Van Stein and I sit at the bar of Waldhaus with a bottle of Alsace Riesling. It is cold, not sweet, near perfect.
Van Stein studies the collection of orbs on his camera, shows me Nietzsche. “It’s orbasmic!”
“Why us?” I ask. “Why are we tuned into this stuff and not others?”
Van Stein shrugs. “We are exactly where we’re meant to be.”
“I speak Californian, too, but there’s more to it,” I say. “I think it’s because we, for our own individual reasons, unlike most other people, have managed to escape life by rote, nine-to-five jobs with scheduled annual vacations to the same old resorts. We avail ourselves. That’s the only sense I can make of this.”
JL and Mazey appear.
Says Mazey to Van Stein, “I’ve been totally blown away.”
Van Stein exchanges glances with me. “Is this a set up?”
I chuckle. “Before you got here this evening,” I say to Mazey, “I used those exact words about you being blown away. But I haven’t told him why.”
We stroll down to Alpenrose Romantik restaurant, a hotel Nietzsche lodged in before moving into Nietzsche Haus, and where he took his meals.
The dining room shows no trace of Nietzsche, but instead features a large abstract portrait of Albert Einstein with colored orbs in a semi-circle over his head.
If we’d expected Nietzsche Franks & Beans or a plaque in his honor, we were plumb out of luck.
We order "salmon-three-ways" and "spaghetti with large shrimp in piquant tomato sauce," over which Mazey and JL tell their tachyon energy stories to Van Stein.
The interesting thing about this dinner is how we, the four of us, are completely focused upon ourselves. Food and wine is delivered, but we are generally oblivious to all else, riveted by our non-stop mirth and merriment, laughing as if stoned on good cannabis, entranced by the bond we now share through this mystical travel experience.
Mazey produces her camera and snaps a shot of Van Stein, inspects the image. “I got one! I got one!” She shows it around: an orb hovering over Van Stein’s head.
After dinner, we drive to Nietzsche Haus to see it in darkness.
I snap a photo, the first from my camera.
An orb appears. Not just the usual ball of white translucent light, which is just plain boring by now. This large orb is multi-colored, like a shimmering opal.
“Oh, my goodness,” says Van Stein. “This is Nietzsche: I’m free! I’m free! I’m coming back with you guys! No question, we liberated him.”