Chapter Twelve: Second Trip to Victoria
After I returned home, I was still going to go to Victoria for a month during the winter. On November 11th, 2011, a full moon, there was an earthquake in Montana. A friend of mine who had disappeared ten years earlier showed up on this day. He was walking by the house and a guy who lived downstairs recognized him and invited him in. It was strange. He would not tell anything about where he had been the past ten years. He seemed like he was in mourning, and I found out that his father had died, but this was years earlier. He was still driving the funky car his father had given him, which was on its last legs. We went to lunch at China Buffet, and he found it disgusting. He had spent time sleeping on my couch for months when I had lived downstairs, and I did not want a repeat of this, so I did not invite him to stay. He came up to my apartment and started shopping for expensive watches online. He rented a motel room until he found an apartment. He asked me where he could find expensive furniture other than furniture stores and I took him to a store that imported antiques from China that cost a few thousand dollars apiece. He bought two or three cabinets. Then he started shopping for high end modern furniture he had seen in magazines. There was nowhere in town that carried these and he had to order them through a local office supply store. When they came, they did not go with the Chinese pieces. He had been a couch surfer all his life because he knew he was going to get a huge inheritance at some point and obviously his ship had come in. It was awkward having him show up because it gave more fuel to the fire of the gossip which he had somehow heard in his travels. I had met him in a yoga class in the 90’s. I invited him to come practice at the warehouse with me, but he was no longer doing yoga.
I went to Victoria for a month the winter of 2012. It went fine but of course people were reacting to me as if I were an extraterrestrial. The woman who had invited me to Victoria emailed me and told me I should go to the Shivaratri festivities at an ashram located on an island off the coast of British Columbia. I had to teach my afternoon led primary and was not able to leave until afterwards. I caught buses to the terminal, caught the ferry, and when I arrived after dark the couple who said they would pick me up at the dock were not there. It was the last ferry in, and everything was closed. I tried calling from a pay phone as I did not have a Canadian cell phone with no luck. There was a small restaurant, and I went around back and pounded on the door and there was still someone inside cleaning. He used his phone to contact a taxi service and they sent a car after some persuasion. When the car arrived, he took me to the ashram. When I arrived at the ashram, I received a very cool reception. At the ashram was an ex-boyfriend of the woman who owned the yoga studio in Victoria. I had met him in India, and he obviously knew the gossip and when he heard I was coming told everyone. I can’t believe I am still alive. When the ferry arrived, it was windy and freezing cold. I would have died from exposure if I had had to stay the night at the docks. The next day I caught the ferry and a bus back to Victoria with the person I had borrowed the bicycle from. During the Shivaratri ceremony you are not supposed to fall asleep. Someone led yoga poses and I fell asleep, and he kicked me to wake me.
When I got back to Victoria, I had a few days left. The students arranged a potluck on Saturday night at the Yoga Shala. While waiting out front for someone to unlock the building I talked to a woman who had just arrived in Victoria from India and invited her to the potluck. It had been a long time since anyone had arranged a party for me, I was ecstatic. Before we ate, I intuitively asked the woman I had met out front to lead a prayer and she did a wonderful offering. I was hoping to lead kirtan, but there was already a polished kirtan band playing in the building, so I went there alone. The woman told me she could tell I was a very kind man. I wonder what she thought when she heard the gossip.
The day of the potluck I had gone to a hardware store, as I was fixing things around the house that needed repair. Low and behold there was an area a few steps down where inexpensive kitchen ware was being sold and in a barrel was a selection. This was the source of the dream I had had at the Yoga Teacher from Seattle’s house all the way back in 2003. This somewhat indicates that all of this was predestined, which is disturbing.
The next day I had to pack to leave. I could not find my keys to the yoga Shala anywhere and had to walk to the studio because I had already returned the bicycle to see if I had left them there. I don’t know how I managed to lose them but took it as an omen that this would be my last trip to Victoria, which it was. I still can’t believe everything went so wrong. Somehow, I was sure that coming out was the solution to my dilemma, but it only made things worse. I thought essentially, I am a good person and by coming out I would demonstrate that gays are not all bad. That is how I felt after spending time with the retired dancer from Amsterdam. But I guess that was because I was gay anyway.
When I got back to Missoula it was my friend’s birthday and I took him to lunch. He did not usually drink but had a glass of wine. I had bought him a navy-blue hoodie on the ferry with the Victoria Clipper logo on it for his birthday. One afternoon I went over to his apartment and picked up his guitar and started to play, hoping he would be interested in playing music, but he took the guitar away. He told me when he left that I was not homosexual and that I had just lost my nerve in terms of sleeping with women.
I have my North Node in the Seventh House, and this gives me an insatiable craving and desire to be in a relationship, but I want to be in a relationship with a woman, even if it were Platonic. I could see having a male as a good friend, but not as a lover. I destroyed that when I came out. I had many male friends before this and a few were closeted gays, but when I outed myself, they all scattered. One gay musician friend accused me of coming out on stage. Another told me I should have gotten a prescription for Viagra. I really screwed up. I should never have gone to India. I felt as if India had chewed me up and spit me out. I thought I just had to become comfortable with my gayness, but it was more than that. I don’t think it could be accomplished unless someone was actively gay.