Where is Beckett Stone?
St. Julien Hotel & Spa, 900 Walnut Street, Boulder, CO
Soaked, Adrian rolled off of Beckett onto the cool sheets. They were both out of breath. She let out a laugh as she rested the back of her left hand across the top of her head, staring at the ceiling. Beckett was stunned.
“Why wouldn’t you want that feeling all the time. It’s extraordinary, Adrian. Extraordinary. All the time! An orgasm, right?
Thank you, my love, thank you for that glorious experience. My goodness. What a gift, Adrian!” Beckett took in a deep breath and let it out, shaking his head, turning it to look at Adrian, who was grinning –eyes aglow with the love of Beckett’s masculinity and child-like wonder. “Thank you, Adrian.”
“You’re welcome. You’re very welcome. Come here,” Adrian said as she moved back in on him and they hugged, she massaging his declining hardon.
“The top is still sensitive my love…it’s still sensitive. Extraordinary.” Beckett tenderly squeezed her left breast like he had done nearly a hundred times already: her ample bosom feeling soft and delightful in his hand. “I’d like to have that feeling all day.”
“An orgasm all day,” Adrian smiled.
“Indeed! Who wouldn’t! I think it’s far more satisfying than eating, if you ask me. Eating just gives you gas.”
“Well…it’s a bit unrealistic…but I am very willing to try. We can fuck nasty all day.”
Beckett tilted his head and gave her an inquisitive look. “That’s a very bad word on this planet, isn’t it. That word you just used.”
“I’m sorry…I’m sorry…I lack control with bad words. It’s fun expressing yourself with bad words. Like for instance…there is a huge difference, as far as I can see, with ‘making love’ and ‘fucking.’ We just ‘made love,’ but at some point later, I may just want to fuck your brains out, you see?”
“I think I follow: one is less tender, less romantic…”
“Yes. That is right. The ‘fucking.’ The ‘fucking’ is less tender.” Beckett and Adrian both laughed and hugged one another close. They laid there like that for some time in their plush bedroom, turning on their sides to look at the beautiful view of the Flatiron Mountains in the distance.
Beckett was hardly self conscious as he stepped out of bed completely naked to turn the TV on in the living room area of the suite. Neither was Adrian as she followed behind him and dropped down on the couch.
“I want us to go on an actual date…know what I mean? A date. A proper date.”
Breaking news: A passenger plane has blown up over the Pacific Ocean. Over two-hundred assumed dead. Parts of the plane scattered throughout the Pacific. “Look…” Beckett said to Adrian, gesturing toward the television. He backed up and sat down beside Adrian on the couch – taking the news in.
“A plane crash?”
The news displayed images of families gathered at the airport – hugging, sobbing, dropping to the floor.
“This is the best type of news. I can sit right here and watch this coverage all day, ya know. Like when a major tragedy happens; or when a really famous person dies…I can sit, grab some food, and watch the coverage all day long. I mean…I am done! In front of TV all day!”
Beckett turned to look at Adrian, nodded his head, then looked back at the television – saddened, concerned.
“We can order room service if you want and watch the coverage …then maybe go on a proper date later.”
Beckett just nodded his head, as if not listening to Adrian.
“Where should we go to eat?”
“All the suffering, the continued suffering.”
“We could just stay here and watch this. That’s cool.”
Adrian shook her head. “So sad. They have all lost their loved ones.”
“They have all ‘lost’ their loved ones because they are attached to them.”
“And each family member that is suffering is better off for having known that person that was lost.”
Beckett half nodded, but his eyes weren’t convinced.
Beckett and Adrian were sitting in their underwear on the couch, sharing a bag of Cheetos and a bottle of Pepsi – still watching coverage of the airline disaster – which was looking more like terrorism.
“As much as I am addicted to watching this kind of TV, why don’t we take a break and go to the spa. What do you think?”
“Sure.” Beckett got up from the couch and headed for the door.
“Hey…you can’t go out like that?” Beckett didn’t say anything. He grabbed his robe off the couch and started out. “Hey wait! I need to throw something on! Though…I have to say… I really appreciate the spontaneity!”
After a lovely and needed couples massage, wherein Beckett was told how tight and stressed his muscles were, the love birds headed to the heated pool. Adrian ran carefully toward the diving board and with one swift motion executed a perfect cannonball.
