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Thai Thoughts And Anecdotes Part 142

  • Written by Dana
  • August 5th, 2006
  • 9 min read


Smooth doe-eyed young Moroccan men and skinny-armed western men. The needy and the hopeful anyway you shuffle the human deck. Hot sand, filthy buildings, soft brown eyes masking primal needs, flies on the food, blistering Tangiers sun, and bartenders who have to be trained to put the glasses in the fridge before pouring the drink. Lovers so smooth, and ceiling fan blades so slow; and everyone smiling. If it is all so wrong why all the smiles? If everyone is smiling shouldn't God be smiling too?

Different points of view and every beating heart a prisoner of it's own individuality. Far far from home blocked emotional neuron switches open up. Like clam shells opening in answer to tidal signals; young dark desert sons and white western newspaper readers slip into each other as the river and the ocean mingle at the shore. It's so so hot and every thing is so so slow . . . and . . . "What is that?" — ah, someone is at the door.

My lover's armpits taste of aluminum. He is still using deodorant. He is trying to please me by being modern. Excesses of youth and inexperience. What will be next–a studded dog collar? I will have to be patient and wait for him to catch up. To realize that I want him uncorrupted by the West. My living desert son Pieta lover limp and trusting in my arms. Lovers so smooth and slow; sunburn turning to tan as the season progresses and everyone smiling. If it is all so wrong then why all the smiles? If everyone is smiling shouldn't God be smiling too?

Prologue:

There's no deeper well than William Burroughs and no more frightening mirror to look into. All the other great writers minced around the literary wellheads like ballet fairies. They played with the buckets, and they played with the ropes, and they danced, and they looked down the dark tube of commitment, and they sang, and they fidgeted, and they called it philosophy or channeling or the words of God or great writing. Burroughs threw the bucket down the well and then jumped in after it. Racing the bucket to the bottom with his nails leaving trails in the stone he knew that the only way out was up and there were absolutely no rules. He was all alone. If people had the patience and the stamina and the intelligence he may be all you have to read. All you have to know. But what a frightening thing are the two 'm' words–morbidity and mortality. His face and his voice and his gait marked him.

"When the journalist Duncan Fallowell met him 14 years ago, he wrote that (his) 'gait is a combination of shuffle and hop'. Now the hop's all gone, only the shuffle remains."
(Peter Popham)

Same-same me Kuhn Dana–the hop's all gone. I'm doing the 'has been' boogie and the 'broken dreams' polka now. Skinny arms turned to bronze and slow moving ceiling fans replaced by window ledge air-con units but little else to show for the long sojourn on the flying rock. Still ambulatory and verbal but looking more and more like an expat who is–

Baying At The Moon:

"Oh God please help me. Isn't there someone who can care for me? Love me? Want me? Why am I so alone? What have I done to deserve this? Oh God please help me . . . !"

Every dark cloud has a silver lining. The fact that I can not speak Thai and will never speak Thai turns out to be a benefit. All I am left with is my own language. A language incomprehensible to the surrounding Thais. So the emotional pain that erupts from my body like a wolf baying at the moon in expostulations of pity and rage and hopelessness and confusion and anger and despair is less noticed because the other humans around me have no idea what I am saying. In my own country personal public forum emoting would look like dangerous self-immolation and I would end up in a psychiatric ward. Condemned to an exact same psychic life only with diminished geography.

So local lingua franca incompetence and geographic displacement turn out to be just what I need. As my life of failure spirals downward and I bottom out in a well of despair I can still be human and act out and emote. Because no one around me has any idea what I am saying I could be quoting from Sir Issac Newton's Philosophiae Naturalis Principa Mathematica for all the Thais know. And their indifference to me as a foreigner also gives me the insulation I need as every one of my emotional neurons and needs fray to a breaking point.

