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Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 74

  • Written by Dana
  • December 31st, 2004
  • 7 min read


Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes #74


I'M SO LONELY

"Please God, help me. Breath on me. Keep my candle from going out. Please God, help me. I'm so lonely!"

Pattaya: While Noi went to visit a friend of hers and her friend's English boyfriend, I went to a tailor on 2nd street and got him to sell me his cloth measuring tape. That night I had Noi stand naked next to the bed. I knelt down on my knees, laid my head against her hot hip to steady myself and measured her. I measured the width of her shoulders, and I measured the distance from the base of her neck to just above her knees, and I measured her hips and her waist and her bust. I felt as if I was measuring Eve. To her it was nothing. Standing there completely naked in front of a man. She had the confidence of ten million women who came before her. A woman is. A man must become! To me, it was mystery beyond comprehension. I felt as if I was kneeling before St. Peter; a puny supplicant, begging to be let into heaven. There are a million Nois–products of Issan. Splayed toes and wide feet, short bodies, dark skin, brown eyes, black hair, pretty lips. Faces not too exotic–eyes not too squinty. I don't care that there are a million Nois. My Noi is the end of the line for me. I don't want to ever meet another woman. I want to spend the rest of my life coming home to her. She is my Everything.

The next day while she was lazing around the pool, I went to Mike's Shopping Center on the north end of Beach Road. A lady in the woman's underwear section was very nice to me. She helped convert my measurements to sizes–then she helped me buy fancy underpants and bras. Then she took me in hand and walked me over to another clothing dept. where we found nice capri style pants and matching shirt. She helped me buy other things she knew a girl from Isaan would like. Finally, a make-up kit. Buying the box of make-up accessories was overkill. Please love me!

That night Noi tried on her new clothes. Everything fit perfectly. It was fun for both of us. It was our first time together and we were traveling down the road that each secretly hopes will lead from friendship to loveship. I was losing my heart faster than water flows through your fingers. She was pressed so tightly to me in our sleep it felt as if we were one.

The next six months was long distance emailing, letters, gifts. Even a tortured phone call that a Thai woman friend of mine here in Boston helped me with. My return to the bar was to be on a certain day at 10:30 pm. I had bought us His and Her gold nugget watches. I was wearing mine. Hers I had hidden in a Smarties Candy container and then wrapped in wrapping paper. She had told all of her girlfriends of my arrival time. I stepped into the dark bar at precisely 10:30pm, there was a little pause–and then an explosion of clapping and yelling and screaming. I never felt so loved. Noi was up on stage dancing and it was if I saw her for the very first time. I was stunned at her beauty. After she was through dancing she came down off the stage and I gave her the gift wrapped present. Every single girl in the bar and on the stage watched as she opened the gift. Then they all could see that it was a Smarties candy tube. A little disappointment. So I opened the tube and tipped it out into Noi's hand. Little colored candies started to fall out into her hand. Then some gold. Then more gold. Then the gold watch fell out into her hand surrounded by the brightly colored candies. The place went nuts. Bedlam. Even the battle-ax mamasan was smiling at me. Hands reached down and pulled the two of us up on stage. Girls helped her put on her watch. Then we held out our two wrists for all the world to see. We were a couple.

We spent two weeks together. Serious weeks. Getting to know each other takes weeks. At night when I was writing she would be wrapped in the white bath towel–washing my clothes in the sink and hanging them up outside the window and singing. Before I left to go back to Boston I took a picture of her. She was smiling and looking so beautiful and so happy. Holding out her hand to show off the watch.

Another six months of long distance love. I had the picture of her and her watch laminated onto a T-shirt. She had a birthday in the meantime and she sent me a picture of herself at the birthday party. The girls had thrown a surprise party for her at the bar before it opened. It was a wonderful picture. She was smiling and blowing out the candles on the cake. And she was surrounded by all of her best friends. Everyone full of life and love. I took the picture to a T-shirt place. I had some of the background deleted, cropped the picture, and then had it laminated on a T-shirt. It looked really great.

It was my third time returning to Thailand to see her. We were scheduled to spend 18 days together. If everything went well I was thinking about bringing up the subject of marriage. I wanted to be the father of three daughters that looked just like their wonderful mother. The bar entry scene was another huge hit. I was wearing the T-shirt that had her picture on it where she is showing the camera her watch. Then I gave her a gift wrapped parcel. The bar went stone quiet. Out tumbled the T-shirt that had the birthday party scene laminated on the front. Nobody had ever seen anything like it before. Four of the girls recognised themselves on the shirt. Pandemonium. Laughing. The shirt was passed around the bar. All the girls were hugging me and smiling at me. Except one. No hug and no smile from Noi. Little hairs stood up on the back of my neck.

Two days later in Chiang Mai I got up early and went down to breakfast alone. The lump under the covers didn't move or call out. Due to my age I was able to do something at breakfast that I would not have been able to do as a young man. Stay calm. Very, very calm. Spooky calm. Don't bother me and don't let me near weapons calm. No public displays of self-pity. No roping someone into my personal hell with unwelcomed storytelling. No giant public sighs or aggressive facial ticks or other calls for help. No jamming the food with my fork, or slamming the cutlery around or abusing the help. Just stone quiet calm. Greek philosopher waiting to take the drink of poison hemlock calm. Breakfast over I straightened out the dishes, signed the chit, wiped my mouth with the heavy napkin and then got up. It was time to go upstairs. It was time to start the salvage operation. Salvaging my dignity. The lump under the covers hadn't moved. I went to the closet and got all of her clothes. I went to the bathroom and gathered up all of her toiletries. I packed her bag. Then I pulled back the covers and made her stand up and I dressed her. No protest from her. I took her to the airport and exchanged her tickets. Then I explained to the ticket agent that I loved Noi and I would appreciate it if she would look after her and make sure she got on the right plane. As a young man I would have spent some time on good-bye theatrics: maybe a tear. I'm not young anymore! I turned and left.

In the taxi on the way back to the hotel I talked out loud–

"Please God, help me. Breath on me. Keep my candle from going out. Please God, help me. I'm so lonely!"

Stickman's thoughts:

There are plenty more Nois out there.