JANNET SPENDS THE PORTION OF THE DAY, WHEN SHE IS NOT WITH MARI BELEN, AWAY from Mari Belen’s apartment. The late mornings, the afternoons, and early evenings belong exclusively to her. She spends late afternoons, which is the morning period in Oregon, in the apartment hotel, on Skype consultation sessions. The interactive sessions about 25 minutes each.
She works out at a nearby gym, tours Madrid, spends time journaling and/or in a deliberate meditative trance state, she engages in lots of e-mail correspondence, and she reads voraciously. She maintains some form of contact with Tess but it can be infrequent. Technically the communication between Jannet and Tess could take any form. However, it tends to be by phone text or by computer word document. On occasion her phone’s display will turn completely a milky white and a message will appear from Tess and then possibly a text-chat might ensue. Or sometimes Jannet will find an opened Word document waiting for her as she logs onto her laptop. Or she could initiate a session with Tess by opening a blank Word document on her own. She would then merely type ‘Tess’ and a Word document text-chat would ensue.
I am present. **T
I know that our human conception of the soul is a limited model. Actually our true nature is a pluralistic one? And how many are we? **J
A human being with their human life is a unique psycho-physical expression of a larger community of unique non-physical personages who exist in a radically divergent space/time dimension. That community can be expressed as one composite person and this person can be referred to as the higher self although other terminology can be also applicable.
Quantification of that community is an interesting idea, from a human perspective but in actuality it may not be a germane question.
For instance, how many members of our particular non-corporeal community do you image there might exist? **T
I have no idea but perhaps we could say 100 persons hypothetically. **J
Let’s assume 100 persons, which it is not, then for each personage you would have to include various versions and these would be valid sentient beings, of those 100 individuals. Within each stage of your own life there is a valid sentient version of yourself. A version of yourself when you are at 10 years of age, and at 25 years of age, and at 72 years of age and so on and on. Additionally, there is the consideration of multiple quite valid versions of one’s self in parallel realities. As you can see personhood, from a broader perspective, is a complex consideration.
The most important element to remember is that a human individual is not one physical person with one non-physical soul, rather the self in physical reality is a member of a vast, active, and very capable community. **T
One final question? Will Madrid be my new permanent home? **J
You will likely maintain a connection to both Oregon and Spain although Spain, and particularly Madrid will be significant for you. You have a solid connection to Mari Belen, therefore you will not want to separate from her for any extended period of time.
Perhaps we should close.
However, there is another issue, a personal issue, which I would like you to consider. You have made a habit of ignoring contact from your younger cousins, who also reside in the city of Portland, and perhaps you might reconsider that posture. They are not responsible for the exile of your parents; it was specifically their older parents and relatives. You might consider a more open attitude towards them in the future. **T
I am a little surprised at your request but I will give it serious consideration. **J
Take care, little cousin. **T
Jannet maintains a standard routine for the late mornings/early afternoons, she eats out and afterwards she walks or take the bus or take the metro in order to explore the city. She is becoming very attached to the city as she is also simultaneously becoming very attached to Mari Belen.
The city center, of Madrid, is a source of endless wonderment for Jannet. There is a palatial grandeur to many of its streets and buildings. With over 200 churches in Madrid, mostly catholic, there is a frequent sounding of bells that seems to follows one practically everywhere. Jannet has moreover been spending a copious amount of time at the city botanical gardens, Real Jardin Botánico. The botanical gardens, of about 20 acres, are an urban oasis in the middle of a metropolis of over 6,000,000. It is just east of the massive and picaresque Parque Buen Retiro; that is Madrid’s largest park at 350 acres. Despite the grandeur and the scale of Parque Buen Retiro, Jannet actually prefers and she deeply appreciates the more intimate natural respite as offered by the Madrid botanical gardens.
Jannet obviously has made comparisons to her beloved civic gardens and parklands in Portland. Those gardens are situated rather differently. Jannet’s favorite municipal outdoor areas are, of course, the Japanese gardens, the International Rose garden, and the zoo, all of which are part of the larger woodlands area known as Washington Park; Washington Park is about 400 acres.
