Seeing this woman alone with her thoughts was enough to bring me back to a real a reality as one could - under these bizarre conditions. I was in the presence of a person - a real, live human person. She awoke from her nap and began talking to herself. No one around. No one to censor her. Just the blue sky and the mountains and the quiet - the unbelievable quiet of the place. She was having quite an animated conversation with herself, no, with someone else. She was forceful with this other person. Not angry. But firm. Telling him or her just what was what.
And she seemed quite pleased with herself. She really had the upper hand. And she liked having the upper hand.
The beautiful human-ness before me was enough to make me think of my own human-ness. I am a person. Not a freak. Not mad. Not a Kafka-esque metamorphosic me.
I am a human being.
AND I HAVE A NAME!
Xavier Cugat Johnson.
AND I HAVE A HOME TOWN!
Fresno. Fresno. Fresno. San Juaquin Valley. Sixty miles above Bakersfield. Near Yosemite. And just at the start of the Sierra Mountains = at the foot of the road that carries you up to Shaver Lake, EDison Lake and Huntington Lake - up to 10,000 feet before heading down to 395 along the bottom of the Western Sierras.
"But how do I *know* that?" i asked myself, out loud. "How do I know that?"
I said it loud enough for the talking lady to hear me. She turned and looked right at me. There was no fear in her eyes. Just a softness, an incredible warm and caressing softness.