Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 132
I HAVE AIDS
Hello–My name is Dana and I have Aids.
Hello–My name is Dana and I have Aids.
Hello–My name is Dana and I have Aids.
Ok, I don't actually have Aids right now but someday I expect to say:
"Hello, my name is Dana and I have Aids."
I'll be saying this either to my face in the mirror or to a group or to an individual. It will be the natural outcome and finish and product of a life and a time beyond my ability or desire or inclination to alter or escape. You can't live and not live at the same time. You can't go down every road. You can't adopt every philosophy. You can't please every stranger. You can't vote for every candidate. You can't march to every tune. You can't pretend to be something or pretend to be someone you are not. You have to make choices. I have made mine.
I expect to get Aids. I expect to die a wasting lonely despairing dignity robbing death from Aids. If I continue to fall in love in Thailand at the rate I have been falling in love in Thailand eventually bad luck will catch up with me. Look over your shoulder. What do you see? Sickness and Bad Luck and Accident are chasing you. And they all work for Death. They run with the stamina of the preordained and the unsympathetic. The Three Horsemen of your personal apocalypse.
Your legs are getting tired? My legs also. My legs are getting tired. Eventually one of these morbidity and mortality horsemen will catch up to me and trample me. When you are young you imagine that you are going to play with Life–later you learn that Life is a wave that is going to roll right over you. Feel the swell of living raising you up–feel the little hairs on your neck standing up–hear that faint deep sound like a faraway train? Here comes the tsunami of life. There is no point in running or wailing or beseeching or dealing or going into a fetal position and sending prayers heavenward. It is time.
I expect to get Aids in Thailand. I expect to die a lonely death. Born alone to a woman who did not breast feed me. Lived alone surrounded by people that did not see my value. Will die alone. But I am ok with it. In fact I see it as a good thing. It will mean that I did not waste my time sitting at home wondering where the sparks of life were. The sparks of life were in the arms of women. It took me a while but I figured it out. Life gave me some extra reprieve and some extra time to figure things out. That's my accomplishment and my triumph. I figured that out. How many men are on their death beds right now and they never figured out where the sparks of their own life were? They tried books and clubs and the television and sports and careers and opinions and drugs and habits and dreams and hobbies. Nothing. All a waste of time. They could not identify their own needs. They listened to others. Scrambled around trying to please others. Learned to repeat what others said. Perhaps picked up weapons and put on uniforms and fought others' wars. Wound up with nothing. No spark–no sparks–no life.
I haven't cured cancer or figured out a way to feed the hungry or stopped war; but I also did no harm and meant no harm and smiled back at women smiling at me. I got that right. It's a personal triumph but it counts. I figured out that nothing substitutes for the life force and you can not be a player unless your body is touching another body. Right now my immune system is strong. So far I am healthy. But every year my immune system gets weaker and my testosterone level gets lower and the personal apocalypse of Sickness and Bad Luck and Accident is hot on my trail. Sometimes I think I can hear the hoofbeats behind me. I don't look over my shoulder anymore because something might be gaining on me. My hope is that selective hearing and senility will just keep one step ahead of the hoofbeats. I know the cleaver is going to strike between my shoulders but I prefer it to be a surprise.
I expect to go on holding women in my arms. I expect to get Aids. I'm ok with it. I lived as a man. I did what I was supposed to do. Every bill comes do. Nothing is for free and no human is in charge of the accounting. I'll pay mine when it is presented to me. I expect to die of Aids. I'm ok with it. Acceptance is not bliss but it does eliminate a lot of stress. The day I hear a knock on the door and look through the peephole and see Death staring back I won't try to run. Foolish. It is time. I'll just open the door.
On my death bed I won't have the strength to mouth the words in my heart but my last act will be to run them through my mind as a final act of volition and ego and personal mandate:
"Thank-you one and all. Thank-you every lovely woman who returned my gaze. Thank-you every smiling face that opened up her arms to me. Thank-you every angel who invited me inside. I was never not paying attention. I was never not grateful. Every second was a thrill. I loved you all. Thank-you"
WHO LOVES YOU BABY?