By the early evening, Jannet is mindful to remember to gravitate toward Mari Belen’s apartment by 7.00 pm or 8.00 pm, she wants to be present when Mari Belen arrives.
Some amount of time later after the impromptu and spontaneous meeting with Tess by the police investigators, and after their informal El Descanso, the three investigators are in a police vehicle waiting for a traffic light to change. Mari Belen is silent and seriously thinking about her colleagues’ admonishments concerning her overzealous surveillance of Jannet. They are returning to the police offices after following a lead, on a cold case investigation, in Madrid Sur.
“Que raro!” Umberto comments. This prompts the three to turn, nearly a 90° angle, to catch a glimpse of a suspicious individual limping into a nearby alleyway. The unmarked police car is, at that point, parked and the three investigators embark on a route, fueled by intuition, toward the alleyway. Once in the alleyway, they walk silently toward an ‘L’ turn and stop to listen. It can be heard that several men are threatening two other men concerning a disputed payment for a drug sale. Umberto quickly sends a text, the text includes an abbreviated code for the type of criminal incident that is occurring and the location. As the three step into the ‘L’ turn of the alleyway they realize that it is actually a deeply inset alcove and that they are blocking the only exit-way out. Umberto officially announces themselves and shouts at the individuals, there are seven or eight men, to surrender themselves. Regrettably the men do not comply and a brief chaotic scene unfolds.
A few of the men have weapons, either knives or small caliber guns, and they attempt to engage those weapons but everyone suddenly halts themselves when Umberto fires two loud warning shots in the air above them. The suspects freeze. They are ordered to drop their weapons. The men are then ordered to line up and to face a dirty and grimy gray wall. Carlos Jon conducts a quick preliminary search of each man, in turn, and then secures their hands, in turn, with a strong plastic ties. One of the suspects tries to suddenly bolt from the lineup but Mari Belen startles him by quickly blocking his path and she then roughly shoves the man back into the lineup. Umberto holds a weapon in one hand and is on the phone with his other hand; he is talking with the in-route police response team. Mari Belen is standing very close with a cautious watch over the criminals, as Carlos Jon conducts his process; she has a small Taser in one hand and an expandable steel baton in the other. But soon she becomes distracted, she becomes aware of some form of presence, in the peripheral.
“A la nueve!” Mari Belen shouts and gestures. This causes an immediate near 90° turn of torso, on the part of Umberto. He puts away his phone and walks slowly towards a large collection of debris. He discovers a small squatting man, who has an overwhelming smell of cigarette smoke about him. The squatting man obediently straightens up and commences to assume the expected position of surrender.
Jannet waits. It is about 7.30 pm and Mari Belen has texted that she will arrive by 8.30 pm. Jannet is a bit impatient and unsettled because she has received a psychic nudge about an impending disturbance. Mari Belen does eventually arrive and she appears to be pumped up energetically.
“I need to talk to you about something important.” Mari Belen begins, soon after she has roughly deposited her coat and bag onto a waiting chair. Mari Belen divulges, non-stop for a half-hour, complete details of her extensive surveillance investigation of Jannet and Jannet’s close friends and relations. She concludes with a confession that some of this investigational process was unnecessary and illegal. She offers an apology and offers assurances that the process has stopped. She did add that she would like permission to continue to monitor the Jannet’s GPS position via her phone while she is in Madrid.
Jannet’s response is a low-key and a mild one and she indicates that she appreciates Mari Belen’s candor. She indicates that the GPS tracking of her cellphone location is a good idea and she expresses her appreciation about Mari Belen’s vigilance. Jannet’s response is quite contrary to Mari Belen’s expectation. Mari Belen has expected Jannet to be angry or outraged but she is surprised when the woman is not either one. Furthermore, Mari Belen becomes the one who becomes a little irritated. The situation continues to devolve as Jannet now is confused by Mari Belen’s annoyed counter reactions. Jannet experiences holographic spikes of lightning that are surrounding her madrileña girlfriend.