“Ahhhhhhhhh….yessssssss! Feels great! It’s so nice and warm! Beckett come in. Come in…come in, love!” Adrian could tell that Beckett was not right. He was internalizing. The plane crash was affecting him. “Come on! Jump in!” Adrian swam to the other end of the pool, rested herself against the wall to get a good view of Beckett’s dive. Beckett nodded and removed his robe and made his approach to the tip of the diving board. Arms extended, Beckett pushed off and dove outward and into the pool. He immediately shot up. The tips of his toes could barely keep him above water as he struggled, trying to push the water away. “Adrian? Adrian? Adrian!”
“I can’t swim…” Beckett’s head went slightly under as he pushed up from the bottom of the pool to get his head over the wall. His heart was pounding. Fright overtook him.
Adrian pushed off from the wall and was there is seconds flat, clutching Beckett underneath his arms – pulling him over to the nearest wall. “You can’t swim?” No response from Beckett as he held on tightly to the wall. “All the awesome hotels and you never swam with the power?”
“No. I don’t know why. Never went in the water.”
“I just jumped in when I was on the mission and it was no problem. You never have to learn something once you do it with the power.”
“Yes…yes…I know Adrian. I know how the power works. I am depleted of power. It’s going away. I know. I get it. You can continue swimming, I am going to sit on those chairs over there. I am cold and that incident gave me a fright. Besides, why should I be swimming when all of those people died in a fiery ball in the sky over The Pacific.” Beckett started out of the pool.
“That is precisely why we should be enjoying today. Because we hear of these stories. I use it as engine fuel to live. Where are you going? Come back here. I will teach you how to swim. It’s not hard.”
“No. That’s fine, Adrian. I am just going to sit here and take notes and observe.”
“Yes. That is my job here or have we forgotten?”
“I have forgotten.” Adrian walked up the steps and out of the pool. Grabbed a towel. Sat down next to Beckett on a long pool chair. “It will get easier, Beckett. I promise you. You are very sensitive right now. But your emotions will even out, I assure you. They are …raw…now. But it will get better.”
Beckett was looking straight out to the pool, where a family of four were entering. Two small children’s hands were being held by their parents as they took trepidatious steps into the warm water.
“You will begin to forget,” Adrian continued.
“Yes. All the Earth missions. Everything. Every day more of my memories evaporate and new ones crop up – and it is exhilarating!”
“How do you mean?”
“Memories of family.”
“Family just like that family in the pool. These memories will surface that ‘you had’ but actually didn’t. But eventually all of it will be very real. You have parents that exist. A high school where you had wonderful memories. All of that appears like second nature.”
“A personal history.”
“Yes. An entire family and history. I will be part of that family too.”
“I love you so much. I am sorry, my dear, if I upset you. It’s hard…it’s really hard…”
“Yes it is! But we found each other and I will help you get through it. We will do it together. I love you so much and I want us to succeed here on this Earth together. Together, Beckett.”
Beckett and Adrian kissed and embraced. Held onto each other for about five full minutes – saying nothing.
“Come on,” said Adrian. “I will teach you how to swim. No fear. Come. Let’s try.”
Beckett and Adrian decided to do some shopping. Adrian wanted to look pretty for Beckett for their official ‘date.’ So they walked down the street to 1177 Walnut Street, to a clothing boutique called Max. The store was – as you’d imagine – sparsely spaced; headless mannequins – adorned with the latest fashion – lots of floor room. Adrian had her eyes on a dress. More specifically an Isabel Marant nesto printed, Georgette dress.
“I like this dress, but this place is out of my price range. Let’s go somewhere else.”
“I think you’d look beautiful in this dress.”
“It’s $465.00. Too rich for my blood.”
“I am going to buy it for you. I want to see you in it.”
“I can put it on in the dressing room and show you me in it for free.”
“I want to buy the dress for you.”
“No. No. Too expensive.”
“I’m buying the dress for you.”
“No…” Adrian won’t let Beckett take the dress from her.
“I am being spontaneous. I have the money.”
“But that’s all the money you have. You shouldn’t waste it on a dress.”
“This won’t break me. I am buying it, now let go.”
“Consider it an early or late birthday gift,” said Beckett as he kissed Adrian. “What date did you get for your birthday?”
“Hmmm…I can’t remember…I think January 24th.”
“Going to put that date in my calendar.” Beckett kissed Adrian on top of her head.
“Don’t do this. I am worried about your cash flow.”
