Short Story: Mesmerized

Flow. Credit: Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, Photographer

by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN, CLNC, Contributing Editor


Mesmerized, I listened quietly to this thoughtful gentleman – he was a survival skills instructor.  He had spent years in deserts and remote places and had developed a unique relationship with one of the last indigenous people who still live as hunter gatherers.  I found him fascinating with his wealth of knowledge that he shared with us as we were to join him on a journey to experience living with the San Bushmen of the Kalahari Desert. George Din was an herbalist who had graduated with a degree in biology and a Masters in Ecology from the University of California, and I was joining him along with some others who shared the same interests I had in the healing powers of plant medicine.

Power and powerlessness all fumbled together in a singular, human moment with an intense interest that something bigger would guide us all on our venture, and we had met our guide.

 I was so proud of us and of myself for being a part of this expedition and mingling with like-minded people.

A week later, I closed my backpack as I prepared to learn more from this skillful teacher.  I zipped up my hoodie and pulled on my tight black leggings that elongated my legs and laced up my hiking boots. I was ready to explore   with this new circle of life, feeling sparks of excitement as I headed out the door. 

We all met in a local museum and were given maps with directions and information on some of the wonders we might come across as we climbed into the bus that would deliver us to our hike in the unknown.

The sun was bright, it was autumn, and the air felt crisp against my cheeks.  I was excited to meet with the tribe.  We would spend 10 days in lands unfamiliar to us with our guide.  

Mind if I sit here? I heard you ask. 

 Without looking up I answered of course, be my guest……

I was busy looking at the literature we all shared as you took your seat next to me.

Hi, I’m known as Eric.

Nice to meet you, I’m known as Sue, as you reached for my hand.

We exchanged pleasantries about the trip we were taking. I shared my excitement with you, as you did with me.  I immediately noticed your engaging smile.  I wondered if you noticed mine and felt an immediate energy shift from the trip to this delightful specimen sitting close by, right next to me.  Yet, there was something enigmatic in the air around you I couldn’t immediately identify. The dark rimmed glasses blocked a clear view of your eyes.


No, are you?

No.  Involved?

Not…at the moment…are you?

No, I came here for an adventure. We both nodded and smiled. 

We chatted on what we might expect and not expect to witness in the unknown, well, unknown to us, but certainly not to our guides and our instructor. It was going to be a long ride, the bus was comfortable, with reclining seats and plenty of blankets.  As the hours disappeared, night approached.  

I was sitting at the window seat which allowed me to star gaze without disturbing my friend who shared the seat next to me.  Eric seemed relaxed stretching and yawning.   

When summer changes to autumn in the northern hemisphere, the changing season brings many changes to the night sky, Eric began explaining and pointing to the beautiful lights in the sky.  By late November, Orion then makes its appearance and stays visible until February, providing a celestial marker for the chilly winter season ahead.

It was a bit chilly on the bus as I grabbed one of the blankets that were provided to us and pulled it over me.

Tell me more.

What would you like to know?

Tell me about Orion.

 Well, Orion is located on the celestial equator and can be seen throughout the world. The constellation named after the hunter in Greek mythology is one of the most recognizable constellations in the sky. Two of the ten brightest stars in the sky are in the Orion Nebula, Beta Orion is and Alpha Orionis, according to most reliable stargazers.

And are you a reliable star gazer? I asked, with a slight smirk.

Eric laughed and sat back pulling my blanket over to share.

So, tell me, are you?

Am I what?


That’s a loaded question.  

No, it’s not. You know a lot. I have been listening to some other things that you have said that pique my interest.

Like what? 

Never mind.  I giggled and leaned over to untie my boots to kick them off. 

Want a foot rub?

No, why would you want to do that, you barely know me.

And you barely know me, but you are sharing a blanket with me.

I made myself cozy, with my legs tucked under me, in my reclining seat and stared at my bus ride partner as I pulled the blanket up to my chin.

I’m a former massage therapist.

Oh, really?

Come on, as you pulled my foot from under me, over your lap and removed my sock. 

You have pretty feet.  And red toenails, very sexy.  Foot rubs can be very stimulating because the feet have erogenous zones and when one applies pressure or rubs in circles to certain areas, like I am doing now, it corresponds to different parts of the body.  In Asia erotic foot massage is known to be very pleasurable. And it’s been said to have the ability to cause one to orgasm from a foot massage.

Hm……..I was enjoying this foot rub, for sure. I felt a stirring inside of me as I reached my hand down and found a firm thigh and wanted to lightly squeeze…and looked into my traveling companion’s eyes as the glasses were now removed. I noted the long eyelashes that touched the eyebrows and realized…this could be a captivating adventure.