Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 107
"Fitzpatrick's stylistic evolution since the late ‘80s has consisted more in refining his tableaux than in making any seismic shifts." Faye Hirsch (Art in America magazine)
–Thai Translation: "Still mostly Same-Same."–
Boy, I wish I could write things like Faye Hirsch of Art in America magazine. Then maybe people would think I was a writer. But I can't so I won't. Here is just another story–
A local expat who lives in Washington Square is giving me a tour. This is a nice thing for him to be doing and the kind of inside knowledge tour that is just great for someone new to an area. We have lunch in a fly happy alley. The Thai experience. The food is horrible, the alley is horrible, the flies are horrible. I'm pretending to be having a good time. The Thai experience.
One table over is a single Thai woman having lunch. She is demure looking and petite and pretty and young and poor. I'm in love. I'm already naming our children. My friend chats with her and finds out that she works at the bar across the street. I'm in love (oh yeah, I already said that).
A couple of days later I just happen to stumble into her bar around 6 p.m. Believe me when I say this is no accident. Usually I am more reserved and circumspect with my heart in Thailand and I never get involved with that paternal dream nonsense but this Thai woman has just blown all of those rules and habits to bits. IF you do not know what I am talking about then you have just not chocked up enough sunrises in the Kingdom. Anyway, she and her friends are eating some kind of fatty fried Thai meat. We stand around and eat together. The meat for western palates is disgusting and gross. Garbage food you would feed to begging pets or throw to pigs. Poor people's food. I pretend to eat. She is standing beside me. The bar is empty. I'm getting no clues from or about these girls. They look like waitresses. Waitresses are not always hookers. I do not want to say or do the wrong thing. And I am nuts about the essential goodness of this quiet Thai woman. So I am going very very slowly. Just feeling around in the social dark for the right thing to say and do. I am in love with this rustic angel (did I mention that?). In her slightly shabby baggy clothes no clue is available about her figure and she is certainly not dressed to sell. I'm buying the face and the dream. Please love me.
One thing leads to another and I bring up the subject of barfines with my heart in my throat because I do not want to be yelled at by outraged innocence. Surprise surprise surprise; I get an unenthusiastic 'yes' and my future wife disappears to dress. The barfine is 600baht. SIX HUNDRED BAHT. Six hundred baht in the dump known as Washington Square in an empty open air bar that offers no shows and no dancing and no band and no DJ and no smiles. A little red flag goes up in my head but I pay the barfine and smile. Wait a minute; what am I saying? A BIG red flag goes up in my head. 600 baht is just complete nonsense. But I'm in love (Did I mention that?) and I pay.
Off we go by taxi to the Nana. In the fifteen minute trip to the Nana she talks to the driver continually and to the complete exclusion of me. She should be using the time to sell me. She should be sitting close and holding my hand and smiling and laughing. She should be earning the money. She isn't doing any of this. The incendiary hot center-of-the-sun ardour I had for her is starting to cool. If this was my first trip to Thailand it would be different but this farang who looks like every other farang fool as been splashing around in this mud for years. I hear the driver use the word farang at least ten times. There are people who will tell you that the use of the word farang by the Thais is not a negative. They are mistaken. That would be like someone here in America telling someone else that the use of the word nigger is not something they should be alarmed at hearing or take offence at. Maybe I'm just not hip enough or liberal enough or smart enough for this world; but I find being called a nigger by the service/hospitality people of Thailand offensive. I'm at the point now in Thailand (one of the most racist countries in the most racist part of the world) that if a Thai does not refer to me as Kuhn Fabulous I just automatically assume that I am the object of the ignorant lameass 'them or us' tribalism that makes them believe that objectifying me with the word farang is appropriate social behavior. Thailand and the people of Thailand will never be players of note on the world stage until it/they learn some manners. False smiles and filthy temples are simply not enough in a competitive world. Anyway . . . Another red flag. Or ten red farang flags. I sit in the back of the taxi and start to change. No longer am I in love. Like a shrinking flower with closing petals as the sun goes down so goes my belief in our future.
