that caused these people to be here; but believe this place to be a fitting reward for whatever suffering they’ve endured over the centuries.

Knowing full-well that, should the dregs of humanity ever discover it, the Hiltons, Trumps, and other “Lords of Concrete & Asphalt” would bring about its ruin; yet I knew that someday, I’d want to be here with “Her”… that one “Special Person” in my life, if I ever found her.

We cross the last cascading rivulets down to the river, and the ancient hand-carved teak dugout that brought us here… and we’re gone.

Summer-2007: The Sultry field of my Orchard:

A Rainbow-filled mist… born of a freak summer thundershower brings to life the recollection of “That Place” from Half A Lifetime ago, and the urge to fulfill a dream distracts me from this daily chore of watering my trees.

The pleasant thought of her well-formed legs wrapped warmly around me last night turns into a fantasy, and I chuckle at the stupid way my thoughts of her forever turn to sex. Damn… will it ever end ??? But back to her legs and Practical Thoughts… are they up to it ? The trade-off between successfully living-out my now Decades Old Fantasy with her and any possible failure of her strength is worth the risk. It’s “Her” to whom I want to show that place; and any risks would be minimal; so I begin to make the preparations.

A Pre-Determined Friday Afternoon: Inside a Limo:

Waiting outside her workplace, I sit within the cool confines of the limo, and tend the Sterno-Stove which is warming the White Wine & Cheese Fondue in addition to warming the waterbowl for a washrag with which to refresh herself upon arrival.

Chilling in the ice are the champagne and glasses awaiting her exit from the doors; and the white silk slacks and blouse I’ve selected are lying next to her seat so she can easily exchange her clothes on the drive to the airport.

Good Fortune has smiled on us with the availability of Richard’s private jet which he’s so generously loaned to me for the trip over. The Branson Air Venture has gone well, and now his discount on bulk-fuel purchases has also turned to our advantage !

The 20 Plus hour trip will be considerably easier on us both with all the amenities of the luxuriously decked-out cabin… showers, beds, etc,; but her full day at the office will have her sufficiently drained to sleep just about anywhere. The champagne and fondue are simply to insure that she get a good night’s sleep before the rigors of tomorrow.

Saturday Morning: Tokyo Int’l Airport

Refueling is our top priority, with verification that all travel and transport documents are in order into Thailand; but there is the obligatory brief excursion into the Ginza Shopping District to stock-up on the latest electronic toys and bargains for our diversion.

Well rested, she makes it obvious that her store of energy is at its peak, and the noise and lights of the district only serve to fuel her charge into the shops. It pleases me to no end to see the excitement on her face as she runs helter-skelter among the shops with no expense limit. Women and shopping… like little kids at Christmas ! What a joy. Her continuously flowing Kisses of Thanks are even more rewarding.

Saturday Afternoon: Ubon Int’l Airport; Thailand

After the furor we created at the customs desk with our newly purchased horde of electronics from Japan, we finally exit into the sultry heat, thence to the cooler shade of a cab for the trip to the Charoen Hotel.

Everything appears to be a rejuvenated version of the way I left this place so many years before… The spacious veranda of the restaurant, the grotto in the bar, and the lushly-carpeted foyer. My hopes that she’ll enjoy our one night here are assured.

Our luggage having arrived intact, sits in our room. As we prepare for a shower… lo and behold, they’ve installed a Jacuzzi; and we delve into the relaxing warmth together. With an order of Sauteed King Prawns and bottle of Champagne, we both succumb to exhausted stupor and retire to the king sized bed together… both of us unabashedly glorious in our freshly bathed, warmed and massaged nudity.

Sunday Morning: Water’s Edge of the Mekong River & Headwater of the Xedong River

Having had nothing more than some pastry and coffee from the hotel during the cab ride here, Sweetie is a little miffed at me because she still has no idea as to where we’re going. The early wake-up didn’t help things either, don’t even mention the slight headache from the Bollinger’s ! All my entreaties towards her continued patience elicit her rebuff, and a stern warning that “This had BETTER be ‘More Than Good !’”.

I laugh with a slight smirk on my face and remind her that she’s now on vacation; so a cold bottle of the “Singhai Beer” that I brought wouldn’t be reproached. A cold evil glint burns feverishly in her eyes and tells me that I’d be better off creating more diversion with continuance of today’s brief trip.

At the appointed time of “One Hour Past the Crack of Dawn”, a descendant of my old fisherman friend can vaguely be seen paddling downstream in our direction. With a warm “Sah Wat Dee & Aloon Sawat” as greeting, his companion begins loading what little we’ve brought with us from the hotel. Cameras, towels, water etc. I notice that he has chosen to greet technology with open arms, and equipped the dugout with a motor. His father may have laughed at the exorbitant expense; but I could only assume the fishing business was more profitable if you could cover more water more quickly.

