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A Bad Experience – part II, or Whose Karma is it?

 

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The next couple of days I kept to myself taking long runs in the mountainous area of the interior of the island, enjoying shorter or longer breaks on my way in order to meditate, recompose my thoughts, find positive energy and focus on right now instead of on the previous war. That went well. I would get up at 7 a.m. and be home at sunset when it was time to enjoy a heavy vegetable and fruit meal and the occasional glass of red wine.

The strangest thing though, was that I actually felt kind of bad for Karina. When I got to think seriously about her I felt really sorry for her and it wasn’t like me to just run out on someone not keeping promises. And I had promised I would contact her again. The more I contemplated this matter the more secure I was that I should reach out to her, maybe try to help her solve whatever was bothering her.

As a Buddhist I am fully aware of my responsibility and lots of thoughts kept flowing back and forth in my mind. I just didn’t know what to do. I always had the excuse to myself that I had just been kicked out of Barranco de la Verga (if you haven’t looked it up yet, maybe it’s time to do it now), and that I needed time on my own, but on the other hand, I definitely wasn’t as screwed as Karina, and actually what happened in Oslo so many years ago should not be an excuse not to be civil to her now. She had actually taken the initiative to get together. She invited me to her house and her terrible bathroom and she even wanted to celebrate that we had met again. I had no idea what she was actually struggling with.

In the middle of my “train of thought” the phone rang, and on the other side of the line I heard my American guru solemnly stating that I had forgotten about our session and that had never happened before, so he was wondering if everything was OK. He couldn’t have caught me at a better time. We discussed the Karina topic back and forth for about an hour – and as usual he asked difficult questions that I had to answer. After all the possible soul-searching was done with, I resolutely decided that it was time to do some good for other people, and that would be for Karina and possibly Mr Jack if he was still around. I put on mye jeans, a white t-shirt, my coolest sun glasses, smeared my face with some self –  tanning lotion in order for Karina to get the idea that I had actually enjoyed the sun and the beach. I stepped outside the hotel room and slowly walked towards her apartment.

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Karina was home and actually looked a lot nicer now when she was not hung over and was smoking genuine fresh cigarettes instead of the butts that she was sucking on last time I was there. She smiled form one side of her mouth to the other  when she saw me, ran towards me with two barking  dogs following her, and the she offered an enormous bear hug to tell me that she really appreciated me coming to see her.

I was so surprised! Little did I know that she had dogs! Jack had brought them with him when he left the other day, but they were her dogs, abandoned dogs she had rescued and taken care of since she got to the island. She told me about how she found them on the beach, al messed up, starving and almost dead. She had been working with the local animal shelter volunteer people, and she had helped a lot of stray dogs find new homes. Now that she was sober she had actually turned into another person. I actually started liking her. She asked me to sit down and we started talking. We kept on talking all night and I don’t think my opinion of someone has ever changed as much so fast  as in this case. She was actually mellow, understanding, talkative and honest, and my impression of this woman was all of a sudden one of admiration!

Jack was out working in his taxi, so she could reveal things that she usually never talked about to anyone. I had no idea what had actually happened to her.  When I met her in Oslo her life was a terrible mess, and that’s why the situation between Karina and me had been really bad. To tell you the truth, this woman  nearly killed me. She was really sorry about the whole thing. What I didn’t know was that she’d been in so much trouble that she didn’t think clearly at any given moment. When she finally had the guts to move away from it all she had for the first time in her life experienced happiness. And her happiness came from just being alone, being the master of her own life.

The whole thing about Jack was actually a lie. She admitted to me that he abused her as well, and that the mirror incident was not her, but him having been so furious that he hit the mirror several times with his palm, after having hit her really badly. I saw the blue marks on her body, and there was not one shred of doubt in my mind that she was lying.  I couldn’t believe this woman. She had actually lied to me in order to protect him. She was afraid I might have contacted the police. That’s how much she trusted me, and I guess she was right. Last time when I saw her in Oslo the police did get involved, and I was the actual “sinner”. The point is, my bitterness and my skepticism toward this woman all of a sudden changed. We talked all night, and not a single drop of alcohol was consumed. She revealed to me that she had been madly in love with me for a long time, but due to natural reasons she had realized that it just couldn’t work out.

Early that morning a phone call was made. I had decided to bring Karina back home to Norway for a while. To get her away from Jack and the kind of misery she was in. I postponed my return flight and she got a ticket on the same flight. The dogs were going to be guarded by her neighbor, a team of 4 cleaners were contacted in order to fully cleanse her bathroom and we spent the most fabulous week together on her island.

I realized this was my karma. My karma had seriously hit me in the face, and turned somebody I couldn’t stand into a very good friend. She was the one who brought up the war in Baranco de la Verga. She was the one who actually dragged me out of the quicksand that was slowly devouring the best of me. All of my meditations were good, but the talks I had with Karina were actually some of the most giving and beautiful ones I have ever experienced. I thought I was going to pick her up. Instead she saw right through me and she picked me up from my misery.

The healing process after the war went a lot faster thanks to Karina. She spent two months in Norway, managed to reduce her daily intake of nicotine to about 30 cigarettes a day, spent hours playing with David and Giovanni and kicked my ass into applying for jobs that I wanted, not settling for anything second best. My bad experience had turned into something really good. But as we all know, good things can’t last, and something terrible happened to Karina. If you want to find out, you need to push the like button, and the next episode might follow pretty fast.