You know how you just get messages sometimes? Without conscious application of will or thought or need or intent a meteor of information will streak in from a mystery place and crash into your head with some form of text or speech or warning that you cannot discount? Well, maybe you aren't going to be getting messages if you just arrived in Thailand for the very first time or if you are still new to Thailand–the incoming data is just too perplexing and chaotic. You are too impacted and bewildered by everything to be able to cut through the static and receive messages. But I am not a wide eyed tourist or even a newbie. I have been stumbling around in this social jungle for some time. So I get one of those mystery messages delivered to me from a faraway place and from some indeterminate cosmic 'friend'.
In the time the taxi takes to pull up to the door of the Rajah hotel on Soi 4; and the time it takes to exit the taxi, pay the driver, go through the lobby, and end up in front of the elevators I have received a message. And the message is: this woman is not a demure simple ‘good girl' suitable to be giving birth to my children–this is a down-and-dirty gutter licking ‘doesn't give a fuck' whore. Boy, talk about an elevator trip up to my room. My mind is a mess. Anger, disappointment, despair, and the still pitiful wishing and hoping of the ever optimistic western male. But mostly despair. It is hard to be a man in the red-light theatres of the world (we do not always have to be picking on Thailand) because your unreasonable desires are not respected by others. You are a fool on a fool's errand and you have no one to blame but yourself.
In the room it is hopeless and disappointing. Not surprising because I now know what I am dealing with, but disappointing. I started out with a dream, followed through, spent money, made the commitment; and I've got nothing in my arms except an ungiving uncooperative whore who should be servicing Thais in an upcountry shack for 50 baht a dick. But there are two surprises coming. We are not done yet.
The first surprise is when she takes off all of her clothes and I see her naked. I nearly fall down in a faint. My knees go weak. I'm not some virgin boy fresh from his parents Scottish farm on my first trip to the Kingdom. I have seen and held in my arms countless women. I have been amazed and dumbfounded and surprised many many times by a woman's startling beauty and sexuality when stripped of vanity and pretence and clothes. But this is noteworthy. A blind man would be sucking wind off the tops of his lungs if this creature was in front of him. For a Thai she has an uncharacteristically voluptuous body of simply jaw dropping proportions. The kind of body that would excite cries of "it can't be real". The kind of figure that would make birds drop from the sky and soi dogs shut up. The kind of cartoon body that entices educated worldly urbane sophisticated Japanese businessmen to read Japanese comic books. She is like a farangdingdong.com girl burst from the screen and in my life. I don't have the carpal tunnel syndrome or monitor screen redeye or back spasms of the fanatic or obsessed computer nerd so this moment in my life must be real. One step forward and I'll be able to touch her like the Mayan novitiate about to touch the temple top priestess.
Now I know why she dressed in shabby baggy clothes. If the general public knew she had a figure like this she would not be left alone for one second. Men and women and children would stare at her transfixed and walk in her wake. Alert to trail and scenting her temple in the distance. But she doesn't want to be a high priestess of sex and fecundity. She just wants to be. She just wants to eat and shit and bonk: the trifecta of the uninspired and the uninteresting. Evolutionary dark matter that leaves little room for planetary lights of sophistication or intelligence.
Like every other male who has ever seen her naked probably from the time she was fourteen years old I am instantly and irrevocably her slave. Just babbling and physically genuflecting and spastically gesturing at the feet of a primitive iconic fertility rite. Instincts tell me that a press on her breast would cause it to burst with milk and fluid and placing a hand inside her leg and pushing would release a bucket of fluid and musk. No wonder she is so lazy and unforthcoming. Since the age of fourteen she has learned that her body is her currency and that she doesn't have to do anything to get the money. Like many humans when presented with temptation in the form of unearned gifts she has decided to take the shortcut and the low road. Money for nothing and your dicks not free.
No details about what went on between us in that room on that night in the Rajah hotel on Soi 4 off Sukhumvit in Bangkok are interesting. We were both just playing out the string in the pretend game of the sex-for-money industry. But there was one more surprise coming. Thailand always has another surprise. At the end of our fumbling she turned around I saw her back. Again my knees went weak. There on her back in the harsh uncompromising light of a hotel room I was confronted with something I have never ever seen tattooed on a Thai female. There on her upper right shoulder was a large portrait of a Thai face. A young woman's face. Her girlfriend.
She was a lesbian.