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Randy’s Refrain



Randy had been coming to Thailand for the past couple of years and had decided that Phuket had the most to offer: beaches, bars and boats. He would visit a few times a year and stay for a month at a time. His business was going well at home and he felt very fortunate, especially after he met Nui. She worked at the hotel he stayed in and it was against the rules to date a customer. Randy would rent a room at a hotel a few miles away and they would spend time together there. Randy still kept his room at the Siam Phuket Resort in Rawai so he could be near Nui during the day when she waited on tables. Nui was twenty-two years old and five foot three inches tall with an hourglass figure. Randy hated to leave at the end of the month but he had to take care of business at home and besides he had two daughters close to Nui’s age and they were starting to run wild without their father’s supervision. Randy had been divorced years ago and the girls lived at home with him. Nui went to the airport with Randy in the afternoon and he pledged to come back as soon as possible. ‘I will wait for you. I will still work in the hotel. I love you so much,’ was the last thing that she whispered in his ear as he held her close.

Fat Dave was also an American and palled around with Randy when they were here together. That same night, he was furious when he saw Nui at a nearby bar hanging all over a young Italian kid with beached blonde hair. They were kissing with abandon. Dave called Randy in America the next day and gave him the news. Dave’s friends counseled him against this. She’s only a kid and what is she supposed to do for the next few months, stay home? But Dave had made up his mind.

Randy had just been divorced for the third time and had come to Thailand to gain back some of his self-esteem. He felt that he was a failure with women and that the Thai girls were sweet and loving and Nui really had made a big difference in his life. Now he felt depressed that Nui was unfaithful to him. Back in America, he worked hard and went out occasionally but at fifty-three years of age, he just couldn’t connect with younger girls anymore. They looked right past him or acted puzzled when he spoke to them. It was not a good feeling and mostly Randy stayed at home. Three months had passed, he was lonely and more than ready to go back to Thailand. He had not been with a woman or on a single date in all that time. He decided to stop in Bangkok and check out the nightlife on his way to Phuket.

The plane landed at midnight and after he had checked into his hotel room he went directly to Soi Cowboy. Long Gun was the biggest bar on the soi and had the most girls. There was a big oval bar in the center of the room with seats all around the outside of it. A platform behind the bar had fifteen brass poles attached, and girls in bikinis would dance and swing around holding the poles. Another thirty or so girls sat with customers or stood around the room waiting for their turn on stage. Dumi was the very first girl Randy saw as he walked in. She was standing against the wall, short and stocky, one of the last girls you would want to see on stage in a bikini.

Randy thought that she looked sweet and innocent. He walked right over and started talking to her.

‘You are such a beautiful girl, what are you doing here?’ But she could not understand him. Randy, having been to these places before waved over the mamma-san for a translation. ‘She just come here. She waitress. You want drink?’ Randy ordered two, one for himself and one for Dumi. He asked the mamma-san if Dumi could go back to the hotel with him. After a short conversation with Dumi, Rick was told that this was her first night here and that she had never been out with a farang. Randy paid the five hundred baht bar fine and had to pay five thousand baht for Dumi since it was the first time for her. In spite of the language barrier, Randy had a lovely night and found that she did have some experience after all. Dumi left in the morning and that same night he was back talking to the mamma-san. Randy was on his way to Phuket and wanted to take Dumi with him. Randy would have to pay thirty thousand baht bar fine for the month. Normally it would have been only five hundred baht a day making the total fifteen thousand but Randy had already decided that he loved Dumi and did not want her working in a bar even if she was only a waitress. Thirty thousand was the buy-out price explained to him by the owner. Randy and Dumi spent a wonderful month in Phuket and when Randy had to fly to America he put Dumi on a plane to Udon Thani to stay with her parents until his return, pressing a wad of cash into her hand to tide her over until his return. He came back to Bangkok a few months later and was going to call Dumi the following day in Udon and tell her to come down and meet him at the Long Bar on Soi Cowboy. His plane arrived late at night and he thought he would wait until the next day to call, in the meantime he would go to the Long Bar to have a drink.

He was surprised to see Dumi standing against the wall in exactly the same spot as the last time that he saw her. Dumi had learned some English by then and conveyed to him that she wanted to stay with him forever. However, she had her parents to worry about and she had been working at the bar for the past months in order to earn money to send to them. In the meantime she had borrowed twenty thousand baht from the mamma-san to send home and she could not leave unless she paid it back.

