Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 183
If you have through calculation and sheer dumb luck managed to outlive youth and middle age–inevitably some jackass will cross your social interface path and make some idiot remark about how 'getting old' is a good thing, or about how there
are good things about getting old. Most of the time this pinhead philosopher is someone who is not old. Sometimes it will, against all that is logical, actually be an older person. In all cases a world run properly would allow you to shoot these
Think there is something good about getting old do you? Ok, you do it. Not me. No, wait a minute–that train already left the station–I am no longer young and no longer middle aged. The train station of exciting new beginnings and bright opportunities is behind me, and the station on the rail line up ahead is not even showing a light. No reason for a light because it is 'lights out' when you pull in. So I'm kinda down on this whole 'old-is-good' thing. And I have not adjusted to it either. Screw that. I am full of slashing bitter anger and I consider that the emotional state of the stable and the alert. This notion that angry people are clinically ill is the academic flaming shit pile of the brain challenged. You're old and you're not pissed? It's MRI time for you buddy because you have completely lost your bearings. Not me. I've got my bearing just fine thank-you very much, and I know what I have lost, and I am damned angry about it. Still . . .
I'm leaving the Kingdom in a few days so I come up from Pattaya a couple of days early. I'm a punctuality freak with zero belief in good luck or the future so I always hedge my bets. I am not going to miss the plane back to the States. What to do? Oh, forget that . . . we all know what I did. I went across from the Mothership to the NEP and pushed myself into the ground floor Rainbow bar. On principle (too fxxxing expensive) I am not going to engage the services of any of these entertainment providers but for a cover charge coke I get to look. And Sweet Jesus On A Cracker (SJOAC) there is lots to look at. Beautiful women and lots of them. Of course I can remember the good old days when they would have been naked; but still the show of women is noteworthy. A nice way to spend some time and then I'll go back to the Nana and take a long hot bath . . . and then I spot her.
Bang. Bang was the best friend of a woman I almost asked to marry me two years ago. I buzzed like a lovesick bee around this Essan flower for two years and Bang witnessed it all from the sidelines. Then she saved me. Stopped me in front of the Nana Hotel one hot humid afternoon and told me what my Noi was doing behind my back. Saved me from being another farang log thrown on the Essan pussy pyre. I ask Bang what the barfine is and we leave.
Bang is beautiful and in the business of being an entertainment provider. I am not in the Rainbow bar in the Nana Entertainment Plaza in Bangkok, Thailand to take a survey on men's socks. Walking out of the plaza with Bang on my arm and headed for the hotel across the street Bang assumes we are going to have sex. It is not even on my mind. If I was young it would be the only thing I would be thinking of. If I was middle aged I would be thinking of nothing else. But I am not young or middle aged anymore. Up the carpark, and into the lovely air-conditioned lobby, and I hang a left into the restaurant. I want to have dinner with Bang.
She recovers from the shock of being treated with more dignity then she anticipated and smiles the smile of the relieved. Then she starts to talk about Noi. She assumes I have barfined her so that I can get caught up on the woman I almost asked to marry me. But that is not what I want. I just want to have dinner with Bang. I know her and I trust her and she saved me from a heartless horrible past, and demeaning future of self pity and anger. I just want to touch the past with her. I want her to be a touchstone for me to my past.
So that is what we did. We had a leisurely unhurried dinner and talked of little or nothing or . . . I don't know what we talked about. After dinner I walked her over to the Ball-in-Hand and we spent an hour playing pool. I have zero pool playing skills but I like the ambiance of the Ball-in-Hand. Anyway, she probably still thought I wanted to have sex with her. I didn't. I just wanted to touch my past. I was happy to be doing it. It temporarily shut out other things I could have been doing on my last night in Bangkok but that was a good thing, and I was happy to be moving around the pool table with Bang. Outside I said goodbye and paid her off at the Raja car park gate. She thanked me and said she could now go home to her daughter. Both of us knew we would never see each other again.
So maybe there is some small pin prick of good about growing old. You can sometimes get pleasure from finding a touchstone to your past like Bang. You can participate in ego and reconnect with yourself. You can remember your value by reliving something that only has to do with you. Maybe there is something of value about getting old . . . naw, what am I–nuts? It's an hour to closing time downstairs at the Angels Disco–I think I'll drop on down and see if any new talent just got off the bus.
I used to enjoy touching my past, as you put it, but these days I prefer to move ahead. I don't think reminiscing too often is a good thing. I really think it is healthier to look forward. When we get to the stage that the past is more exciting than the future, it is time to curl up and die.