Beckett and Adrian headed over to the counter to pay. “If we are to make it, I’ll have to get a job and make money. Can’t hold onto this money. Besides, I have this credit card. Hello,” Beckett addressed the woman at the counter. “Just the dress.” Beckett gave her his credit card and the woman swiped it. Declined. Beckett turned to Adrian with a depressed look. “Cash it is.” Beckett pulled out a rolled up wad of cash and unfurled it. The checkout woman raised her heavily penciled eyebrows, but kept her composure. There was a lot of cash on the counter. “Let’s see…” Beckett said as he counted off the money – handing it to the clerk. “You are going to look even more beautiful than you already are – in this dress. I am super excited.”
“Thank you my love. You really shouldn’t have. I love you so.” Beckett and Adrian exchanged a kiss while the clerk handed back Beckett’s change.
“Now, all we need to decide is where to eat for dinner – for our date,” Beckett said.
Beckett fiddled nervously with his rope chain, taking a swig of some cognac – in the kitchen area of their hotel suite. Beckett was dressed in an Italian sport coat of the most delicate fabric. His crisp, collared shirt was loosely buttoned – exposing the top of his chest. He looked as handsome as we have seen him in a while. The Hollies “The Air That I Breathe” was popping – playing loudly – on a turn table. The bathroom door opened and a self conscious Adrian appeared in her new dress. The dress was cut high up the legs and low enough that it exposed just enough of her ample cleavage to be subtly enticing.
“Wow,” said Beckett – looking her up and down.
“You look stunning…I mean…you look indescribably beautiful.”
“Awwwww…stop it. Let’s go. Let’s just go already. I don’t want to think about how I look.”
Beckett walked up to Adrian and kissed her softly. “We are not going till we dance. Right here. Come on.” Beckett bent slightly – hugging her close to him. “You are so beautiful. Please dance with me.”
As they slow danced to The Hollies, Beckett had to admit – this was truly one of the finest times to be human – ever.
Adrian and Beckett were sitting on the floor just in front of the couch, staring up at the hotel TV. They looked comfortable. Maybe too comfortable. Adrian’s legs were folded underneath her, while Beckett leaned backwards – spread out – bit of a belly making itself known. Fast food refuse sat around them.
“You know what, Beckett?”
“We should start thinking about heading back east.”
“Yeah, I think we ought to. I think we need to start a game plan.”
“But we’re just starting to have fun.”
“We have to start planning ahead to the next thing.”
“Next thing?” Beckett seemed more interested in the news.
“Our life together. We could head back to Philly. I have some roots there.”
“Manufactured roots, but roots nonetheless. I could go back to the bookstore.”
“You’ll have to work like a common human.”
Beckett tried to get back to paying attention to what he was watching…something about Time magazine’s most influential people. “Yippee. Sounds like fun.”
“And I can help you. You can live with me in my apartment and we’ll work and save and buy a house someday.
“You may be right, Adrian. Yes. This sounds like the appropriate action to take, but let’s just be spontaneous this night,” Beckett said as he leaned into Adrian, forcing her back to the carpet. “Let’s do something fun tonight. Right now.”
“You’ll eventually run out of money.”
“Don’t worry about the money.”
“We have enough money to still have some fun.”
“I am worried about money. Eventually you will be too.”
“I won’t ever worry about money. Let’s get dressed and do something fun, darling. Please.”
“I know just the place. Heard a couple of parents talking about it. Let’s go.”
Where Is Beckett Stone?
Gateway Park Fun Center – 4800 North 28th Street, Boulder, CO.
Adrian and Beckett had their arms around one another as they moseyed around the fun park together, partaking in go carts, miniature golf and the devouring of some tasty cheeseburgers. The day was glorious, and for a little while, like most human beings, Beckett used the surroundings to help him forget about the terrifying aspects of this Earth. When they played a very competitive game of air hockey, Adrian having won the best of three: gloating, raising her arms in victory, Beckett embraced and kissed her – happy in her victory.
As Adrian put more money on their game card, Beckett had begun playing an arcade game called “Run for Your Life:” a non-stop running game, taking your hero through jungles and cities, jumping over logs, avoiding crocodiles and street thugs, running from monsters and hitmen. Beckett could not look to the left or right, his vision was so thoroughly focused on the run, on collecting coins and traversing around obstacles, rivers, pot holes, rooftops, running through airports, fences, bridges, vines…non stop. He was captivated. Soundtracking the game: Hot butter’s rendition of “The Popcorn Song” – on non-stop loop. Beckett’s eyes were afire with the images and lights – the speed. He found he was pretty good at the game, after a few amateur stumbles off cliffs and mountain sides.
