The Sailing Stone XII
Where is Beckett Stone? Hotel Palomar: 2 East Jefferson Street, Phoenix, AZ
Beckett was already dressed: denim jeans, boots, a plaid blue and white button up shirt and a scarf around his neck. In his left hand: a cold bottle of Vintage cherry red seltzer. As he twisted the cap off, the explosion of the seltzer and the contents hitting the wood floor, woke Adrian up.
“What are you doing? Uggghhh. Are you nuts? Come back to bed.”
“What are you doing? Where are you going?”
Beckett took a long swig. “What?” he said with a grin.
“Why are you dressed already?” Adrian’s eyes were still somewhat closed as she stretched out of her covers, exposing her breast.
“I don’t know. Just couldn’t sleep.”
“Get back into bed.”
“I am awfully thirsty. Want a sip?”
“No. Yes.” Adrian sat up on her arm as Beckett walked over to her side, handing her the bottle. “Come. Lay with me.”
“No. Let’s get up and get going, it’s already late.
“Come back to bed.”
“Let’s get breakfast.”
“Where am I?”
“Really?” Beckett sat down on the edge of the bed and rubbed her foot. “I don’t recall you drinking last night?”
“No, I’m serious.”
“What do you mean where are we? We are on our cross-country vacation.”
“What state are we in now?”
“Arizona. Phoenix, Arizona.”
“Yes, Indeed, my dear. Now let’s get up and get us some breakfast.”
“Wasn’t there someplace you spoke of last night that you wanted to go?”
“Oh, yeah! Where was that?”
They both thought on that for a moment. “Some mansion outside town?”
“I am so tired from all the walking we did yesterday.”
“I can rent us a car.”
“A mansion…a mansion…”
“Something that strange concierge told you about.”
“Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…the castle…the Mystery Castle.”
“Yes! That’s it.”
“That looks cool. We’ve done almost just about everything else.”
“Let’s do that. Let’s see The Mystery Castle today.”
“Let’s do this first,” Adrian said as she tugged on Beckett’s belt. Beckett stood up.
“No. Not now. We have already wasted the morning. Let’s check out this castle. I hear it is most interesting.”
“Okay,” Adrian said as she let out a sigh, falling backwards into her sheets again.
Where is Beckett Stone? The Mystery Castle: 800 E. Mineral Road, Phoenix, AZ
Beckett crept slowly along the desert driveway in a 1975, two-toned, cream colored, Stutz Blackhawk Coupe. Adrian in the passenger side – feet up on the dash.
“Just look at this joint, Beckett! I have never seen anything so magnificent!”
They parked, paid their tickets for the next tour and waited in the entrance area.
The “Mystery Castle” as it was called, rose defiantly from the dust, three-stories high; it was constructed of mortar, cement, goats milk, and whatever recycled and re-imagined throwaways Boyce Luther Gulley could extract from the refuse dumps in his area to re-purpose and build this architectural marvel.
The docent, a heavy-set woman, middle-aged, wearing a straw cowboy hat explained that the edifice contained eighteen bedrooms, all on different levels, and thirteen fireplaces among its eight-thousand square feet.
“Our story begins in Seattle, Washington, where a man and his daughter are building a sand castle. When the sand castle crumbles with the rising tide, the girl expresses her disappointment. Her father turns to her and says, ‘Don’t you worry, Mary Lou, Daddy will build you the finest castle you have ever seen.’ Thus we have what you are standing in, The Mystery Castle.”
Adrian was very interested in the eye candy all about her, carefully inspecting the rims, wheels and headlights re-purposed as windows; or the classroom chalkboard used as the flooring underneath her feet; or the skulls dotting the swirly staircase and the spooky, full-height knights in armor standing at attention; or the retro furniture culled from derelict buildings; or the old telephone poles holding the whole damn thing aloft.
The docent continued:
“The father’s name was Boyce Luther Gulley. Boyce learned that he was dying from Tuberculosis in 1929. Fearing that his three-year old daughter and wife, Fran, would see his suffering and death, and perhaps fearing most of all they would contract the disease, Boyce left the family suddenly and without word. Although he would send very occasional letters, he would never see his wife and child again. He settled in Phoenix, where he filed a claim on two 20 acre parcels. Between the years of 1930 and up until the year he died in 1945, Boyce built this magnificent work of art as a valentine to his daughter. How did Boyce support himself? How, if he were dying, did he have the strength to build this unconventional, eclectic house of treasures. And did Boyce even die of Tuberculosis? Let’s move into the Cantina where we will continue this fascinating story.”
“He sounds selfish to me,” Adrian whispered to Beckett as they moved with the rest of the tourists to the cantina room.
“I don’t think so, he probably saved their lives,” Beckett said, hands folded behind his back, investigating a gift given to Boyce by John Wayne.
“I think that…maybe…just maybe…after he realized he wasn’t dead after a year or two, he could have went back home to Seattle.”
“There was a great need eating away at him, obviously. A passion greater than everything.”
“A need greater than his own wife and child?”
“Well, it seems his daughter was incorporated in his need, for he spent 15 years building her this Castle. Did he not?”
Adrian, Beckett and the other tourists traveled from room to room and explored the exotic knick knacks given to Boyce by famous luminaries. Beckett and Adrian gazed out of every port hole, climbed up and down the various spiraling staircases, and chuckled at the plush animal “dinner party” seated around a kitchen table. Adrian caught Beckett as he stared hard into the eyes of Boyce Luther Gulley – his portrait, that is.
