Stickman Readers' Submissions August 16th, 2003

Don’t Just Say Goodbye

The first time I saw Noi she was working as a door-greeter at one of the ground level bars in the Nana Plaza. I didn't know anything then so I didn't know that door greeting was a job that rotated through the bar girls. It never occurred to me that she was a prostitute. Standing across the plaza looking at her, I felt I was looking at the woman of my dreams. That's a lot of dreams. I was 52. I walked across the plaza, leaned over in front of her, put my fist and my arm between her legs, and picked her up in my arms. I carried her into the bar. I sat down with her in my arms and introduced myself. That night she stood naked in front of me, my hands on her hips, in the bath tub. I was sitting in the tub. She stood up to lean over me and wash my back and my hair. Stick a fork in me; I was done.

Every night I would call on her. I would always have a gift. The other girls would scream and clap when I arrived. In the lobby of the Nana I would always stop in front of the mirror so that I could show her what a wonderful, natural couple we made.

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The 2nd night before my departure the tears started. When was I going? When would I be back? Sitting up in bed counting days and months and trying to puzzle it all out using the Thai-English dictionary.

Six months later I was back. I hadn't told her I was coming. How many men had she slept with in six months? Fifty. . . .? How many men had she chatted up in the bar? Three hundred. . . ? I went into the bar and the girls told me she had quit and worked upstairs at the Hog's Breath. I go out and start up the stairs. She was sitting outside the bar with her friends. As soon as my head was visible, she INSTANTLY yelled out my name. DANA. I have never been so surprised and so flattered in my life. She flew into my arms. I was teary eyed. I bought her out and took her to Pattaya. I was so proud and so happy to be with her I thought my head would explode. I took her on all the tours and the shows. At night she would be wrapped in the towel, in the bathroom, hand washing my clothes in the sink and singing. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

The next six month hiatus was a little more intense. There were emails and letters. I sent little gifts. A Thai friend of mine called her and talked to her when she returned to visit her mother.

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Then the big day arrived. The third time. I had gifts with me when I went into the bar. She was up on stage dancing. She was expecting me. The whole bar was expecting me. When I stepped through the door the place erupts in cheers and smiles. I have never been so happy. You would think by now that I would know what she looked like. But the memories and the photos were not enough. Walking in and seeing her on stage, I was amazed at her beauty and her sexiness. Her time on stage over, she comes to me. There is no smile, no hug, no tear, no happy eyes, no impulsive happy childish behavior that lovers share, no kiss. Little hairs go up on the back of my neck. Something is very wrong. But I soldier on. I take her to Chiang Mai. The plan is that we will spend a week in Chiang Mai and then we will go to Pattaya and stay with her friend Bang. I have met Bang before. I like her. She has an English boyfriend. Noi says she will cook for me.

Only one day into our time in Chiang Mai and I know it is over. The air has gone out of the balloon. I am unloved. I am unwanted. On the last day I have the English speaking guide write out a good-bye note for me. When we get back to Bangkok, I show it to her in the lobby of the Nana Hotel. She doesn't make a scene.

At about four o'clock in the morning I got up to go to the bathroom. I saw a piece of paper near the door. I leaned down and picked it up. It was from Noi. This is what it said:

Hi Honey,

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I'm sorry that I send a letter to bother you. I'm very
sorry that I made you angry me. Why don't you talk to
me and tell me what happen about us? Thank you for
holiday in Chiang Mai. If I don't have you, I never have a
ticket to Chiang Mai. But if I know the result of our hol-
iday, I would not go there. I'm very sorry honey. You
know I love only you and I don't have anyone for long
time. We have known each other for 2 years. All the
time we have good feelings for each other. Why you do
like this to me? If you want to go to Pattaya alone, it's
ok. Just tell me. Don't say just goodbye. I feel so bad.
If you bored me and you want a new girl, please tell me.
I know I don't take a good care of you. If you want to go
to the mall or anywhere, please tell me. When you say
"Good Bye", do you mean our relationship is over?
I know I work here. I never thought I will be one of a girl
who is left with someone after they make love. It's so
bad for me. Just tell me when you come here or go home?
Don't you care my heart ? I'm not worth for you anymore.
All the time we send e-mail to each other and I hope
many thing with you. But now you left me. I don't know
to say anymore. I'm very sad.
Take care of yourself I wish you be healthy and long
life as prayer in the temple. I still love you very much and
forever. It's a painful memory. Although beginning is happy
but ending is so sad.
From Noi who still love you

Guys, I can't type this out without it tearing at my heart. What do you think? Did I make a mistake…?

Stickman says:

So, there is a chink in Dana's armour, a girl who slipped beneath the radar and who messed with, and is possibly still messing with, his mind. These girls are working girls. If you want to marry them, get them out of the bar scene and away from it as fast as possible and accept that it most likely won't work. Low expectations = less loss / depression later. I would suggest that this letter did not convey her true feelings… The attitude problem in Chiang Mai suggests that she was not entirely happy to be with you…

nana plaza