I am back at the hostel that I started in when I first left Swami Veddy’s ashram. The one by the train station. Been here a few days, talking to people, hanging around, waiting to figure out what my next direction to go in will be. This one gets some foreign backpackers so I’ve been able to practice my Spanish, my French, and even fake my way through some Portuguese. They think I’m a native because they can’t tell my fake Indian-English from real Indian-English. I give them advice about where to go in town. I tell them to go see the cave temple. I pepper them with questions about the outside world. Today I saw an English language newspaper for the first time in months. I am surprised to say it’s November. Since the weather here never changes I feel like time hasn’t been passing. But it has.
Jenn must be back in the States by now. Or did she stay with the swami? I wonder. I’m not curious enough to go back there now, though. Actually, I’m not even sure I could find that ashram again. It was not well marked and was just a house on a side street.
I am glad I did not stay there. Thinking back on them now, it’s clear to me that the entire group was looking for the spiritual equivalent of plastic surgery. They want to pay a bunch of money to come out beautiful. Veddy wasn’t going to turn them away but he also wasn’t about to say, you dumbasses don’t work anywhere near hard enough to get past your shit. It isn’t the swami who changes you. Hell, even God isn’t the one who changes you. You have to change yourself.
They’re going to go home and brag to everyone that they went on spiritual retreat in India and the only real “change” they will have had is that now they feel better about themselves. Like their egos needed the polishing? Please.
Maybe if I had stuck around I would have eventually seen Veddy break them down. But I think more likely he was going to shake them down for more money. More power to you, Swami. I think you provide exactly what they want. Can’t fault you for that. But I’m glad I didn’t stay.
I bet Jenn is still fucking him. I don’t know what to think. I see so much of my own behavior in her, but women have it different. How much is she’s a sexual creature who ignores society’s rules about why one should or should not have sex, and how much is that she’s got an obsessive need to control anyone with power over her with sex and to bolster her self-esteem through the desire of others? It’s so obvious to me now that’s what I do. What I did.
I had a therapist once who tried to tell me that. He never said it in those words exactly. Part of his whole thing was trying to get you to come to the conclusions yourself because then you’d actually believe them. I tried so hard to seduce that therapist. So hard. I couldn’t help myself. He tried so hard to get me to stop trying. “I can’t help you if you’re spending the entire session flirting with me.” “Try to think a little more about yourself and less about me.” Etc. But I knew I had him hooked and at that point I wasn’t going to give up. I think I was sixteen? I somehow talked him into letting me give him a blow job under his desk. After he came, before he even pulled up his pants, he wrote out a referral for me to see someone else. So then I guilt-tripped him into blowing me in return, since after all, if I wasn’t going to be his client anymore what was the point in holding back? He tried to give me some bullshit about being twice my age. I told him I’d let him off the hook if he was married, diseased, or had a religious objection to the act. He admitted he had none of the above. I had sex with him twice after that, both times at my insistence, and both times in the pillow talk afterward learned a lot more than I ever had in his office. So maybe it was worth it. Of course, maybe I would have learned something if I had been–like he said–concentrating on why I was there instead of on trying to get into his pants. But until I got into his pants I couldn’t concentrate on anything else.
At the time I thought of it all as proof that I was at the top of my game, well-adjusted, and not in need of regular therapy. All therapy was going to do was tell me to conform to be happy. While that’s true, I also see now what he was trying to tell me about the way I used sex. This is all so much clearer when I don’t feel the need for sex. I haven’t had it since I was last on U.S. soil, right? This is by far the longest stretch I’ve ever gone without sex since I was fourteen. And the longest I’ve gone without an orgasm since I learned to masturbate.
A couple of guys came into the dormitory late tonight. They are carrying hand drums of some kind and they’re dressed traditionally, though they’re both obviously not from India. One of them settled in the bunk right under me, and they carried on a conversation in Spanish that I’m sure they had no idea I could understand. Sounds like they’re looking for an ashram. If they go out looking tomorrow, maybe I’ll go with them.