“Looks like a cool game,” said Adrian, standing behind Beckett.
“Yes.” Beckett made a rookie mistake and ducked when he should have jumped and smashed into a tree. “Damn it. Damn it.”
“Let me get a try.”
Beckett was reluctant to walk away but he stood behind Adrian as she got killed rather swiftly three games in a row. Beckett was thinking about the game. Wanting to get back on it. And he did get back on it, “The Popcorn Song” searing into his brain as he scaled hills, crashed through walls, jumped into rail cars, running, running, running for his life. At one point, Beckett had to step aside to let another person play the game. Beckett looked around and couldn’t find Adrian. He found her sitting cross legged near the entrance. She was doing a crossword puzzle inside a local penny saver.
“What are you doing over here, Adrian?”
“Are you done playing that game?”
“Uhhhh,” Beckett looked behind himself, longing to jump back on one last time. “I guess …yeah.”
“I’m hungry. You have been on it for almost two hours. Come on, we’ll come back tomorrow.” Adrian got up. Her legs had fallen asleep.
“Are you sure there is nothing you’d like to play?”
“I am sure! I am starved! Let’s go, Beckett.”
They ate dinner in a French restaurant. Beckett thought the King Salmon particularly good and Adrian enjoyed the Escargots de Bourgogne. After dessert, they headed back to the hotel. Beckett’s head was buried between the thighs of Adrian, yet he couldn’t stop thinking of a way to overcome that damn arcade game.
The next morning, Adrian woke up and found Beckett missing. He left a note: “Left you money for breakfast. Meet you at the arcade.”
“That fucking prick!” Adrian exclaimed. There was hardly anyone in the arcade when Beckett felt the vibration of his cell phone. “I don’t like you right now,” Adrian wrote in a text. Beckett slid the phone back in his pocket and continued on to level 51.
Two hours later, Adrian entered the arcade determined. Determined to reclaim her man. “Okay, come on. Enough.” Adrian yanked Beckett off the arcade. “Let’s go.”
“What? What? I am almost done. I am almost at the very end of the game.”
“Do you know what addiction is, Beckett? You are addicted to a friggin’ arcade game. It’s a very popular addiction in this country. Among many, many, many addictions.” Adrian was leading Beckett out of the arcade.
“Where are we going?” asked Beckett as they entered the parking lot.
“A place of tranquility and peace. A heaven on Earth – to use a popular phrase here.” Adrian opened up the passenger door. “Get in.”
“Are we going to the hotel first?”
“No! I am tired of the hotel. Tired of hotels in general.”
“Okay…what about our things?”
“I have everything. I packed the car. We are moving on. We are going to one more place and then we are flying back to Philly.”
Beckett didn’t say anything as Adrian peeled off.
They had been driving about an hour, Adrian behind the wheel, when they slowed down at the entrance – the toll booth – that would lead them up the highest paved road in North America.
“Is this our destination, Adrian?”
They were on Highway 5 – above Denver – and the only direction for the 14 mile stretch of chasms on either side – was up, up and more up. The human element of Beckett felt anxiety as Adrian made a narrow turn, especially when oncoming cars were approaching in the opposite direction. Adrian didn’t seemed frightened at all. In fact, there was a devilish thrill in her eyes; that perhaps she was enjoying Beckett’s human fear.
The alpine tundra stretched as far as the eyes could see as Adrian drove carefully up the mountain. Beckett was feeling a bit light headed as the final stretch towards the summit felt like a goddamn eternity. Just the wind, the clouds and the expanse; and just Beckett and Adrian climbing. Beckett felt relieved to be away from humanity for a while. Foothills on top of foothills on top of more foothills – layers and layer of mountain and rock as they motored up the grade. Beckett had to smile, or else he just might cry.
At the peak of Mount Evans – they leveled off. 14,000 plus feet in the air – and here were all the people that had been wonderfully missing from the drive up. Beckett was taken aback to see all the cars up there, parking, people getting out and climbing more rock, taking pictures with their smart phones. He had hoped to be away from people, but their stench tainted every corner of this Earth.
Adrian and Beckett stood atop two separate boulders and looked out at the alpine tundra and permafrost that surrounded the blue lake that reflected the snow caps.
“Look at the majesty, the beauty, Beckett. This is reason enough to come out this far west.”
