I met Pim a few years ago in a pub that served food and was connected to a bar where ladies danced. I was sitting eating. There was sports on TV. I wasn't watching. She came and sat with me and talked to me about something. Or maybe it wasn't like that. Maybe there were two or three girls all playing at flirting with the farang and the rest left but Pim remained. She worked in the bar next door. The darkened bar where ladies danced and did whatever else went on in dark bars.
As we spoke together, in Thai mostly but occasionally in English, I told her stuff about me. I told her I was married. I told her I had a son. I told her the truth. She said this was rare. She said most men lied, even while paying for company. I said being liked was important even if you were paying. Everybody wants to be liked and sometimes they think that a lie might make them more likeable. I remember her nodding as if this were profound.
She was wearing a silly costume. A skirt that would have looked short on a schoolgirl. Pim was no schoolgirl. In fact, if I remember rightly, she was only a couple of years younger than me. She was embarrassed by this. She felt the skirt did her no favours but the boss liked these skirts so they had to wear them. I said there was no need to worry. She looked fine. In another bar there were women in their mid to late thirties wearing school uniforms. Women in other bars wore nothing at all.
As we talked I found myself rambling on at her as if I knew everything and she knew nothing. I told her what to watch out for. I told her what to take care of. I was full of shit but I meant well. She said she liked me talking to her. She said no farang had ever just talked to her. She said I was a good man. I said I was nothing of the kind. She kissed my cheek and told me she had to go back to work. She had to dance.
Someone changed the TV channel. There was a film about a Russian serial killer. I watched it to the end and when it was over I paid up and left and thought nothing more about the little conversation.
I ate in this pub often. It was a place I had gone for years. They did good sandwiches. I'd had girlfriends who worked there before. Of course that was a long time before. The bar-staff still remembered me though. They remembered my name. Some of them looked deceptively young. Like girls just out of school. But I knew this was just how they looked. They were all over 25.
The next time I went in the pub one of these girls, one who had known me for years, slipped away. Within minutes Pim was sitting opposite me. She watched me eat. She went to get me water. She cut short the journey of the waitress in order to get me my drink. I said this wasn't necessary. She said she knew it wasn't necessary but it made her happy. I said okay and that I was happy if it made her happy. She said that made her happy too.
I had my theories about this. I wasn't sure which was correct. She might have had me pegged as a future client, but then the bar next door wasn't exactly customer free. I thought maybe it was a kind of game she was playing or that she had a bet on that she could get me. Maybe she even had some elaborate long con in mind. Then again it was always possible that she really did just like talking with me.
Sometimes I found her presence a little too much. I found it awkward when she would raise a glass to my lips as though I had no arms and I wasn't sure I always needed someone to mop the sweat from my brow. But most of the time it was nice to see her.
One time I went in there after a heavy day. She said I looked tired. I said I was tired. She said she was going to give me a massage. I wasn't going to put up a fight. Slowly rhythmically she started rubbing my shoulders. With each push she used gradually more and more force. Then she dug her strong fingers into my aching muscles and just eased out all the knots. She kept doing this for ages. She kept doing it and I became so relaxed I almost fell asleep. I asked her if she wanted a drink. She said she didn't do it because she wanted anything from me. I said that it would make me feel better if I bought her a drink. She waied me and got herself a drink. The girl behind a bar made a "woooo" sound. Pim made out she would hit her if she didn't shut up. She came back with her drink and then
she massaged me some more. Her fingers working under my shirt. I felt myself gently easing into a kind of warm bath of semi consciousness. She lay my head against her chest. The next thing I knew she kissed me on the back of my neck and said she had to go dancing. I said thanks. She said it was nothing.
The next time I went back there she sat opposite me. She seemed somehow changed. She looked at me with mischievous eyes. Under the table a stockinged foot worked its way up my leg until it was gently stroking my groin. I looked at her and said "What are you doing ?"
She smiled and said "I don't know. What am I doing ?"
"I don't know. Sorry. My mistake."
Her foot kept caressing me until the effect was obvious. She burst out laughing.
"I give you a massage." She said.
I said "It's okay. You don't have to."
She said "I know I don't have to but I want to."
"Isn't it your turn to go dancing yet ? I don't want you to get in trouble."
"I won't get in trouble." She said.
"No ?" I said.
"No." She said. "I don't have to go dancing until half past."
"Oh." I said.
"I give you massage."
She sat next to me and while leaning her breasts against my back she gave me a massage. She moved her breasts against me subtly delicately but enough for me to feel her nipples like tiny hard fingertips. She traced the skin along my shoulders and chest with her long lacquered fingernails, not scratching, but almost scratching.
"You like that." She said.
I laughed. "Yes."
"I wish you weren't married" She said quietly, her breath touching my ear like velvet.
"But I am married." I said.
"If you weren't married I could make everything for you. Anything you want I could do. For you. Only for you. Not for someone else. Only for you."
"Why only for me ?" I said, my voice cracking slightly.
"Because I love you." she said.
"That's nice." I said.
"Yes." She said. "But you are married." She said. "So I can't."….
"Yes." I said. "I am married."
Her nails curled around down my stomach back and forth across my chest. She changed from fingernail to palm and stroked me down to the belt on my trousers that she undid without even seeming to think about it. Her fingertips sliding under the rim and brushing against the hair.
