Vancouver. A Love Story, A Tragedy, A Sonnet. Part Three: Sex & Drugs and Rock n Roll.

I worked as a Personal Assistant for Suzanne Castonguay from August 1999 – May 2001. To her, I was an open book. She knew my life story the moment I walked through her door to build her the closet with Charlie. Her psychic abilities were extraordinary, and her insights into my downfall were relayed to me with humorous and often shoot-from-the-hip brashness that came from her French Canadian openness that I came to respect deeply. I knew she wanted the best for me, she was in many ways a mother figure to me, as much as she was a friend. I was transparent to her, I could never hide anything, and I made no attempts to. It was pointless. So, the day after Melanie and I parted ways she didn’t hesitate to tell me that I had blown it. ‘She was the one for you.’ She said, and she wasn’t wrong. Did Melanie have the capacity to hold space while I fell apart, facing my shadow, feeling into my deepest fears? Yes. Did she have the patience to allow me to dissolve the self-identity that I created for myself up until I met her (it was a form of protection to keep women from getting too close to me, my fear of abandonment was rife till my late 30’s/early 40’s) to allow the authentic, honest and vulnerable self I was showing her as we opened up to each other. Yes. Knowing all of this now doesn’t make me uncomfortable with how my life unfolded. I made a different choice at that moment in 2000 when we parted. My only regret was that Melanie and I did not remain friends, for I was not ready to let go of the self-identity I had created for myself, and I felt a wind under my wings that began to lift me out of the doldrums of 1999, early 2000 and I began to see it manifest in my life daily.

My spiritual conscious awakening process began for me in earnest in my last year of University in Dunedin. The catalysts were, being burnt by several people that I believed were my friends (which is a trend in my life, even up until this day, what does that say about me? Why am I creating this? Karma? Subconscious projections?) my alcoholism, and my girlfriend left me to continue her travelling lifestyle. I have been at rock bottom in my life more times than I care to count, I have attempted suicide three times (and failed each time) lived in destitution beyond most people’s comprehension, and rebuilt my life experience each time. Each fall and rise has been just an experience. I saw the power of resonance, feeling into the world, broadcasting from my heart in 1994 as I learned how to meditate (Metta Meditation) after becoming sober. I created quite a life for myself from 1994 onwards. Living my life like a waking dream. Pulling into my existence the people who enriched my heart-based living, guided me to the places where I was able to garner the deepest connections with the natural world, and my fellow men and women, and did some of the craziest, mad shit along the way that could fill volumes of books. Most of these experiences, both shared and alone reminded me that I was creating it all. Suzanne knew what lay ahead of me, and made it clear that care was needed. Balance above all. A strong conscious presence, especially in the unfoldment that was taking place in my life in the mid-2000s. I achieved that balance between spirituality, conscious development, and a hedonistic lifestyle until mid-2002 when the wheels REALLY fell off and I had a David Bowie (when he was living in Los Angeles) sized cocaine habit.

Eryn and I became inseparable in 2000. I was spending all my evening free time in his kitchen listening to Bill Hicks comedy CDs, laughing myself into tears, listening to Eryn’s dark sardonic sense of humour (he is the only man I know that comes close to Bill Hicks/George Carlin’s brilliant insights and dark humour) drinking red wine and hovering up copious amounts of cocaine. Our group of friends began to get bigger, new arrivals, old friends of Jen’s, and some friends from my travels around Australia and Asia turned up, and we began to take the party out into Kitsilano. It wasn’t long before our group of friends swelled with the flatmates from upstairs (in the flat above Eryn and Jen) brought down their friends including one red-headed firebrand, Raeanna, who would become the closest ally to Eryn and me for almost two years. Raeanna and I became lovers at some point in 2000, she the spark that set the inferno that blazed in me for the rest of my time in Vancouver. At the kitchen table, where the conversation was as intellectually stimulating as it was often conscious and philosophical, she would dazzle all present with her insights, her knowledge, and her humour. As a lover, she was fearless, vulnerable, and wild. Her ability to surrender, rise into passion, and meet me was unquestionably unmatched. Whatever I brought to our connection she would meet me with full integrity and authenticity that scared me shitless. She was one of the most powerful people I have ever known. I was careless with her heart, and when she went travelling in 2000, as did Eryn, I was left with a void in my life and the grim realisation that I had not honoured the gifts given to me in her presence. She made that very clear months later when she returned from travel and I was living in West 10th/Macdonald. We made a tentative reconnection, and with that, I made it clear that what had once again bested me was fear. I could not give her any more than I did. I knew what I was available for, and that didn’t change when she came back to Vancouver. Our friendship became the foundation of my time left in Vancouver, and we rediscovered how much we loved one another, once again becoming lovers, but with greater understanding of what I chose to offer. It would be up to her do decide what she was available for.

While I was finding my feet in Kitsilano, my ex, Sam moved into the city to be nearer her work (she was working in hospitality), and we reconnected, and through her, I began to meet her circle of friends she had made working in the city. It would be my massage work (I have no formal training, but I had a good knowledge of anatomy, and therefore able to offer both relaxation and deep tissue work) that opened the floodgates for inspired confidence when it came to seduction. None of which was my doing. Truth be told. Sam began to pimp me out to her friends as a massage therapist, and these connections quickly became intimate. I once asked her if she knew that her friends were hitting on me after I had finished the massages, and she laughed, ‘Of course!’ Flattered and only happy to oblige, I found myself being able to be that which I identified myself as being, a player. This decision spilled out into my everyday life, and I didn’t hesitate to use this newfound confidence, and connectivity with women to feed my ego and find ravishment in every intimate encounter. Building a reputation as an attentive, devoted, and passionate lover, put me in good stead for all of 2001, and most of 2002. I lived the sex, drugs, and rock n roll lifestyle to its capacity until it bested me and I began to fall from grace, connection, and favour with many who I held in high esteem. Those who would cast an eye in my direction to get my attention in 2001, would by the end of 2002 look at me with disdain.

Here comes trouble. Eyrn, Raeanna and I circa 2000/2001. Inseparable rock stars. Everyone wanted us at their parties.

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