Mari Belen gradually becomes more incensed seemingly because Jannet is not incensed at all. And when the sobering realization, of Mari Belen’s edgy mental state, finally looms upon Jannet, her confusion heightens. She has never experienced Mari Belen as a person of anger before.
“The only thing that matters, to me, is our mutual attachment. You belong to me, and I am yours, period.” Jannet announces with quiet assurance. As Mari Belen silently fumes, Jannet adds, “Don’t you feel the same?” There is a continued sizzling deaden air emitting from Mari Belen.
Jannet impulsively elects to leave the apartment. She quickly grabs a few items, her bag and coat included, and walks directly to Mari Belen, embraces her, and before departing she whispers, “Te amo.”
60 seconds later, Jannet regrets her decision to leave the apartment. But she is legitimately confused by Mari Belen’s wrath. She wants to turn back but instead she resolutely continues to walk to the next major street, to pick up an easily available taxi. However, she never reaches that street because she changes her mind again and she walks a few extra blocks back to the Metro; it is the Opera Metro station. At the station she has to carefully navigate a youthful band of skateboarders loitering innocently near the Metro entry. She takes the red line east and makes a transition, at the Sol station, to the yellow line south and to the Embajadores stop. She has started her journey a little before 9.00 pm but she does not experience a solitary trek because in Madrid there are always people walking around and moving about even into the very late hours of the night. The underground train is usually packed but she is surprised that she does obtain a seat in one of the Metro cars. She is back at the apartment hotel about 9.45pm. She has picked up a para llevar meal at a close by bar and she munches on a simple dinner as she turns on her laptop which activates her enormous wall monitor.
Jannet is reeling from this evening surprising confrontation with Mari Belen. She surmises that Mari Belen is angrier with herself and that something else or someone else has triggered her reactions. And Jannet’s lack of interest and lack of understanding probably additionally fueled the situation. Jannet decides that it is best to wait until tomorrow to talk with Mari Belen again.
There is an urgent e-mail from Sara Jean and she wants Jannet to Skype her as soon as possible. So Jannet instigates a session. It is nearly 10.00 pm in Madrid and nearly 1.00 pm, early afternoon, in Oregon. Sara Jean is available. The woman explains that she has discovered visual recordings of Jannet and the Deckers on the siblings’ website and on their other social electronic media, the recordings are used as promotional materials for the Deckers. Sara Jean suspects that the recording were obtained and produced covertly and without Jannet’s permission. And Sara Jean wants to know what action or actions that Jannet intends to take. Not surprisingly Sara Jean is in a quite heated state.
“Do nothing except to post a brief statement on the PAG website, on the consultation link actually, about myself having no official association or affiliation with the Deckers and that there is no authorized endorsement, on my part, of the Deckers’ programs, promotions, and activities.” Jannet responds with restrained authority. “That will invalidate the legitimacy of the ill-gotten recordings.”
“I will post the statement, but shouldn’t you talk directly to them about their tactics? And why are you always so lenient with them?” Sara Jean comments and she is hoping that Jannet will be more aggressive in her response to the Deckers. But just as she is speaking to Jannet, Jannet’s attention is drawn away. This is caused by the sound of a key card activating the door to her apartment hotel. Consequently, Mari Belen strides into the apartment hotel living room, just as Sara Jean completes her comments.
“And who are you? And why are you breaking into my friend’s apartment. I think maybe I will call the police.” Sara Jean challenges, upon noticing Mari Belen’s sudden and authoritative presence.
“She is the police.” Jannet clarifies with a relieved smile. “And she is my girlfriend.” Jannet proceeds to makes mutual introductions for Sara Jean’s and Mari Belen’s edification.
“You resemble an actress in California more that an accountant and an administrator in Oregon.” Mari Belen declares as she visually scans Sara Jane. In actuality, Sara Jean is striking. She is statuesque with white blonde hair, sunny skin, and a sculptured face.
“And you look like a policeman, or is it police person, from Madrid.” Sara Jean retorts although she has a joking manner. She then stops to examine both women on the other side of your computer screen. “Apparently it seems like you two need to discuss something, so I will sign off. Talk to you later Jannet. And it is very nice to meet you Mari Belen.” Sara Jean disappears from the monitor screen.