As we seat ourselves into the boat, (And Sweetie finds the water at the bottom with her nicely rounded one), we head-off into the strong current and tepid waves of the Mekong. The motor appears to have run only a matter of minutes before we’re making landfall on the shores of Laos.

Now getting really pissed at having to trek again just when she thought we were going to ride to the eventual destination, I begin to wonder how good her sense of humor really is… will her patience endure just a few more minutes. In the back of my mind, a little voice meekly asks “Just how much this beautiful woman really loves me”; and I assure myself of her love, if only because we’ve lasted so long together, even if all the years seem to have flashed by in only minutes. Onwards…
The Wonder Begins !!!

We step-off into the muggy jungle with only the slight breeze off the river to cool us down. I lead-off into the trees where I find the trail blazed Eons ago by the indigenous people of the hills up ahead, and on we go.

We come to the edge of the Buddhist Monk’s burial ground with the trees all draped in Lotus Blossoms, Incense, and religious artifacts of various sorts. Laid-out above ground are countless mummified monks that have passed onto wherever it is that their beliefs have directed them to. Each of them wrapped tightly in white linen, then placed onto what appear to be Styrofoam blocks beneath what I’ll call this “Orchard of Demise”.

Even after all our years together, I can see those “Seeds of Doubt” begin to spread “Tendrils of Fear” into her mind. “Flickers of Hope” in My Baby’s eyes dart in my direction as she begins to wonder about this… “Vacation”.

I reach out my hand for hers and gently squeeze in an attempt at allaying her trepidation, and she sighs. With her typical jaunty humor, she shrugs her soft white shoulders at me, and jerks her head towards the other side of the graveyard and follows me forward. I can imagine the thoughts in her head… “If he hasn’t killed me by now… he’s spending WAY too much money to do it here !”.

Now, as we exit the trees with the scent of Lotus Blossoms still lingering in the air, we come to the grasslands at the foot of the mountain, and their cascading rivulets. The profusion of color, mist, and perfumed air astounds us in contrast to the previously claustrophobic confines of the orchard. The crystalline blue of the water, the myriad colors of the lilies and flowers… all iridescently blinding us in their glorious beauty.

My Love’s temper subsides as if a toy balloon bereft of its air. She dips her soft hand into the rock-formed pool of clear blue water at her feet, and splashes her face in wonder. She looks me in the eye, then kisses me… gently, gracefully, and in what I believe to be Thanks for this unimaginable vision. As I hold her in my arms, I remove her clothes, then mine, and lift her into the sun-warmed waters of the pool, and whisper in her ear that we’re alone. I nod across the pool and show her the camouflaged tents I had arranged to have set-up beforehand. We’re going to spend the night here; and she can relax for the moment.

We swim to the tent-side of the pool where I exit to bring us both some soap, a towel, and a change of fresh clothes from the tent. After an hour or so of splashing each other, swimming around, and regaling in each other’s nudity, the sky begins to transform into a sparkling marvel of memory from so long ago.

The mist seems to fluoresce in the setting sun causing her eyes to open even wider than before. My presence is momentarily obliterated from her mind by the incandescing sky; and I permit a few minutes time for my heart to settle. I see her as a young girl again; and my heart swells in the love I hold for this woman. Damn these “Tears of Happiness” !!! I want to kiss her so badly; yet don’t want to interfere with the wonder in her eyes. She’s So Beautiful to me !

With conflicting sentiments of sadness and glee, I wake her from the reverie in which she’s spent these last few minutes. “Come On Babe… put this on” I tell her as I hand her a paper-wrapped bundle. As she unfolds the package and holds it up in front of her, she notices that it’s an off the shoulder, white silk gown; and she looks at me as if I’m REALLY Crazy.
I urge her on, and she slips into it. Without any underwear, and no creases, the soft, sexy outline of her figure goads me into giving her a squeeze. (I can’t help it ! I’m still just a man.) Anyway…
I change into the tux I had also planted into the tent, and hand her a “Golden Yellow & Pink Orchid” that I had just plucked from behind the tent. I slowly wrap my arm around her waist, draw her to me, look into her eyes as I kiss her softly on her sweet lips. I pull my head back and tell her I Love Her; and a tear forms in her eye as does one in mine. How silly can two earthlings be ? Alone with each other in the middle of nowhere, crying over being happy and in love. “Lord… Take me now !!!”

I turn with her hand in mine, and begin to walk the path leading up the mountain. Once again, she hesitates thinking that we’re really not dressed for any more exploration this day.

