'The Woman in Nepal, Chapter One' by John McAfee
By the early 1970's I had established a pattern of working for a year or so, saving my money, then resigning my jobs and traveling the world for as long as my money would last. With frugality I was usually able to stretch my adventures to a year and a half or more.
In 1974 I resigned my job as I.T. director for the Great American Insurance Company in Cincinnati, Ohio, having worked there for 14 months and saved almost $25,000. That was no small amount in 1974.
I decided to start my adventure in Kathmandu, which I had visited before in 1972.
I loved Nepal as it existed prior to the civil war that began around 1998. My last visit was in 2005. Staying in a remote country teahouse, I was kept awake all night by the sound of machine guns firing in the near distance. It was a sad and disillusioning experience.
But in 1974 Nepal, and especially Kathmandu, was magical - a land full of mystery, adventure and breathtaking beauty. The only laws that seemed to exist were politeness and non-interference. A world where anything goes, provided you could convince someone to go there with you.
In those days Kathmandu was a drug haven. Hippies flocked from all over the world to the city and could be found populating the numerous pie shops, run by foreigners, and oddly, located on the darkest, most winding streets within the city. They served up apple, cherry and other baked pies which were slowly and casually consumed while smoking hashish through the traditional Nepalese pipe - the chillum.
For those interested in the history of mind altering substances, chillums were the origins of the phrase - "chill out", made so popular in the late sixties and early 70's by hippies returning from Kathmandu. "Chill out dude!" was a suggestion to smoke more so that you would calm down.
Smoking a chillum is one of the most complex of all arts. For Westerners to smoke like a "pro" is impossible. The subtleties of smoking techniques are unbelievable.
A chillum is never placed between the lips, nor does it ever touch the lips. In one popular technique, it is placed in the hands in such a way that your lips draw in the smoke from between your two thumbs, pressed not quite together, and the chillum is inserted between the fingers of your right hand. The left hand cups around the right in a manner that forms a sealed chamber, which draws the smoke into your hands and through the small separation between your thumbs. At least that's one of the many complex techniques used by masters of the pipe. It is a sight to behold when done by adept fingers and a creative mind.
In any case, hippies flocked to the pie shops at all hours of the day and night and these shops served both as entertainment and as the starting point for all serious adventures ... for pie shops were also frequented by scam artists, thieves, jewel dealers, prostitutes, questionable holy men and all manner of folk who were more than happy to initiate an adventure for those seeking one.
But this was my second trip. My plan was to leave Kathmandu for Pokhara as soon as I could arrange personal transportation. Pokhara is the starting point for all expeditions attempting to scale Mount Everest - Sagarmatha in Nepalese - "The Sky's Head".
I was not a mountain climber, nor was I remotely interested in such madness. I was interested only in the pre-climb parties, which I had heard so much about, and in the ladies left behind, some for many months. Fertile hunting grounds for such as I was back then, and perhaps, to some small extent - as I am even now.
So I spent my first night drugging, partying and whoring - rising early the next day to rent a motorcycle, which would be half of my anticipated adventure on the winding road through the Himalayas from Kathmandu to Pokhara.
Little did I know that my plans, like most I have entertained, did not fit, in any manner, into the world unfolding around me.
In 1974 my hair was shoulder length, groomed and complemented by a trimmed beard. I was a proto-hippie. Presentable enough to get a decent job but clearly acceptable in any hippie gathering.
I looked passable among the Napalese. Most of the men had long hair and a beard, plus they had become habituated to the - as they believed - retarded Westerners in the guise of hippies.
I was able to cut a deal with an entrepreneurial young man in possession of a 1970 Honda CB 350 motorcycle in great condition. I gave him a $1,000 cash deposit and promised to pay $100 per day for its use. I was, and still am, an accomplished rider and I demonstrated my skills prior to the handshake.
As I was about to ride off, a woman, maybe in her mid-thirties, attractive and smiling, separated herself from the throng in the street and stood directly in front of the bike. It was impossible, from her looks, to guess her race or background. She could have been part American Indian and part Fillipino. Or anything at all.
She looked at the bike, and slowly, sensually, ran the fingers off her left hand along the front fender, up and across the handlebars, up my left arm, across my shoulder and, as she moved past me and sat confidently on the seat behind me, down my back and around my waist.
"Let's go" she said.
I turned, looked her square in the eyes for a few seconds, turned back and headed out of the city with her in tow.
The woman, whose name, if I ever knew it I have since forgotten, remained silent, with her arms around my waist and her right cheek against my lower left shoulder, until we reached Ring Road.
This road is a major intersection in Kathmandu. Making a right takes you North to H02, which then leads Northwest to H04 and on, after an arduous journey, to Pokhara.
