Sttrangers in Paradise – Ben

The Walkway where we met

I never wrote about this episode, but I think it deserves to be immortalized. It happened over six months ago, on the 3rd day of the year 2012, the last day of a retreat I had gone to, to spend the New Years. You see, a few months before that, I had gone through a difficult break up. In the immediate time after the break up, I had lost all interest in men, and in the months that followed, there would be tiny sparks that flared up a bit and would die in 24 hours. My ex was dating someone else in a week. Me? It was like I lived in a haze of disinterest where once in a while some beautiful man would shine a light, and I would wake up with a start only to go back to sleep very soon after. It was a bit sad considering the number of attractive men in the yoga studio.

It was a time when I did not want to spend New Year’s Eve looking at fireworks or getting drunk. Instead, I wanted to meditate, swim, move about and possibly get a tan.  Well, the trip did not disappoint. I got all that. In the silence, I came back to life. I met new friends, absolutely beautiful ladies, who like me, wanted to clear out the head space and set new intentions. And I must say, it was different and refreshing that after 10 years of starting the year with a hangover, this year, it started with such beautiful clarity.  I won’t go into detail about my intentions, but a few people know what they are anyway 😉

Some moments are just perfect.  It was among the heliconia just 20 minutes before my ride came that we started talking. He worked at the resort, a Buddhist Byron boy who had lived in India for a year to study yoga and meditation and had actually been to Malaysia. His name was Ben, and he must have been about 6’4”, with dark hair, and eyes the colour of the stormy sea.

There’s not much to remember, because nothing much happened – A beautiful man talking to me among tropical flowers. No promises were made to meet again, we didn’t even touch, but it was just right the way it was.  I didn’t walk away with a number. I didn’t need to. I walked away with so much more – perfect memory and a feeling I carry with me still. And six months later, sometimes walking down the street, sometimes on a bad day, I go back to the recesses of my mind and think of Ben. I remember how it felt with the sea breeze blowing, surrounded by beauty and looking (up) into those amazing eyes.

Then was all it was. No past mattered, and no future to speak of. Just a moment in time, caught in perfection.  Two strangers trying to share as much of themselves as they could in that moment. And strangely enough, in all the bars, and all the night time encounters, this one, where the exchange was so simple, is the one that has stayed with me, bringing a smile on to my face whenever I think of it, and of him.

The universe always provides, and at the time, what I needed was to remember what it felt like to be attracted to someone like that. How simple it could be. A few words exchanged at random. It was the 20 minutes that woke me up. So, wherever he is, whatever he’s doing, among his flowers, working with mother earth, or swimming in the sea, I send my gratitude and just a bit of love, to Ben.  Thank you for the perfect bit of memory in a perfect bit of time.


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