And now the announcement of a special treat Stickmanites (trumpets and fireworks and shrill screeching piccolos):
Sometimes I get heartfelt emails from fans whose internet communications are clearly cries for help and expostulations of pain. They often read like:
"Ah jeez, Dana; why don't you write like you used to? Just beers and broads man; that's all I'm cranked on . . . Come on man, come back to us man–beers and broads man–that's all we Stickmanites really care about. We don't want to hear about 'life in the village', or different boring opinions on Sin Sod (yawn), or musings on the Thai language (doubly boring), or stories about 'good Thai girls' (triple boring), or stories about happily married farangs to Thai women ('shoot me' boring). Beers and broads man. Where are they and how much? Period. So come on man–how about writing about the shit you used to write about? Hey and some of the tranny stuff is ok man. Keeps me from forgetting what a disgusting sicko you are."–signed: A Friend.
So in honor of these fellow Stickmanites and their cries for help and expostulations of personal pain I will soon be sending in a submission that does nothing but list beer prices in two hundred and fifteen bars in Pattaya. It is easy to read on the internet that Pattaya has one thousand bars. Really? I'm not so sure about that. But I do feel that the two hundred and fifteen bars I have chosen from Soi Srina Kom in the north to beyond Soi 16 on Walking Street in South Pattaya and from Pattaya 2nd road to Beach road are a representative survey of bars in Fun City. Oh sure I could have extended the survey all the way from Beach road to Pattaya 3rd road (maybe that is where the mythic 'thousand bars' comes from) but the territory from Pattaya 2nd road to Pattaya 3rd road really starts to tip over into expat country. So to keep it simple and geographically easy to understand I stayed within the 2nd road–Beach road rectangle.
In addition this submission will list the barfine and short time and long time prices on the girls in these two hundred and fifteen bars. Just beer prices and prices on the girls in two hundred and fifteen bars in Pattaya. Let me repeat that: BEER PRICES AND PRICES ON THE GIRLS IN TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTEEN BARS IN PATTAYA. So far on my end the first draft prints out to eighty two pages. Approximately 49,200 words.
Eighty two pages of nothing but beer prices and prices on the girls in two hundred and fifteen bars in Pattaya. Sweet Jesus it makes me breathless just to say it. Beer prices and girl prices in two hundred and fifteen bars in Pattaya. Fall on your knees and touch your foreheads to the ground Stickmanites: your salvation is coming–accurate information that will save you money and eliminate stress from mongering. Who loves you baby?
List after list after list after list after page after page after page after page of nothing but beer prices and bargirl prices in two hundred and fifteen bars in Pattaya. To repeat: Who loves you baby? This monster project has been a logistical and practical and paperwork and managerial and document and recordkeeping ballbuster but my step has never slowed in servicing the needs and wants of the Stickmanite readers.
No one supports and endorses mongerism more than me. And personal sacrifice is practically my middle name. Yes sir, talking to hundreds and hundreds of promiscuous beautiful women and going into hundreds of fun houses hasn't been all cookies and cream. The toughest assignments are the bars where the Isaan wonders glom onto you and just start rubbing and moaning. But heah, I'm not looking for sympathy. It's a job and I am the man for the job. You can't fight fate and this is what I was sent to Pattaya to do. I accept my destiny.
Even as I write this a final price checking and information editing cadre of expats and alcoholics and mongers and mamasans and bar owners is working on the info that will become part of the submission. Expats and others working on the project are going into the bars wearing the official Dana stringer T-shirt that says DANA IS THE MAN on the front in English letters and DON'T MESS WITH DANA on the back in Thai script. This ensures respect and accurate information that translates into reliable reporting and ultimately a submission of Biblical size and weight and importance.
Have you ever read Deuteronomy in the Bible word for word and sentence for sentence and paragraph by paragraph? How about Leviticus? Ok, then you get a flavor for what this submission is going to be all about. Stick with me guys. Soon I will be coming down from the mountaintop with two hundred and fifteen stone tablets in my hands. Moses? Amateur. It's Dana Time boys and girls. Sound the trumpets and light the bonfires and fire the flares. I am soon going to deliver unto you the information you need to dance around the golden bargirl with the sure and certain knowledge that you are not paying too much.
No . . . wait a minute. Wait . . . a . . . minute. Hold it there . . . Stickmanites.
What was I thinking?
What in God's name have I gotten myself into?
I'm not going to follow through on this big stupid project. That would be boring.
