Everything But Die
‘Everything But Die’ was written before ‘First You Die.’ In this chapter Rick meets Sonia for the first time and gets more than he bargained for.
The old wood-bladed fan turned slowly, lazily pushing the sweltering air down like a punishment from a past life. Beads of sweat gathered on Rick’s face and more drops plastered his shirt to his back. The once dark green courtroom walls were streaked gray and black with years of gecko droppings blending into the mould mottled paint, making a surrealistic effect worthy of a Dali painting or Rorschach test.
Under the circumstances either one would be appropriate.
He was in Bangkok facing a five year prison sentence for drug possession.
It was unbelievable that this was happening.
Rick stood up with his attorney.
Mr. Than’s jacket was frayed at the sleeves and his tie was wider than the lapels of his old suit.
Rick leaned towards his defender. ‘What do you think my chances are?’
‘For what? Going to jail?’
‘Staying out of jail is what I was thinking since I’m innocent.’
‘I told you before, that has nothing to do with it.’
The judge was about to announce the verdict. This was not a jury trial. The judge simple reviewed the testimony, asked a few questions and came to a decision.
He had a thin face pinched with age, dyed black hair combed over his balding head from one side and wire-rimmed spectacles.
Rick could imagine him saving old newspapers to line his drawers and eating rice alone in his room. If you had to pick an imaginary friend from a crowded room he would not be the first on your list. As the judge was reading his conclusion, Rick thought back to just a few days ago and how this nightmare had started.
He was in Bangkok on vacation and had walked across the street from Nana Plaza to Angles Disco in the Nana Hotel, strolling past a dozen or so girls lounging in the lobby waiting for prospective customers. Rick had to wait by the entrance to the disco while the bouncers inspected the contents of the girls’ pocketbooks before he would let them enter.
Once inside, he stood against a wall and surveyed the place. It was a large room, dark, with drink bars on either side and upholstered booths along one wall.
Two black speakers the size of doors stood on the edge of the dance floor which held about sixty people dancing, most of them girls in their twenties or younger. Girls slouched against the speakers, resting their arms and drinks on them. One could almost see their clothes fluttering with the sound waves blasting out.
Rick was on the other side of the room and the music seemed to go right through him, envelop and completely surround him.
The DJ played American Pie by Don McLean, YMCA by the Village People and Hotel California. Rick was dreaming that he was back in time and imagining that he was just a kid again, easy to do here after a few drinks and songs.
A girl of about twenty-two pressed up against him. He turned and her face was close to his. She was shockingly beautiful even with a small silver ring pierced through one eyebrow. Rick idly wondered if she had other ones anywhere else. If she were his daughter he would give her a good spanking. Wait, not a bad idea anyway.
She was very sexy looking with her long flowing red hair, partially gelled back.
She wore a purple spandex top with one bare shoulder. He could easily see the fullness of her breasts. They pressed not only up and forward but were so round they pushed out to the sides of her shirt.
Her skin was the color of golden honey. She had large brown eyes, full sensuous lips and a nose that was kind of farang, not flat or wide like some Thai girls.
She was the most stunning women that Rick had ever seen.
‘Take me home.’ She said. It sounded more like a demand than a request.
‘My name is Soopies but you can call me Sonia.’
She was so young and beautiful that he knew this was just a business arrangement and he wanted to get this out of the way first.
‘Five-thousand! Everyone else gets fifteen-hundred or two-thousand.’
‘Do I look like everyone else to you?’ She laughed with a breezy self-confidence.
Rick had to admit that she was special and like the song goes-‘Money don’t count at a time like this.’
It was after three in the morning. Rick took her hand and they headed towards the door together. As they left, girls streamed into the club, an entire line of them, dozens of them and all were very attractive. The go-go bars close after two and that’s when the clubs really fill up.
There were more beautiful girls in this one spot than in an entire town in the United States, not counting the Big Apple or Hollywood of course.
They walked to the corner gas station that doubled as an all night convenience store and picked up a few beers and a pack of cigarettes. There was always a line of cabs on Soi Four and they climbed into one. The driver was not delighted to be going just one block but it was a long one. The Atlanta Hotel was at the very end of Soi Two.