So if you do speak English and you hear me rambling and dissembling and groaning and crying in a literate way in a language you understand; take no heed. I'm not crazy, just verbal; and I need higher powers of attention than you can give me. In a way I'm free. I've got nothing left to lose except my sanity and if I lose that I won't notice. Wandering the halls of MBK surrounded by office girls with fake designer purses they imagine levitate them out of the Third World, or sitting in the park down the street from the Emporium talking to the ducks, or using the barmaids cold towel to wipe the phlegm from the corners of my mouth it is all the same. I am alone. And I know am alone. That is why I am lonely. And finally with age and wisdom and a lifetime of evidence is the conclusion that I am an emotional math problem without solution.

The things I say when I talk out loud in public are not evidence of loss of intelligence or loss of sanity or loss of sense of self but evidence of intelligence and evidence of sanity and evidence of sense of self. I'm baying at the moon just like wolves on cold arctic nights. Sending out a cry for help and a cry for love and a cry for species connection as old as mammalian time. Intelligent life on faraway planets may hear my lament and decide not to come here.

Andromeda Galaxy Tribunal Quarterly Report — "Many of these Earthlings seem to have life without hope and a heart without love. We'll visit other strange life forms on another world in another galaxy and perhaps another dimension. We've recorded more dignity and hope in interstellar bacteria. Earth must offer little if lower developed and higher developed mammals are both baying at the moon."

Luckily the Thais can't understand me so they don't hear me. I'm a human barking soi dog; invisible and untouched by the kindly solicitations or unkindly remonstrances of people not like me. Far far from home blocked neuron switches open up. Like an open clam shell I can send or receive love or despair on the shifting hopes and dreams of my tidal pool.

I guess God never wanted to smile on me. Ok, I'm still head to the sun taking in photons and paying attention to the process. The ceiling geckos blink and the window ledge air-con units hum. In the early morning I can see the silent panorama of the Pattaya parasails being pulled offshore. Mocking me with their youth and their mindless investment in triviality–pleasure exchanged against the future. Thailand is a blessing. A refuge. A womb. A deep psychic well that has the marks of my fingernails etched in the sides of experiential stone. Did I jump or did I fall down the well of Siam? Can't remember.

No matter. Thailand is a blessing. A refuge. A womb. A good place to die.

Life Is A Dream:

Life is a dream, they say, that you wake from when you die. Now on the final shambling glide path of the final death spiral I can see what I could not see before. Like a gecko on a cosmic ceiling I have a different point of view. Like the omniscient narrator of my own life or the dying patient who reports later looking down on himself in surgery during the transformation from life to death Thailand was just a preface for what is to come. The cultural of smoke and mirrors, and the incomprehensible language tonals, and the shifting sands of Face, and the Yes's that could mean No and the No's that could mean Yes, and the smiles without love were just the earthly expat preparation for the waking time to come. Thailand was just a dream. What the Buddhists know and the Thais react to instinctively; the expats have to learn one by one.

It is all a dream. A slippery Siamese stew of no consequence until your carbon based life form starts the trip from dreaming time to waking time. Makes you wonder about some of the Pattaya balcony jumpers. Maybe it wasn't drugs or depression or teeruks that triggered their step into the future. That's all dream stuff. Thailand stuff. Maybe they were jumping towards something. Like fish in a tank they had seen the other side and just wanted to accelerate the timeline forward. Personal prophets who had seen that their life of fish bowl blue colored sand, and glittering gold coined treasure chests, and bubbling deep sea divers, and imitation shipwrecks, and plastic purple sea fronds, and neon lit Go-Go bars, and empty flashing smiles, and the shouted "Pai nai hansum man?" was all a dream. Real life was on the other side of the glass. Where's the balcony? Leaving the dream and plunging into reality. Time travelers. Hey, maybe the Pattaya police were right all along. They were suicides. But not enders of life. Beginners of life. Life on the other side. Enders of the dream. Thailand. Just a dream.

Life is a dream, they say, that you wake from when you die. None of it ever counted. You can't touch Thailand, and you can't hold it in your hand, and you certainly can not explain it to any sane Western person. No matter. For the right souls at the right time and for the right reasons Thailand is a blessing. A refuge. A womb.

A good place to die.

Stickman's thoughts:

The long week with no comments continues….believe me, it has been a killer week!