She whispered in my ear. "I want to touch you."
"I don't think that would be a very good idea." I said the blood pumping through my body and rushing past my ears.
I was slightly disappointed when hr head fell into my shoulder and she said "I know."
The next time I went to the pub she was not there. I ate and drank and watched a film about killer children with glowing eyes. When I was about to leave someone said "Pim go to see her family."
"Good." I said. "It's good to see your family."
"She loves you." They said.
"I don't believe that." I said.
"It's true." They said. "Every night she talks about you."
"Oh." I said.
"Sometimes she cries about you." They said.
"Oh." I said.
I might have believed this once, I thought, but that shit doesn't work on me now. I'd long since drunk and seen the spider within all these declarations of love. And it didn't matter anyway. I was married and I had a son and that was that. The end. Amen.
I suppose I should have found another place to buy my sandwiches. But I didn't. And soon she was sitting with me again. Playing little games again.
"I love you." She said. "I want to make you feel happy." She said.
"I'm am happy." I said.
"Yes. I'm happy too. When you come here I'm happy." She said.
"Well I'm happy I make you happy." I said. "But you know I'll never…"
"Yes. But I don't care. I just want to see you. I want you to talk with me. I want to make you happy just as you make me happy."
"Come next door." She said.
"Next door ?" I said.
"Have nobody there." She said. "We can talk."
"Talk… We can talk here."
"But I have to dance."
"Okay. I'll come there. But just for one drink."
"You won't need more than one drink."
I knew the bar. I knew it well from other times. It was dark. Very dark. Dark enough to cover a multitude of evils. And I knew, in my heart, that that was what I was here for. I watched the fish swim in low lit tanks. She sat by me. The drinks came. A damp warm
towel arrived on a small tin tray. She wiped my face like a mother and then opened my shirt and wiped my neck and shoulders. Then she undid the buttons on my shirt.
"What are you doing." I said.
"Shhh." She said. "I give you massage."
"Oh." I said. "Massage."
"You're a good man." She said. "You're a good friend for me." She said. "I want to make you feel good."
Her fingernails ran along my chest. The hairs of my arm stood on end. She kissed my neck.
"Pim." I said.
"Shhh." She said. "I take care of you."
She bit me. A tiny bite. Sucking a tiny suck. I was about to object. But she moved on before she would make a mark and bit again tracing my skin with her tongue.
"Look." I said.
"Shhhh." She said.
She bit and licked and kissed my neck, my shoulders, my chest and her deft fingers loosened my trousers and slipped inside. First she freed my penis and then she held it warmly. First tightly then gently then tightly then gently. And as she did this she bit on my nipples and my head felt light.
She raised her head and whispered in my ear "You feel happy ?"
"I feel okay."
She smiled a wicked smile and then kissed and licked my neck and my chest and my stomach leaving a damp trail which she blew warmly on as her fingers let go of my penis and she scratched gently at its length with her long elegant fingernails.
"Does your wife do like this for you ?" She said.
"Not like this no." I said.
"I love you." She said. "I can do everything for you."
Her mouth bit upon the flesh moving down to my groin. I became aware that dark as it was this was probably pushing things. I looked up and saw no-one seemed the blindest bit interested.
She pulled back a little and kissed my penis through the thick denim of my trousers. She kissed and she bit as her nails scratched gently at my side.
She sat up and said "What I do for you now is only ten percent. If we were in a room. Together. Naked. In the dark. Touching. I can do for you a hundred percent. A thousand percent."
"But I know we never do so I can only make like this."
"I think you better stop."
"Shhhh." She said.
"You see the thing is Pim…It's driving me round the twist."
"I just want to make you happy."
"Yes. But the thing is that I can't go with you to a little room in the dark. We can't be together naked."
"I know. You love your wife. You're a good man."
"Not that good I'm not. I can only take so much."
"You want tissue. Can finish here. I want to make you happy. I love you. I know you don't love Pim but Pim love you. I always wait for you."
"What if I go to England and don't come back for five years."
"I still wait you. I wait you a hundred years."
"In a hundred years I'll be dead."
"Stay with me… Stay here some more. I just give you massage. I want you stay here. Just until 2. Then I go to sleep and I can dream." She said. So I stayed there until 2. What the hell, I thought. What harm can it do. And…It didn't do any harm at all. It didn't lead me to some darkened room where we could be naked together.
I never ended up in a darkened room naked with Pim. I don't know exactly why.
Conscience maybe ?
No… That doesn't wash with me either.
Once I'd just been for an extra visa and had a bunch of passport size photos taken. She said she wanted one and I gave it to her. She caressed it and said she would keep it in her wallet. I laughed because I've heard enough bullshit in my life to be sceptical about anything like this.
A long time later, almost two years in fact, I met her in a different place. She said something how much she loved me and always would. I asked her if she still had the photograph thinking I'd catch her out. She took out the wallet and there I was right next to a picture of her daughter and mother.
I don't know if this is clever or scary or flattering or sad. I like to think that she had the picture among many others and slipped it in there.
It's troubling to think anything else.
Very nice story. I wonder if it really happened, or if it is a story?