Rick stopped at the desk to leave Sonia’s identity card and the hundred baht note payment required to have a guest in the room and walked up the circular marble stairway. The room was small but had a terrace, a table with two chairs near the bed and a ceiling fan, which Soopies turned off.
She sat down and opened the pack of Mild Sevens. Instead of lighting a cigarette, she tore the tinfoil from the wrapper and twisted the foil into a small spoon. She opened her compact, lifted the powder puff and took out a tiny clear plastic bag which held a few small brown pills that were half the size of an aspirin tablet.
Soopies rolled a hundred baht note into a tube and put the tip of it between her lips, her lipstick blending into the rose-colored paper while she placed one tablet on the makeshift spoon and flicked a cigarette lighter underneath. As the brown pellet heated, a spiral of white smoke slowly rose up in the still room.
The baht note met the smoke and Soopies closed her eyes, inhaling deeply.
‘What is that?’ Rick asked.
‘Give you great sex, try it.’ She blurted out, trying to hold her breath and talk at the same time.
He was standing close to her and the thick smoke smelled sweet, like cotton candy.
She held the spoon with one hand and lightly touched Rick between the legs with the other hand.
‘Here, take it and I’ll give you a double smoke, make you crazy.’
‘What is that?’ there he said it again.
‘You smoke the ya bah and I’ll smoke you at the same time, you will love it.’
‘Thanks for the offer but I’d like to keep my brain cells alive for just a bit longer. The only things that I want fried inside of me are my eggs in the morning.
I’ll jump into the shower while you smoke your peace pipe.’
‘Does not make me peaceful,’ Sonia said, inhaling at the same time.
Rick took a long shower, soaping himself with shampoo, wondering what kind of night this would turn out to be.
He came out of the bathroom and dried himself with a towel.
Sonia had finished smoking and was sitting on the bed in her underwear. She had a white thong for a bottom and her firm breasts bulged out of her bra.
Her stomach was as flat as a tabletop and her long legs stretched out on the floor in front of her.
‘Come here,’ she said, reaching to take the towel away from him.
Her eyes were bright and wide, she was smiling as if she knew a secret that she might share with him but not quite yet. She gently grasped his balls with one hand and pulled him just a bit closer. She wrapped the fingers of her other hand firmly around his member. She leaned in closer to him.
His heart started to pound as she put her moist lips…….
(A paragraph was excluded by the author.)
She looked up at him smiling. ‘Why don’t you lie on the bed and relax?’
Rick’s heart was pounding and his entire body was throbbing. He took a deep breath, laid back and watched as Sonia slipped one finger into her thong and pulled it down, stepped out of it, revealing her shaved vagina. Rick thought of vanilla ice cream or possibly cinnamon vanilla ice cream.
Sonia lifted her leg onto the bed and sat on his chest, facing him, with a leg on either side of him.
She looked into his eyes, smiled and said softly, ‘Are you comfortable?’
She was joking with him and Rick could see that she was aware of her effect on him. She could probably feel his heart pounding underneath her. She moved to the side, placing her vagina on his nipple, smiling at him as she reached over and picked up the tinfoil pipe and flicked the lighter. White smoke floated upwards and she inhaled it into her mouth. She held her breath as she moved back and took Rick’s organ and placed it inside of herself. As she ever so slowly lowered herself onto him she bent over and kissed him. Rick could feel her hair on his shoulders and her breasts were warm on her chest. Rick opened his mouth and kissed her back as she finished her descent.
As she sat on him, she pushed forward. He gasped involuntary and the thick sweet smoke filled his mouth and lungs. Rick immediately felt a pleasant sensation that was separate from the sex.
Sonia kissed him for a long time before sitting up. ‘How did you like the smoke?’
‘Which smoke are you talking about?’
‘The ya bah of course. I could tell you liked the other smoke.’
‘It was alright.’ Rick was not ready to admit that it was really pretty good. Not as good as the cocaine that he had tried in New York but the feeling was there.
‘Good, try another hit.’
Rick sat up and inhaled the sweet white vapor. It was delicious and his heart started pumping again. They passed it back and forth until it was finished.