Around the first bend, the outline of the caves can be seen, and her curiousity kicks-in. Now, it’s her pulling me ! It’s still there… at the edge of this particular cave is the “Pah Yai”… The 50 foot Golden Buddha placed here by who knows who, and who knows when. Obviously, the locals still place incense and objects of reverence at his feet in prayer or supplication for one thing or another. Sweetie wants to enter; but I tell her “Not yet”. We’re not done.

We continue our leisurely climb in the amazing cool mist. For us, time is eternal here on this spot; and we don’t sweat.

We break clear of another bend onto a little widened area, and I tell her to look to her right. Off in the distance, the waterfall has come into view, and the reason for the mysterious mist is now wordlessly, and silently explained. A profusion of rainbows, and spots of incandescent color fill the view. The cool mist causes us both to inhale in wonder at what God has done here; and still… no one knows.

We share a few more minutes here and then push on. The grey slate of the path won’t allow the bottom of her gown to sully, leaving only her alabaster/tanned skin to detract from the whiteness. The illusion of an “Angelic Presence” comes to mind with the backdrop of the waterfall within my sight; and the twilight is born. The ubiquitous rainbows disappear in the oncoming darkness; and “My Girl” appears worried about our hindered vision.

Unnoticed, I reach into my pocket, and press the “On #1” button on the remote control I bought at Radio Shack. Our half of the valley flames-on instantly in a cocoon of battery-powered incandescence; and Sweetie catches her breath in astonishment. I can see the phrase
“What the F.. ?!?!?” form on her sweet lips, and she once again turns to me as I smile.

I once again grab for the remote and press the “On #2” button. Violins begin to issue-forth their sweet strains of “Since I Fell for You”; and within seconds, a shadow dressed in formal black and white steps forth from within this cave. The honeyed-voice of Tony Bennett starts to croon from the man himself ! My Love is practically fainting now. Too many unusual circumstances to digest all in one day; but I put my arm around her, and keep her on her feet. Tony continues singing, yet does an about-face and nods his head luring us both into the depths of the cavern. His devilish smile incites a little jealousy in me; but “This Lady Is Mine” I tell myself, and hold her a little tighter still.

Inside the cavern, we’re greeted by the well-hidden lights I had planted weeks ago, and a large, linen’ed-table adorned with crystal glasses, and place settings for two. Orchids of all colors, the only distraction from the immaculately lain-out preparations for this very special lobster dinner.

As the remaining strains of Tony’s song echo into silence, he walks toward the rear of the cavern, and from the recesses, steps a Mariachi. Behind him, follow 20 more members of “La Rondalla Tapatia” in full regalia of guitars, violins, and trumpets. The soft strums of the guitars begins to play “Besame Mucho”, and their dulcet voices form what the acoustics of this place turn into what can only be called “A Religious Experience”.

My Love is crying uncontrollably now. How can I be so wrong; yet be so right ? Her tears have formed a river freely flowing down her breast; and a feeling of pride in knowing her again swells my already inflated ego.

Iridescent Mists…” Part Two
Tony appears at her side with a silver platter. Two solitary crystal glasses of Champagneand a single Pink Rose are offered to her; but she hesitates. Tony himself lifts the rose to place it in her trembling hands, and she leaps into my arms. A “Purple-Passioned” look of sheer anger flashes in her beautiful green eyes as she stares at me. She grabs my ears, pulls my head back, and asks in a dusky, tear-choked voice… “How the HELL can you make me so damned happy without telling me ?!?!?” I fall in love with “Her” all over again. Tony is bent-over in laughter and wiping tears from his eyes, and the Mariachis have no clue as to what they’re supposed to do now ! What a SUCCESS !!!

The two of us spend the remainder of the evening listening to the alternating songs of Tony and the mariachis sipping Champagne as we sit by another crystalline pool of water just outside the cave. Come midnight, Tony and the mariachis are all pretty well plastered and happy; so they leave us with the chirps of the crickets for company. They know they’ve done their job well; and are ecstatic in that knowledge.

Once again, and for the last time, I reach for the remote and press the remaining button. Local natives begin marching up the hill past us with glowing wicker baskets. Sweetie looks at me in curiousity; but is now afraid to learn anymore of my plans. I rise to my feet, and take her hand. I guide her up the hill to the promontory above the cavern where yet another full, pool-shaped boulder awaits. The natives have been placing hot glowing rocks into the pool in order to warm it up; and they’ve left. I slowly remove my clothes, and watch as My Love reciprocates with hers; and we both enter the warm, crystal-clear water to embrace. No words need be said. After the events of the day, she knows all too well how much I Love Her; and from her floods of tears, I understand her feelings as well.

Happiness In My Lady’s Arms

We lay in the pool seated against the side offering the unforgettable sight of the moonlit waterfall, the starry sky, and the memory that brought us here in the first place.
That “Iridescent Mist”…