Making a left heads South and ultimately to Dakshin Khali - the last surviving temple of Khali in the world. Khali worshippers indulge in orgies and animal sacrifices 24 hours a day. I had visited in 1972 and had had my fill.
I stopped at the corner. I had half expected the woman to ask to get off at many of the previous intersections as her destination. We were now on the outskirts of the city and she could take a bus to anywhere from here.
"I'm headed out of the city" I told her. "Best get off here."
"Where are you going?" She asked me.
"Pokhara" I said.
"Then so am I"
This took me aback and I began to think that she had taken too many drugs, or that perhaps her boyfriend and his friendly thugs would ambush us a few miles out of the City, kill me and take my money.
"You have to get off here" I said.
"Where does your fear come from?" She asked with a childish voice. "Does fear make your decisions for you?"
She leaned in placed her hands around my cheeks and planted, square on my lips, one of the most sensuous kisses I have experienced.
"You can take me, use me and do whatever you want with me" she whispered in my ear.
For a moment I was torn. But ….
"Get off now! I mean it" I blurted out.
She slowly, sensually dismounted, and smiled warmly as I rode away.
I got one block, made three right turns and two minutes later was back where I had dropped her off. She had not moved.
"Can I help you?" She asked, with a serious expression.
"If you try to fuck me things will go bad for everybody. Are we clear?" I warned.
"Fucking you is the only thing on my mind".
As she said it, she climbed back on, encircled my waist, placed her cheek against me shoulder and summed up with:
"Just be real. Everything will be fine."
And with that we headed off on our adventure.
We had not left the city more than ten minutes behind us when she began to caress my crotch, eventually freeing my dick from its confinement.
Nepalese roads are treacherous under the best of circumstances - winding, blind curves around sheer cliffs, unpredictable traffic, bad brakes, no lights - a razors edge between life and death. Negotiating such a constant danger while being jerked off is no joke. I kept moving her hands but that action alone nearly caused me to lose control a few times.
I finally stopped at a lonely stretch of road with a grassy knoll uphill of us. I turned off the bike - dropped it in the grass and all but carried her up the hill.
We fucked for many hours. So many that dusk was beginning to creep in from the lower valley, darkening the road below, when we were finally exhausted.
We had spoken no more than two dozen words since our first encounter in Kathmandu hours before. I did not know her name, her nationality, where she had come from, her religion, whether she was married, her education, where she was staying - nothing. I knew only that she spoke English, seemingly without an accent, she wore hippie clothes and, now - that she shaved no part of her body and had not bathed for many days. It was hot beyond belief!
We retrieved the bike. Fortunately, no one had stolen my pack strapped to the luggage carrier. When we stopped, I was oblivious to everything in the universe with the exception of her allure.
We continued on for less than an hour and stumbled on a roadside teahouse that had two rooms for rent on the second floor. Both were empty. We chose the one facing East, so we might catch the rising sun. It was sparse - a mattress on the floor with crisp white sheets, a finely polished hardwood floor, and an uncomfortable looking straight back chair in a corner.
We paid, went to the room without dinner, and fucked all night.
The only words spoken were: "Roll over, lift up, spread wider, does that hurt?, take it, squat down, don't move, just relax, more spit, use the other hand - your fingernails are sharp, breathe deep, can you put them both in… etc."
Still no talk of who each of us might be.
Early in the morning, before the sun was up, I asked her where she was from. She put her finger to my lips, shook her head as if to say "no… wrong move."
She then closed her eyes and went to sleep.
When we woke, in the late morning, as the sun danced on the polished floor of our room, she rose, kneeled over me, cradled my face in her perfect hands and said:
"What we were yesterday, or the day before, means nothing. It's who we are here and now that matters. That's the mystery that you need to unfold. You have, if you need, an eternity to do that. It is always and forever here and now."
She leaned down and kissed me with a kiss that nearly approached my first experience mainlining heroin - the experience of being kissed by God.
She rose up and said:
"No more talk of the past or the future. Be here now!"
And we said no more. I got up, dressed, went down with her, had breakfast of butter tea and stale bread - one of the best breakfasts I have ever had, and we went out into the embracing sunlight. We kissed and then embarked on an adventure that none who have not experienced it could ever, in a million years, believe.
In 1974 I was 29 and, being a charismatic, cute "bad boy", I had slept with at least three different woman a week, sometimes as many as 7, for 12 years or more - at the very least: 2,000 women - at the most conservative estimate. I was, if you believe in such a term - a sex addict. For me … I simply loved women - every woman: young, old, ugly, cute, intelligent, stupid, nice ass, flat ass, married, single, nuns, whores … I didn't fucking care. I loved women -- touching them, stroking them, seducing them, fucking them, initiating them. Fucking was, and still is, my only abiding talent.