Rick felt wide-awake, alert and powerful. He knew it was the drugs. He felt excited and his heart was pounding more than ever.
This is better than an electrocardiogram he thought. If I don’t have a heart attack now I never will.
Are you ready to f**k me now?’
‘What have we been doing?’
‘Having fun.’ She smiled.
‘I want to get serious now.’ Sonia looked directly into his eyes without smiling.
Rick did not answer but slipped out from underneath and entered Soopies from……
(Another paragraph excluded by the author.)
Later they both lay on the bed next to each other, exhausted.
It was about five in the morning.
Sonia was wide awake and Rick was not feeling sleepy either.
‘Let’s go dancing.’ Sonia sat up.
‘Everything must be closed by now.’
‘Are you kidding? This is Bangkok.’
They dressed and had the desk clerk call a cab. Sonia gave the driver instructions to go to Silom road just past Patpong. After about twenty minutes he turned down a dark soi and drove carefully for another block. There were no streetlights; the only illumination came from the stars and a green Carlsberg beer sign on top of dirt stained cement wall.
They came to a dead end and got out of the cab. There was an alleyway on the left with sheets of tin stretched across the top, blocking out the night sky.
Just a little spooky Rick thought. They continued along, stepping over puddles of rancid water mixed with urine and garbage.
A large man stood inside of a doorway ahead. There were no lights or signs, just this huge person filling up the doorway like he was jammed into a picture frame.
Rick was reassured by the fact that the man held a handful of red notes.
‘Give him four hundred to get in,’ Sonia said.
The man added Rick’s cash to his already fist full of money and opened the door.
A wave of sound assaulted Rick’s ears as he stepped in. The place was packed, jam-packed. Wall to wall people dancing to deafening music.
Where do they all come from he thought and don’t they have to go to work the next day?
Rick squeezed his way over to the bar and shouted an order to the bartender for a couple of drinks. A mirrored ball on the ceiling turned and reflected spots of light on the crowd. Hello Saturday Night Fever.
Sonia leaned up against Rick, putting her lips to his ear.
‘Can you give me my five thousand baht now? Don’t worry we’ll go home together. I still have a few things that I want to show you.’
‘I’ll bet.’ Rick peeled off five silver notes and she walked into the crowd.
He tried to keep an eye on her and thought he saw her hand something to the DJ. Could it have been the five thousand?
Rick didn’t think so. Why would she do that?
Sonia came back and pushed her fingers into his front pants pocket.
‘Just hold on to this for me.’
I guess she did not give him the money after all Rick thought. He had another drink and then shoved his way onto the dance floor.
Sonia wrapped herself around him, putting both arms around his neck and nuzzling her face into his cheek.
Her long auburn hair spilled over onto him and her lips were wet against his throat. She moved against him with a rhythm that didn’t have much to do with the music but everything to do with eroticism. It was turning out to be a wonderful night.
The music stopped abruptly and the house lights went all the way up to very bright. No problem, it was late and Rick was ready to leave anyway.
He took Sonia’s hand and walked into a wall of brown uniforms. The club was filling up with police and they did not look like they wanted to dance.
The officer in front of him was holding a large nickel plated revolver. It seemed to grow larger as he placed the muzzle to Ricks head. Rick did not move.
Two men in street clothes slammed him against the wall. He tried to say something like, ‘You can’t do this to me. I’m an American.’
It was difficult to talk with his face forced into the wall and his lips squashed against his teeth.
One of the men twisted Rick’s arms around his back and secured them with a plastic strip. They spun him around.
The men in front of him had badges and photo ID on a chain around their necks. Other than that, they looked like a couple of Thai guys out for a night on the town.
And they might have been as both of them were smiling broadly. The shorter one wore a tight black T-shirt. He was lean but all muscle.
The taller plainclothes cop reached into Ricks front pants pocket and pulled out a small plastic bag.
‘Jip, it’s ya bah!’ he exclaimed.
‘Everything But Die’ is published in paperback by Meteve Phuket Co. Ltd. and can be found at most book stores in Phuket and in Asia Books at the Landmark Hotel, Sukhumvit, Bangkok.
It's an excellent book.