Randy gave her the twenty thousand, took Dumi to Phuket and rented a house for six months. He would leave Dumi at the house along with some cash and she would wait for him there when he went back to America. This seemed like the safest plan as Dumi was so innocent and hard working, the last thing he wanted was for her to go back to the bar in Bangkok. When Randy did go back to America, Dumi entertained a few fellows in the rented house. There seemed to be either a few farangs or a Thai man there quite often. Fat Dave was still in Phuket and asked Dumi what was going on with the visitors.

She replied a bit indignantly. ‘Well, I have to have friends don’t I?’

Dave thought that this time he would really mind his own business, since the last time that he spoke up, Randy really got all upset and when Randy arrived back in Phuket, Dave said nothing.

Randy had missed his girlfriend very much and was trying to make arrangements so he could spend more time in Phuket. He purchased the rented house for four million baht or about ninety thousand America dollars. Foreigners were not allowed to own land and to make the process simpler he put the house in Dumi’s name. He would go back to America, sell his business and house and stay here in paradise with Dumi forever. Dumi asked if she could have her parents visit while he was away. Who knew how long it would take for him to finish his business?

An excellent idea, he thought. Dumi would be safe and happy. It took three months for him to make all of the arrangements to finish his business in America and he called Dumi every single week. She assured him that everything was fine and her folks were still there and she was waiting for him to return but she had spent the money that he had given her and needed forty thousand baht to cover expenses. Randy sent the money right away.
Randy sold his house and business in America and flew to Thailand. This time he had a one-way ticket. When he came back to his house in Phuket, the first thing that he saw were two young children playing in the front yard. Dumi’s parents were inside sitting on the floor eating along with her Aunt and Uncle and a nice looking young man. Dumi introduced Randy as he sat down on the floor next to Dumi’s parents. He was delighted to be back even if the house was a bit fuller then he had anticipated.

‘Who are the kids out side?’ He asked.

‘They’re mine,’ replied Dumi. ‘You never told me that you had children.’

‘You never asked me. Aren’t my children welcome?’

‘Of course they are, my darling. How long are your parents and Aunt and Uncle planning to stay?’

‘They live here now.’

‘All of them?’

‘Yes, they are my family.’

‘Oh, that’s my husband, he will stay here also.’

‘Your husband? You never told me that you were married.’

‘I would have told you if you had asked me.’

‘Dumi, you said that you loved me and that you wanted to stay with me forever.’

‘I do.’

‘What about everyone else? Where is everyone sleeping?’

‘Well, we have two bedrooms and a living room so we all comfortable and besides this house very large compared to one in Udon.’

Randy was confused and disturbed. He picked up his suitcase. ‘Where are we sleeping? In which room?’

Dumi lead Rick to the storage room. It had a cement floor and held the hot water heater along with some gardening tools. Dumi pointed to a small folding cot. ‘You can stay here.’

‘What? Are you crazy?’ Randy exclaimed. ‘I want everyone out of here right now.’

‘You want problem? I can give you one,’ said Dumi as she punched in some numbers on her cell phone.

Randy sat down on the cot. He felt dizzy and disorientated. It was Kafkaesque he thought. He felt as if he might turn into a large beetle and crawl under the cot and stay there. He held his head in his hands, trying to figure out what was happening.

‘You,’ a voice said. Randy looked up. A police officer in a tight fitting brown uniform stood over him. The officer had polished black boots and a large black leather belt and a pistol on his hip. Thank God, now he would get things straightened out.

The officer took him outside. As Randy started to explain to the policeman, Dumi put Randy’s suitcase on the street.

‘Lady own house, call me. You crazy man. Why you come here? You leave, now.’

‘The house is mine. I bought it. I want everyone to get out- her too. Randy pointed to Dumi. She had brought some papers from the house and was pointing to the top page. Randy could see it was all in Thai.

The officer took him by the arm. ‘Lady have papers for house, her house. You want to go to jail? You stay here. I take you.’

It was all too much for Randy. He picked up his suitcase, which was mostly filled with clothes and presents for Dumi and walked off. He wandered down the road in a daze, not knowing where he was going. He came to an open-air bar. A few girls lounged on rattan chairs.

A drink would surely do him good, he thought. Randy ordered a scotch and soda and then another one. Then he saw her, sitting across the bar. She was smiling at him. She was so innocent and sweet looking. Rick bought her a drink and opened his suitcase, wondering which present he would give to her. ‘You are such a beautiful girl. What are you doing here? He said.

Stickman's thoughts:

You've gotta laugh!