Donna Louise here sitting in a lovely restaurant in New Mexico—location still undisclosed. Today on a sightseeing trip, I visited a temple dedicated to Hanuman, the monkey god. I overheard the folks in the ashram talking about the attempted murder of Ma MA in Santa Fe on Monday evening. Boy, news travels fast across the desolate landscape of New Mexico. Tomorrow I will head home. Now back to the story of Monday night…

In the antechamber to the meditation hall, we were instructed to remove our shoes and leave them or put them in our bags. Considering the number of attendees and their shoes, I stowed my shoes in my bag along with the sweater I always bring to these things. I placed the two letters in my jeans pockets.

Upon entering the hall, I selected a mat about halfway back from the front. Sitting down and assuming a meditation pose, I adjusted my headscarf, pulled out my compact and freshened my make-up. I needn’t have bothered as make-up is not a big thing with these women.

People took their seats. Some sobbed quietly as though overcome with emotion. For such a large crowd, they made very little noise.

We waited for an hour while everyone found a mat on the floor. When everyone was seated, the main doors opened and in came dancing men in jock straps and chains hanging from their piercings. The dancing women wore black G-strings and pasties and chains. Some beat on drums and others shook tambourines.

Then Ma MA appeared. People screamed. Some fainted. The chant “ma MA” started and soon the room thundered as she Kali-danced down the aisle in her black body paint, her tongue sticking as far out of her head as she could, and her skull necklace thrashing about. I struggled not to get carried away in the adoration.

When she reached the dais, she walked up the stairs and faced the audience. “Shut up and sit down.”

They all stopped and dropped onto their mats. With order restored she launched into her talk which was, in my humble opinion, a lot of New Age bullsh!t combined with some Kali-philosophy. I almost fell asleep.

When she finished, she sat on a pile of cushions and told us she would bless us. I started to get up, but the man next to me pulled me back down. “No one is allowed to approach Ma MA standing.”

“How do we get from here to there?”

“We crawl like the unworthy worms we are.”

Sure enough people were crawling on hands and knees toward the dais. I dropped on all fours and headed down the aisle at warp speed. At the stairs her assistants took cotton balls and wiped our faces so Ma MA wouldn’t be soiled by the oil on our skin. They must have used 30 or 40 little white balls on me.

Up the stairs I crawled. Two assistants pulled me over to Kali. She popped me on top of my head which dislodged my headscarf and my glasses. Not that she noticed. She muttered some mumbo-jumbo and I was pulled away.

I took the letters out of my pockets and handed them to one of the assistants. “Please make sure she gets these. They’re very important.” I crawled away as quickly as I could and headed down a side aisle toward the back door. My knees burned from all that crawling.

I reached the door in time to hear a loud scream. “The murderer is here. Seal the room. We mustn’t let her escape.”

I lunged through the door and headed through the shoe room. I hid under the benches when guards poured past. Once I was outside, I put on my shoes and ran down the road, but I’ve watched too many prison escape movies and headed off road through the brush and trees toward the asphalt county road.

A bell pealed. Searchlights lit up the night. A helicopter lifted off and flew over with its light shining through the trees.

People barked orders and soon the woods filled with devotees hot on the trail of someone they couldn’t possibly recognized. That was no comfort to me.

After half an hour, I made it to the main road and headed cross-country to Santa Fe. Three hours later I walked into the main room at the B&B looking like I’d spent the evening in a briar patch.

Ronald looked at me. “Didn’t go quite the way you expected?”

Rather than slap his smile off his face, I simply said, “No, it didn’t.”

“You’ll be happy to know that your friends Karl and Lisle ratted on you. Ma MA’s goon squad has already been to see me.”

“What did you tell them?”

“I lied, of course. I may be a queen, but I’m not dizzy.”

“Oh my god, they probably searched my room and put a tracking device on my car.”

He smiled. “No. I returned home after I dropped you off and took the liberty of moving your car into my personal garage and your bags into the house where Stewart and I stay. You’re spending the night with us. You can leave in the morning when things have settled down.”

“What about Karl and Lisle? They’ll see me tomorrow at breakfast.”

“Not to worry. They checked out this afternoon when a room became available at the ranch.”

I threw my arms around Ronald. “You are the best queen ever.”

He blushed. “Of course, I am. I’m glad you realized that. Now let’s get you cleaned up and to bed. You must be out of Santa Fe before the sun rises tomorrow or Miss Kali will have your coconuts for breakfast.”