But never, in my 29 years, had I even imagined a woman like "Dark Eyes", as I began to call her. Her eyes were a dark umber -- a brown so deep that the slightest shadow took the color away, leaving a darkness so intense that I would fear falling into them and disappearing. They were beautiful in an ominous way, but when she smiled, even in the weakest light, I wanted to dissolve into them.
Her entire being seemed to be a manifestation of eroticism. In sex, nothing was off limits - fisting - vaginal and anal, golden showers, felching - just name something … her obvious pleasure in it was so intense that no question could arise as to the authenticity of her indulgences.
She taught me things. I had previously prided myself on my sexual experience, knowledge and diversity, but under her tutelage I learned things that I am sure the high Priests of Dakshin Khali had never imagined. I believed I was in love.
"Love is a veil that separates you from the thing that you love." She once told me. I saw the truth of it, and cried from reasons that I could not understand.
But she was utterly without fear and opened her heart and mind to every experience that embraced her.
On our third day together she wandered off with an old man from the village of Jyamrung. In spite of the man being one of the ugliest men I had encountered, I suspected her of having sex with him. She confirmed it on her return and described it in detail. Oddly, I felt no jealousy whatsoever. After she described it, she curled up in my arms and slept… a dark, warm and gentle angel come, for some unaccountable reason, from heaven to grace me for a while with her presence.
On the fourth day she said "let's go back to Kathmandu".
"I want to continue to Phokara" I said.
She replied: "Sometimes the best way forward is to go back".
It made perfect sense, and does, even to this day.
We headed back to Katmandu.
Back in Kathmandu we checked into Dwarika's hotel - one of the oldest in the city. Some of the intricate carvings inside date back a thousand years or more.
It was clear that Dark Eyes was unused to such splendor. She roamed the lobby as we checked in, touching and stroking objects, with a child's innocent and wondrous smile … glancing in my direction to make sure I was seeing what she was seeing.
After we got to our room, she said "wait here. I'll be back" and left.
Hours later I fell asleep from boredom or exhaustion, or both, only to be woken up an hour or so later by the warm presence of two naked bodies in my bed.
As I opened my eyes Darky said "Happy Birthday".
"It's not my birthday" I replied.
She held my face between her warm hands and turned my face to gaze on a Nepalese woman of such incredible beauty that it, literally, took my breath away.
"It's her birthday" she whispered. "Give her a present."
To continue with any description of what followed would be an offence to the sacred and the divine. I can only say that the three of us ended the night, clutching one another, as if for dear life, totally ignoring the tears of bliss that streamed down our faces and mingling in droplets as we tried to make our three separate faces one glorious visage.
I fell asleep and on waking in the morning, I was alone.
The following weeks were a blur of madness, bliss, grace, adventure and constant mystery. My life had been turned upside down, shaken and poured into a new universe that I could never have dreamed existed.
I felt, for the first time in my life - complete, content, without fear or concern. Mystery and adventure were my constant companions. I envisioned a lifelong companionship with Darky - travelling the world, free and open to whatever life brought us.
She seemed, at least to me, to feel exactly the same - smiling so broad when I came into view that I felt her face may melt from the warmth. She was happy, excited, energetic, loving.
One day at the Monkey Temple overlooking the city, she pulled me to her, looked intensely into my eyes and said:
"I have a surprise for you. I've been saving it. I promise it will be the best gift you've ever received".
She looked long into my eyes and gently, barely touching, kissed me on my lips.
"I want you to close your eyes and keep them closed, no matter what. Ok? Promise me?"
I closed my eyes, knowing something fun was about to happen.
A minute went by. Two.
"Can I open my eyes" I finally said.
I opened my eyes.
There was no-one there, not even the ubiquitous tourists.
I looked around questioningly, then urgently, then frantically.
I called for her and finally went running down the one road leading up to the hill.
She was nowhere.
I scoured the city, 18 hours a day for weeks. She had evaporated.
It was only years later that I understood the gift that she had given me. I still keep it close.
You can own nothing in this world. You can keep nothing, hold nothing, capture nothing.
The only constant in this life is change, and what is given will be taken away.
Love ... if any are lucky enough to find it, has no object -- no person, no thing, no idea. It is a state of being - a condition, in which everything in the world takes on a different aura -- an aura of belonging, of indispensability, of perfection.
It is a state in which nothing is needed, nothing is desired and nothing needs changing. A state of completion - forever in the here and now.
Dark eyes gave me the greatest of gifts - through grace, compassion and understanding.
I pray that she has given that same gift to hundreds.
Thank you, Dark Eyes, for giving me Life as it was intended to be lived.