“And yet, there are still lots of people about taking photos of it, hanging about.”
“Of course! People come up here to feel refreshed and renewed.”
“But are they really?”
“Are they really refreshed and renewed? They will stop lying, living selfishly and murdering one another by coming up here?”
“No, of course not.”
“Then what does this view, this mountaintop mean?”
“Can’t you just stop being difficult and be here. Be present. Throw your opinions away?”
Beckett stepped off his boulder and walked up to Adrian, beneath her looking up. “Think about it. You and I have seen such things that we can’t – literally – put into human words. Far grander, far unspeakable than this. But that is not why we came here. We have seen this. We have see a million times this. I want to be impressed with an Earth that has no hate, no selfishness, no murder. That kind of re-freshness is what we need. That’s what we’ve been searching for all this time. Beings like us. That is what we’d wish would take our breath away. A planet of perfect love and kindness – everywhere.”
“Beckett…listen to me,” Adrian stepped off her boulder and clasped Beckett’s face in her hands, “the kind of love that exists here is as perfect as I have ever seen. And all of those sights you say we’ve seen, I have all but forgotten them. That’s why there is such beauty here for me. You will forget as well and you will be one with the greatness and love that is this planet. You and I together.”
“Maybe that is the trick, the longer I stay here, the more we concentrate on what we need to do as a couple, the more I will forget the missions.”
“Those memories will be gone and new ones will take their place.” Beckett nodded his head and leaned into Adrian, pressing his forehead against her. “Try, Beckett. Please try with me. Trust that organ that’s beating inside your chest. It is real and it wants to be here and experience all that this Earth has to offer – which is, essentially – us. We as a couple.”
Beckett and Adrian sat together – hugging – listening to the sounds of nature, watching the mountain goats pass in front of them.
“I want to walk down a little further toward the lake. Come.”
“No, you go ahead. I love watching you move. I want to watch you from here. Go…enjoy yourself my love.”
“Are you sure?”
“yes…please go ahead…I am a bit tired.”
As Adrian walked down the canyon, a figure walked up to Beckett – stood beside him. He wore a park ranger’s outfit. His eyes were covered by sunglasses. He didn’t once look over at Beckett, just out toward Adrian and the valley. “We don’t need you, you know.”
“Excuse me?” Beckett asked the park ranger who refused to make eye contact.
“We are leaving and we don’t need you. In fact, we are done with you. You can stay here and become fertilizer with your girlfriend, but your mission has failed. Your power permanently vanquished. You were once a proud searcher, immovable, undifferentiated. But now, now you are tainted permanently. I am here to tell you we are officially disconnecting from you.”
“I am aware of that. I am ready to accept death with my beloved.”
“A joke. A failed species. Why just today 1,347 human beings were murdered for no real reason. A bus full of children was blown up in Turkey. An airliner, filled with over 200 people, was taken down by a drone.”
“A drone? 200 people? What’s a drone?”
“A recreational flying toy humans use to spy on one another, fly recreationally, bomb each other and apparently take down major airliners.”
Beckett looked down and shook his head. The war that raged on in his human head was intolerable.
“Oh, wait – just now a father murdered his wife and 4 children. Cut their heads off. A lovely place this is. It’s yours now. All yours, enjoy…friend.”
The man walked away, hands behind his back. Beckett was sullen again. He was surprised anyone of his kind was left here at all – this far west. He looked upon Adrian as she slowly made her way back up the rocky hill. He wanted to sob, but kept his emotions close.
“So gorgeous, Beckett. Just so gorgeous. You should have a walk. Go. It’s my turn to rest.”
“Okay…all right…yes…I think I will. I want to think of our future, our plans.” Beckett kissed Adrian and started walking.
“Wonderful, Beckett, wonderful. Go, now…enjoy. Breathe in the fresh air.”
As Adrian inched the rental slowly toward the hill, filing out of the parking area, a man lifted up his cap and looked in on Adrian and Beckett as they passed: “You both come back now, ya hear?” said the mysterious park ranger. Adrian smiled.
“I think we’ve seen enough, Mister,” said Beckett to the park ranger, “I think we are going home now.”
“Really? It might be too late to go home,” said the park ranger, with an exaggerated happiness, “well you both have a safe trip down highway 5.”
“We will,” said Beckett as he and the park ranger shared a nod of the head.
Adrian was just full of love and life as she honked her horn down the hill back toward Denver.