Barry was about six foot tall with an amber tan and long, white hair that he kept in a ponytail. He couldn't weigh more than a hundred and forty pounds or so. He had a slow manner of speaking; not too much so that it made me impatient, but slow enough for him to feel he had conveyed his meaning. When I walked up to him, he was seated at a small table in front of the coffee shop. Across from him was a plump, older man with thinning, dirty grey hair.
"Are you Barry?" I asked, addressing the man whose voice I was sure I recognized.
"Yeah, grab a cup of coffee and have a seat," he replied.
I hadn't had a single cup of coffee in three days; I was more than happy to oblige. A 16 oz coffee was $1.50. It was the freshest, most flavorful coffee you'll ever drink. I thoroughly enjoyed that cup of coffee while Barry finished his story to the other man. They laughed about something I didn't catch, and then the other man said his goodbyes, shook our hands and left.
"I'm going to run over here to the market and grab something to drink, if you want something, you should grab it now before we go to the beach," Barry advised.
I complied. I got a "Green Peace" tea and a hard-boiled egg--they were on every counter in every convenience store I went into down there. Usually, they were 50 cents. Barry got some chips and a gallon of extra sweet tea. I only mention this minutia for the purpose of record.
Barry had walked to the coffee shop, so I drove. When we got in the car, Barry announced, "We're gonna stop at the water stop before Ho'okena."
Barry asked some questions about what I'd already seen on the island and made some suggestions. I told him about my dad's deal and release and Barry suggested I stay with him to avoid the 150-mile drive from Hilo in the morning. This sounded perfectly reasonable--at that point.
About twenty minutes up the road, we arrived at the water stop, which is--as you can probably imagine--a small parking lot with a garden faucet welded to the end of an upside-down, L-shaped pipe. Occasionally a car would pull in, the driver would get out, retrieve a couple gallon or larger containers and proceed to fill them, and then drive off. We sat in the shade; waiting.
Barry asked me what I did for a living and the other standard questions that follow. When my pursuit of a degree in Physics came up, things started to spiral a bit...
"Oh, Physics. Right on. So, you probably know about sacred geometry?"
I was frozen. Sacred what-now? Ok, maybe it's not something crazy, maybe it's just something he picked up. I shook my head with hesitation--instinctively not breaking eye contact. For the next hour, Barry regaled me about the intricacies of the universe--you know, how it was built on spiritually significant figures like spheres and tetrahedrons; super stoked about the tetrahedrons.
Now, you may say to yourself, "Well, the world is sort of close-ish to that direction of thought. The spheres for sure." You would also be partially correct. Spheres are a simple way to look at, say, an orbiting particle or a body emitting radioactivity of some kind with more or less equal energy output in all directions, etc. Tetrahedrons even show up a lot. In fact, this structure is responsible for the electromagnetic properties of metals. This, however, is not the worst of it.
Barry went on to tell me about the flower of life--which I'd heard of in some religious contexts in passing. Then, he proceeded to tell me the story of a Nobel prize-winning physicist that had convinced the scientific community of the existence of black holes at the center of every living being. At this point, the person we were waiting on arrived.
I don't know who the person was, and you can take away what you will about the purpose of this stop. After Barry returned to the car, we sat there while Barry told me the rest of his story as though he were teaching a new recruit which end of the Solo cup to pour the Kool-Aid. This, ladies and gentlemen, is it--Barry's piece de resistance:
When this prize-winning Physicist was a young boy, he was taken from his parents. By aliens. Yes. Aliens. He was taken to see the Intergalactic Council where he learned that the Earth was on trial for splitting the atom--imploding is illegal, according to Barry. I didn't even have the heart to explain that one is the result of the other, but they are not one in the same. The point is that splitting the atom is dangerous, and so humans are dangerous. The Intergalactic Council's solution? Destroy Earth, of course.
But, wait! We have representation! A nine-year-old who is obviously destined to become a world-renowned--albeit, not commonly known--physicist. His task? To make a case for sparing humanity to the Intergalactic Council--which I'm also told at this point has twelve representatives from over a hundred and fifty different species--nice to see supreme beings also have troubles with gerrymandering.
This apparently goes on for many years. In fact, the boy's parents "became accustomed to their son disappearing for days--sometimes weeks--at a time." Yep. Sounds about right.
I am writing this a couple of weeks after these events, and I have done a great deal of research on these things Barry talked about. There are so many particulars to this, L. Ron Hubbard would be proud--or want to sue for copyright infringements. I will be spending considerable time on another article concerning these beliefs and the believers, but I hope you will bear with me as the tale gets even more unusual...