne Riley," she told me.
"Yvonne Riley, I don't think I know her. Where does she live?"
"She lives in the Tavelli house over near the Maverick."
"The Maverick Road?"
"Yes, you know, the Maverick, where Harvey White started his little colony of maverick artists on the side of Ohayo Mt. back in the 1920's. That's where the outdoor Maverick Concert Hall is the oldest continuing series of chamber music summer concerts in America. Yvonne's married to Tom Riley. He's away right now in India."
"In India? What's Tom Riley doing in India?"
"He went to see some sort of guru."
"Some guru? What do you know about this guru?"
"Only that he doesn't speak," Phyllis said quietly.
"Doesn't speak? Why the hell would anyone go all the way to India to see a guru who doesn't speak?"
"Obviously to receive some kind of spiritual guidance," Phyllis answered rather flatly.
"He's a strange fellow, that Tom Riley."
"I thought you and I were interested, ourselves, in searching for spiritual guidance," she responded.
I didn't know what to say to that or hardly what to think. Surely we needed spiritual guidance, for did we not need to find a way through? "Why did you go to see her, Yvonne Riley, I mean?"
"I brought her a roll of insulation."
"Yes, she's living with her two little children in a three-room artist's studio with no insulation, and no running water. We're going into winter, you know. She doesn't have a palace to live in like we do here."
"I see what you mean," I said.
"I offered to help her staple it up. It was for her kitchen ceiling, but she claimed she didn't need help. She said she could do it alone, though she did appreciate receiving the insulation. Their life is more rugged, more poverty-striken than ours. It's very hard with a year old baby in diapers. It's very hard for Tom to make a living."
"Yes, I know, but being so poor, why on earth did he have to go to India?"
"If you'll pardon my expression," she said quietly, "he went there in search of God."
"In search of God," I repeated the words thoughtfully.
Months passed, and by now, I could feel my back to the wall. In fact, it ached, ached dreadfully.
"What am I going to do about this lower back pain of mine?" I asked Phyllis.
"I think you may need physical therapy treatments."
"Where can I find a physical therapist?"
"As a matter of fact, I know one," she said.
"Yvonne Riley is a physical therapist. We could get her to help you with some treatments."
"Let's try that," I said.
"I'll get in touch with her," Phyllis said. "I think she works for Dr. Berg in his office."
1998 © Craig Zenner
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