“Obvious, I am sorry. I was reacting to my own emotional baggage and I did not honor your feelings, instead I anticipated that you should react a certain way and I got a little angry when you didn’t.” Mari Belen confesses with complete sincerity. “I have had a volatile and sometimes dysfunctional pattern with relationships in the past. And I fell into that dark pattern again tonight but thankfully you did not respond or react to my B.S. Also recently I received a well-deserved condemnation from my police partners. And I have to add to that I was fired up from a street encounter this afternoon, we had an intense encounter with several criminals, so I am on a wicked adrenaline high right now.”
Jannet waits a full minute, on purpose, before responding. “I find it difficult to get angry with someone that I am in love with.” Jannet’s simple statement is conveyed in a soft voice.
Mari Belen is thoughtful, and she waits for a long moment, as well. “Actually, I am proud of myself because over the last few years I have been making a conscious effort to do better with work relationships, family relationship, and now hopefully with my close personal relationship. Again my apologies for tonight.” There is a short pause. “So, we’re ok, right?”
“Yes, we are better than ok.” Jannet replies, as she takes Mari Belen’s hand and guide her to the couch. Mari Belen easily detects that Jannet has some major question on her mind. “Is this a good time to change the subject and maybe to talk about our future? I guess I should ask, what sort of future, if any, might you envision for us?
“I do feel strongly about our attachment.” She smiles. “I know that you will leave in about two weeks, more or less, but let’s continue on resuming our regular routines for the remaining days, ok. And we should also probably wait at least a day or two before jumping into any major discussions about the future.” She continues and she projects an earnest look. “So can we go home now?”
Jannet grabs a few items, including a bag and a coat, and she is secretly pleased with the reference to the word home.
Mari Belen and Jannet do resume their regular routines. All of the earlier tension has dissipated and the recent incident has become the catalyst for a series of deep cathartic exploratory conversations between the two women. They spend the late evenings and overnight and early mornings together. They continue their respective daytime work and activities. There are occasional get-togethers with Mari Belen’s sister and nieces, who are in another not-too-distance neighborhood in Madrid. There are no get-togethers with relatives in Toledo. In effect, there is general air of relative normalcy and reliable contentment.
As a follow-up to a recent question about the future, Mari Belen announces, one day at an early breakfast, that she is committed to the relationship and that she wants Jannet is think about spending more time in Spain and less time in the states. Jannet indicates that she is open to the proposal but that she also wants more time to think about the new proposal. Secretly, Jannet has been expecting Mari Belen’s plan; it seems logical that to her that she would co-habit with Mari Belen, on a more or less permanent basis, at some point.
Mari Belen spends the next few days musing about past relationships, including the four or five years of a volatile marriage with a man, and the few years of pre-marriage with the same man, when she was in her 20’s. Her relationships over the ensuing time period, with men and women, were often short-lived and combative because, as Mari Belen reasons, both parties were type ‘A’ personalities. She believes that her present relationship, with Jannet, to be potentially different, and perhaps a more complementary one.
She also internalizes a desire to continue to be closer or to continue to spend more time with immediate family members. She expresses appreciation that her Toledo family is making some small amount of effort to accept her relationship with Jannet. Mari Belen blames her distance from her Toledo relatives on her own secretiveness about her boyfriends or her girlfriends over the past recent years; and she acknowledges the persistence of some lingering conservative attitudes among some family members. Mari Belen relates to Jannet a cautionary story about her uncle’s extended family, who are also residents of Toledo. There was a male relative, of her uncle’s family, who had a relationship with another man and her uncle’s family eventually exiled him. This banishment consequently became a source of regret for some members of her uncle’s family.
Despite Spain’s liberal views towards the LGBT community and the legalization of same-sex marriages, a decade ago, some conservative attitudes still persist. Mari Belen expresses, to Jannet, that it is a priority for her to maintain good relationships with all of her family, while balancing her challenging career and while continuing to grow her relationship with her American girlfriend. She wants to balance it all. Jannet is altogether smiles as she quietly listens to Mari Belen’s resolutions.