Readers' Submissions

Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 140

  • Written by Dana
  • July 22nd, 2006
  • 8 min read


Show me a burrow
and a laptop
and an idea
and I'll show you happiness."–Gopher Charlie

PROLOGUIUS WRITER'S BLOCKIUM

A blank sheet of paper
Isn't so bad.
It's the blank blank mind
That frightens a lad.

Where once there was tumult–
Murmur and shout;
Now it's quiet days
And nights of doubt.

Is it all over?
The writing spree . . .
Is this the end
Of this part of me?

Time for tricks–
Cure for the lame.
Book the tickets–
Get on the plane.

I'm Thailand bound–
No more writer's block.
A land of experiences
Novelty and shock.

Blank sheets of paper
Will fill up quick.
Better yet my mind
Only has to listen to my dick.

It's a writer's heaven–
Siam it is.
A daily adventure–
And no women named Ms.

So it's time to board
With laptop and cxxk.
A human gopher Charlie–
And no more writer's block.

I WANT TO GET HOOKED UP

End of the week and home from work–dead dog tired and bone weary–ideations of suicide permeated with crushing self pity–had to stop twice climbing the hill from Park Street station to the State House due to shortness of breath–so so so much want to write. So so so (another stop for a heart attack stab at breathing) want to write. Some people have dreams of flying to escape the dross and pain of life. My dreams are more subterranean and terrestrial. I dream of finding a human sized gopher hole that I can hide in. Safe and warm and dedicated to hiding from the world and living through the keyboard. On the property line at the back of the parking lot behind my building there are gopher burrows and if you are quiet and still you can sometimes see gophers catching some rays. With one foot on the edge of the hole and their faces tilted to the sun they are living simple lives of simple pleasures and simple needs.

I sometimes wonder if they have little computers in their burrows they write on, and if they have little passports, and if they make trips to Thailand on AGA (All Gopher Airlines) for winter break and writing inspiration. Writing is my drug and I want to get hooked up. Love to get an idea and drop into the zone. But nothing is coming. Blank. Cruising the trip reports on Pattaya Talk, and reviewing emails to me from Thailand, and spreading out the reference works and books and magazines, and strapping a mulberry bark umbrella to the back of the chair, and putting on my Thailand ceremonial music CD, and putting on my beach pants and jewelry, and sitting at the keyboard wearing flip flops and sunblock and a half torso razor cut T-shirt, and throwing old Pattaya Mail newspapers all over the floor, and rummaging through the maps and old photos . . . Nothing.

All written out I guess. Blank. Done in. Probably time to email Stick and tell him the well has run dry and the pinwheeling literary asteroid is passing forever from the Stickmanbangkok.com sky. No surer sign silhouettes than the blank writer. The writer deep in the zone has the gaunt face of missed meals and internal compulsion, and the writer with nothing to write also has a gaunt face but it is the face of fear. The falling climber who looks down and sees the end of the line rising to meet him. Time to get back on the plane. Time to go back to the Kingdom.

Thailand here I come. Please don't disappointment me. I'm a bone weary blank writer looking for more material. Here I come Thailand. Don't disappointment me. Here I come Thailand. I need you. I need you for muse, and I need you for psychic sustenance, and I need you for laughs and ego and novelty and more water in the story well. You're my literary wet nurse LOS and baby is coming home.

And don't tease me. Let it happen quick. In three days max I'd like to be knee to knee in the booth on the right with Mehkong Kurt at the Texas Lone Star bar. Him pounding out his column–sipping a beer–talking to regulars; and me banging out another couple of submissions for Stickman. Knee to knee, laptop to laptop; pounding out brainwaves and trying to punch a hole in the indifferent wall of the universe–a happy human gopher in a Texas Lone Star bar burrow. If I can roll into the bar at two in the afternoon with about 8000 words in me than around eight at night I should be able to stagger out with four new submissions done. Done and done, edited and titled and finished.

A final Lao beer in a frosted glass, a final wink at Poom and Run and Oh; and then I shamble and stumble to the door. Too tired for whores, and too tired for smiles at the Nana car park; but not too tired for one final Bloody Mary at the Mothership bar before heading up to my room and collapsing into a writer coma. Ah Thailand. Ah writing. Ah me. A serendipitous alliance. A drug. A happy zone of reflection and creativity and fun times. I'm coming to visit Thailand. Tell the woman at the front desk at the Nana hotel with all of the silver jewelry on her arms that I'll be checking in around 1:30 am.

Next morning I'll be staggering around in a time zone induced coma of travel shock and sleep deprived weariness. But like an insect of many antennas I'll be notating all of the incoming impressions. Like an empty sponge filling up with water my writer's mind will be filling up with ideas and then all of a sudden I will know that it is time. Time to drop whatever I was doing, or whoever I was doing; and hustle back to the Mothership and pick up my laptop and run to the skytrain. Skipping and race walking and running down the sidewalk in a writer's compulsion to eliminate time and distance as quickly as possible and get to that place called writing.

Gone is the pain of bits of glass in my knees (should have had surgery ten years ago), bladder pain, cataract gauze vision, kidney stabs (all I had was some water for freakin' sake), mysterious elbow arthritis, hemorrhoid searing, and esophageal burning (goddamned Thais snuck in another chili). In the happy zone of the addicted you feel no corporeal pain. Mind over matter releasing pleasure endorphins into your blood stream that circulate from your toes to your brain. Gone is the self pity and the self doubt and the fear of the future. Racing around the corner of Soi 4 and Sukhumvit and then up to the Nana skytrain station I am a gopher hole seeking missile.

Destination: Texas Lone Star bar in Washington Square. A dumpy bar in a dumpy part of the urban hell known as Bangkok but a nice place to hide and write. Try the door and it seems locked. Cup your hands around your eyes and look through the windows and you can't see anything. But don't despair. The door is not locked just stuck. And the bar is not closed just dark. An Asian gopher hole deep in the heart of the LOS monster. It's time to start writing. I can feel the pressure behind the dam in my head, and see the cracks in the dam face, and see the water overspilling the top, and I know that I need to be in position when it all blows and the words start flashing out of the ends of my fingers like channeled lightning from my brain. It's a race against time and against myself and against things outside of myself. I need to be in place and cranked up and ready to be bangin' the keys before the dam of ideas and words bursts.

Then it is like hanging on to a wildly careening and galloping horse. The words and ideas and sentences and images and stories take over and it is my job to be up to the challenge as thousands of words and tens of thousands of word choices start spilling out like bees from an overturned hive. At the best of times it is a sober helmsman steering a straight course, and at the worst of times it is like herding cats; but it is always compelling and God I hope it goes on for hours. Hours and hours and hours of writing. Sometimes a word with a local, and sometimes a bargirl sitting by my side, and sometimes a comment with Kurt about something; but always in a zone in a bar in Thailand. No happier people than the addicted. No sweeter pleasure than the addiction. No calmer more centered place than the internal place that mumblers and droolers and the facial tic people go to. Happy gophers in their own personal gopher holes. Separated out from the dross and foolishness of life and

living and people. Writing. No greater happiness. I'm coming Thailand.

Tell the Immigration people at Don Muang airport that I am not going to respond as Business or Tourist when asked my purpose in Thailand. The answer will be Writer. Experiential sponge, human gopher, and teller of tales. I'll be standing in line with no luggage. Just a passport and a laptop and the slightly loopy look of the lost who has been found. I'm coming Thailand. I'm coming home to write. Sweet Jesus I'm happy.

Stickman's thoughts:

Writer, what else could Dana be?