Beckett then heard the docent’s voice:
“He knew this world was a hell. He tried to escape it and carve something beautiful out of the barrenness of the desert. But nothing changed. Nothing ever will here.” Beckett turned around to face the docent. He wasn’t the least bit surprised that one of his own had taken over her being. Beckett looked around and spotted Adrian staring at a self portrait painted by Boyce’s daughter – Mary Lou. “Don’t worry, none of them can hear us. All of them are stuck in the moment – they won’t move from there place,” said the docent.
“Understood. What do you want? who are you?”
“A new, peaceful earth exists. It does. It has been discovered. A planet populated with humans that know no hate, ego or delusion. We need your help to make our approach and inhabit the pure bodies.”
“My power may be escaping me, but I know who you are. Your intentions are not the same of those of my people. When you’re through with this peaceful Earth, which I am not even sure exists, it’ll be worse off than the one we’re on. I’m not buying it. I’m staying here.”
The docent grinned. “Come, Beckett, take a look.” Beckett was ushered toward one of the portholes looking out toward the desert horizon. “Look, Beckett, look at how beautifully she sits there. All peace. All love. I wanted to weep when I heard of the discovery. Finally, after traversing through one parallel Earth after another, innumerable times, it – IT – has been found.”
Beckett felt an overwhelming surge of love and light pass through him. He stared out at this perfect Earth, wafting over the desert, just sitting there – no one able to see it but he and the docent, and he wanted to cry with joy. The docent just might be right. He could feel the ease of peace emanating from its force field. Tears welled in his eyes.
The docent got in real close to Beckett’s right ear: “No one, no one has had the innate talent to love as you have, Beckett. You are the bridge we need.”
“I can’t leave Adrian. I want to end my missions. I want to grow old with her and die. I am through searching.”
“You are not done searching. Beckett Stone is never done searching for the perfect Earth. Perfect balance. No ego. Perfect love. You deserve to be the first of our faction to enter the atmosphere. Test the waters.”
“I’m not doing it anymore, least of all with your team.”
“Adrian will be there and it will be perfect.”
“It won’t be the same.”
“As they say here in sports, we just want to borrow you as a free agent to get there first.”
“I won’t leave Adrian…”
“It hasn’t stopped you before, Beckett…”
“…this time around.”
“But look at that Earth, Beckett, look at her sitting there. This is what all your travel has come to – this moment.”
Beckett walked over to Adrian, who had not moved, but just continued to stare at Mary Lou’s self portrait. “I chose to look at her. I want to look at her always. Love her always.”
“There is no always on this Earth! You die. She dies. That’s it. It’s over. Dead bodies. Mission over – for good!”
“Then that’s what it will be. I won’t leave her, or the someone like her, again. It stops here.”
“We have ways of making you join us, Beckett. I didn’t want to go that route, but we can make you join us.”
Beckett about-faced and flailed his arms through the air. The action seemed to wake everyone out of their malaise.
“Come on, Adrian. We have to hit the road.”
“Where are we going? We haven’t finished the tour.” Beckett guided Adrian out by grabbing her upper arm. “Beckett, I am suddenly feeling very confused. Where are we?”
“You are just experiencing some kind of limbo state between you past memories and the new ones entering your brain.”
They were back in the Blackhawk Coupe.
“Where are we going? Back to the hotel?”
“We are going to a hotel, just not that one.”
“But our things…we have…”
“I’ll buy you a whole new suitcase full of clothing. I love you, Adrian; we have to keep moving.”
Adrian awoke with the slamming of the car door. Beckett was perspiring, eyes bulged, as he grabbed tightly to the steering, shifted into drive, and tore off. As Beckett started to pull away, Adrian could make out a male figure lying prostrate at the side of the road.
“Who’s that? What happened? Who was that Beckett?
“Just a drifter.”
“But what happened? Are you hurt?”
“He tried to rob us and he failed. It’s over. It’s over, please let’s not talk about it, it’s over and you should go back to sleep. We need our rest if we are going to do all this sightseeing.”
“How could I have not heard anything. I didn’t hear anything. Should we go to a hospital?”
“Look around us, Adrian, if I were bleeding to death, where would we go? It’s all desert. We are going here – look …Lake-something-or-other. Here – look.” Beckett handed Adrian his cell phone.
“Whoaaaaaaaaaa…Lake Havasu… like a slice of heaven! We are going boating …boating or sailing of some kind. Can’t wait!”
The London Bridge Resort was named after …you guessed it…The London Bridge; which, incidentally, was torn down in London in the late 1960’s and transported stone by stone by Lake Havasu’s founder Robert P. McCulloch.
Adrian leaned over the railing of the patio of their deluxe suite. “The breeze feels nice. Have you ever seen a blue like that water and sky?”
“It’s stunning. So glad we are staying here.”
“I want to do a spa and swim first, okay?”
“I just want to caress you all the time,” Beckett said as he first squeezed her shoulders, then held her by her hips. Adrian smiled as they kissed for several moments. “Listen to me Adrian, I want you to do whatever you want, money is no object. Take it all in, experience everything.”
“Well, of course, we will do it all together. I wouldn’t dream of having any experience without you.”
“I really want you to enjoy this last leg of our cross country trip …because…”
“…because we’ll be home before you know it, back to our jobs, back to the grind, back to responsibilities…”
“…yes, yes, that’s it exactly, Adrian. That is it exactly. Come closer.”
Adrian was fully engulfed in the moment, fully present in kissing the love of her life. Meanwhile, Beckett’s mind was elsewhere. Aching with this human dilemma – again. The current human race was once again a disaster, with murder, greed and delusion everywhere, as Beckett watched a skywriter spell out humanity’s ultimate fate: “BECOME OCEAN.”