BORING. Come on guys. Let's try to bootstrap ourselves up and hope for more and reach for more. I'd dig my eyes out with a wooden som tam spoon before I would dedicate a valuable portion of my life to tripe like that. So if you guys are only interested in the beer and broad prices in Thailand I am cool with that. But that ain't me. So cancel everything. Forget the 49,200 words on beers and broads. It ain't gonna happen. Whew, that was close. For a minute there I was almost wallowing around in the trough of mediocrity wearing a rugby T-shirt and singing ribald songs about the Queen.
Jesus, sometimes life is just a squeaker. Squeaked through that one. I'll pay off the mamasans and bar owners and mongers and alcoholics and bargirls and expat stringers and just wash my hands of the whole thing. What to do with the eighty-two page unedited manuscript? I don't know. Maybe run off a dozen copies and use them for insulation here in Boston. Winter's coming and it is getting cold in my fifth floor garret room.
So I guess my submissions are not going to change that much. Non-fiction and fiction and faction with an attraction to the weird and the wonderful and the fanciful and the bizarre other-world quality of the Thai experience. I tell ya. Sobriety can be a neat thing. Because the more sober you are in Thailand the easier it is to see that everyone around you is nuts.
Example: I once asked the woman who sells magazines in front of the NEP if she sold men's' magazines. The thought had occurred to me (I'm a thinker) that lying in the bath tub at the Nana hotel perusing a magazine of high quality paper stock pages and high resolution photos depicting the world's most beautiful women nude and doing what comes naturally would be a good use of my time.
She acted surprised and offended. Funny. She sells Thai language newspapers that parade and foment ignorant xenophobic racist predatory views about foreigners, and she sells crap watches, and she sells pirated electronic items, and she sells fruit laced with pesticides that produce birth deformities and cancer; but she is offended at my question.
"Hey, look around lady. Your customers are whores and whore's customers and you are in one of the most famous red-light districts in the world and you think I am behaving inappropriately?"
Gets spooky and disorientating and funny sometimes (that's when you start writing). So there is not going to be any listing of alcohol and women prices from me guys. Sorry.
By the way . . .
1. Did I ever tell you about my girlfriend who was hiding her cellphone in her twat and it went off while we were having a monk tying strings around our wrists? Well it happened in a faraway land a long time ago . . .
2. And did I ever tell you about the three legged soi dog in Phayakkhaphum Phisai who had a penis so long that he could use it as a fourth leg?
3. Have you heard about the ghosts in the town of Kamphaeng Phet and what they did to Nan and me one night while we were locked in a 69 embrace? Well, it was a dark and stormy night . . .
4. And have I ever told you about my visit to an Isaan snack foods factory? Millions and millions and millions and millions of crickets, and roaches, and grasshoppers, and grubs, and ants, and giant water beetles being bred and fried and held for shipment? Not a place to visit sober I tell you. Think it was all about the visuals? Wrong Chang breath. The sound and the smell was the kind of thing that would cling to you for life. Stay tuned for the Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes inside scoop on this part of the Thai food manufacturing industry that blows the lid off and names names. After this unstinting microscopic exposure of the Isaan bargirls favorite snack foods and how they make the trip from natural living to fried snack food heaps in front of the NEP I will not be able to run for Prime Minister. But I don't care. I fear nothing in my relentless search for truth and journalistic integrity,
5. Has anyone ever gone undercover in Thailand? Well, yes; I have. I used bodybuilder show tan products to darken my skin and shaved all the hair off my body and got a wig and a bikini and some Frankenstein boots and a tattoo and got hired as an Isaan bargirl at a BJ bar on Soi 6 in Pattaya. Stay tuned for the shocking behind the scenes look at the bargirl lifestyle and my own personal trials and tribulations in having to service farang after farang after farang after farang. I tell you I went through boxes of toothpicks just picking my teeth. But I am getting ahead of myself. Stay tuned.
I know what you are thinking. How could a buff ripped Adonis like myself pull this off? Well, actually it wasn't that difficult. I went to the north end of Jomtien beach and picked up some youthful gay beach bait. Then across the road to a room. After a couple of hours of camera and mirror action I was practically a female chromosome. Sometimes life is just research and mimicry and desire.
So who loves you baby? Beer prices and bargirl prices? Please . . . I'd rather write menus in a diner that just sells beans. I don't think that is what I was put on Earth for. Oh, and by-the-way; did I ever tell you the story about the . . . wait a minute–story idea coming in–gotta go.
If only my imagination was like yours!