My first meeting with Karl is at 7:30 pm at Gino’s Café in downtown Fremantle.
It is Wednesday, March 10th, 1993, a warm and bright early autumn evening. I sit nervously near the espresso machine, reading James Lovelock’s Gaia: A New Look at Life on Earth, holding it up nice and straight so Karl can see the cover.
In strolls this beautiful, dark, exotic-looking man, whose rakish fashion statement is reminiscent of a riverboat gambler.
A bit too tarty for me, I muse, though I do admire his tight little ass. I’d learn later that he was initially disappointed, as he didn’t much like blondes. We quickly dismiss those impediments.
I’ve been single for four years. After my lonely, year-long sojourn in an eco-village outside Darwin, I am ready to take a risk in a committed relationship. So is Karl. We’ve both been married before. Astonishingly, neither of us is particularly frightened by that. My fierce independence shocks him initially – but as he grows in confidence that I love him deeply and am faithful to him, he accepts that aspect of our relationship.
It turns out that Karl has little interest in ice cream (he lied in response to that advertised criterion). But he is great when it comes to adventures of the spirit. And he loves the Earth — and all the other-than-human beings. He is the only authentic dog-whisperer I’ll ever meet. I soon learn that he can communicate directly with birds.
He’s friends with every Nimbin dog. And many years later a deaf brown chicken falls in love with Karl and follows him everywhere: up the stairs, along the deck, into the house…
I delight in having a lover with enthusiasm and warmth, after my co-dependent struggles with my ex-lover, Mica.
Karl seems to delight in everything about me — and us. It’s as though he’s waited all his life and now, at 44, he’s found me.
I send him roses a few weeks after we meet. He replies:
Not only are you a beautiful, intelligent, warm and exciting woman, you are also a wonderful human being, truly a fine woman, whom I happen to fall in love with, who grants me the pleasure of her excellent company and in whose arms I am overjoyed. Thank you for returning my affections. Truly, I am a most fortunate man.
A few weeks later, a hand-made card arrives. On the cover is a clipart image of a starry sky and a man holding a suitcase, standing on the Earth:
What the stars do to the sky at night, you do to my soul all the time. Let’s journey to the Universe with our souls.
The “superhero” image looks something like this (with stars added):
I am so ready to do that: to journey to the Universe with a lover and a partner.
And I will discover more about journeying, human love, and caring with Karl than with any other person.
Karl is a very strange, enchanted man.
Ahhh, that tight little ass!