Overheard while shopping at MBK, two young and really good-looking katoeys checking out the latest fashions, when one turns to the other and asks, "Does this dress make my penis look big?" Sorry…just wanted to make a good impression.
I am 56 years old, married happily to an Asian, for 18 years. I like Thailand, Hong Kong, and Singapore. My wife prefers Philippines, that's where she's from. Have always felt relatively safe in Bangkok, as I will never fall in love with a bargirl. I grew up in an area of South Chicago where violence, fighting, and crime (organized or not) were a natural part of growing up. After graduation, I mean the day after, I was shipped to Florida to college, I never really finished. I decided to try out for the police department in a large south-eastern Florida city. It was the time of ADAM 12, on TV, and very hard to get in…but I was hired. Looking back, I think what a Petri dish of cultures for a guy with my skills. I would learn much about narcotics, patrol, and I.D. technology. This was 1973 and there was no shortage of bad guys available. Reputations are often built on fact, and the facts were, few criminal elements (blacks, Latinos, cocaine cowboys, etc.) were dumb enough to agitate us. We weren't corrupt like the Thai "boys in brown", more akin to the new centurions dealing in uber violence. This world came at a high price as we lost four officers in two years, a cop funeral made me want to have dogs instead of kids. I've never regretted this period in time as eventually I would end up in auto sales where you fought with your wit. Lower mortality rate—bigger dollars.
In 2006, my two weeks in Bangkok, was my fifth visit. Stayed at Nana Hotel, always enjoy myself and have made many friends over the years. This year I had developed a close friendship with a gogo girl named, Kai (pronounced K-eye, like Thai), from Playskool at N.E.P. Spent a lot of baht there, barfined her several nights, other nights she began to just show up at my door. When she danced, she was the greatest sexual fantasy come to life, all cowboy boots and bikini. Though early on baht did change hands, we acted as much like friends as lovers. I didn't always act like she was a bargirl and she didn't always act like I was just a farang.
I had learned to love the skytrain and used it to go all over everyday. As you would go up the stairs to Nana station, on the right was this huge unfinished concrete parking garage / condo base, that just sat there, all weedy, like perpetually undone. I'm sure many of you remember it and how it always looked outta place, two – three stories surrounded by about an eight foot chain link fence. Among all the weeds there, early one morning I found this medium-sized grey baby wolf-looking soi dog. He was really a nice dog and as I loved dogs, he overcame his fears and we were to become fast friends. Though I had my own dogs at home he was special. Sound familiar? Slowly I would come to call him Rebel, due to his grey cat.
In my daily travels around town, I would buy chewys (rawhide) and toys, eventually he would learn to get the ball, giving it back would take awhile. I thought briefly about how much bullshit it would take to get him home? Too much I was sure. Lucky for him, he seemed to like it here, hoped maybe somebody else was looking out for him, it's nice to dream. I would have a cigarette and talk to him, his big brown eyes looked back like he understood. He seemed so smart, guess he would have to be to make it in Bangkok as a soi dog. Huh?
Now I would find my evenings filled by Kai and her compatriots, my days spent in various (MBK, Chatuchak, Chao Phraya riverboats, beer gardens, etc.) pursuits, usually including a meal or trip to Foodland and treats for Rebel. I really loved this little dog and the next day, was my last day. My final day and I really mow thru the breakfast buffet, excellent, then see Rebel briefly, then it's off to MBK. I like the Japanese restaurant attached to Tokyu Dept. store. I will find perfume for my wife, chewies for you know who and some for my home dogs, a really nice Camel shirt (I love their clothing, never seen it in U.S.), then back on the skytrain to say goodbye to Rebel. Coming down the stairs I make my dog noise for Rebel…quiet?…again…quiet. I walk down the left side to the opening where the chain link is peeled back, thru and no sign of Rebel, across the path to the base of this concrete monolith, this monument to Thai unfinished business. Still, no sign of Rebel. You know, I'm thinking, in Bangkok, this land's gotta be worth a shitload of baht. What's that, Thai male voices, coming from above, as I get to the ramp to 2nd floor I hear a dog whine. Oh God… don't let this be Rebel…as I am going up the ramp a motorcycle taxi's coming down … big guy diving, smaller, young err guy riding behind. The young guy says something that sounded like "fuck farang", I thought. As I reach the top I see Rebel curled up and cowering in the right rear corner, just then this tall, thin motorcycle asshole kicks Rebel in the shoulder. I yell as Rebel screams in pain. Fuck this, I run toward this scumbag and he turns and yells some Thai shit back. As I get closer, scumbag reaches behind him, then lunges forward and swings something across my shirt. Then I realize he has like these brass knuckles, but they have this big, short blade where you would get punched. As he swings, he pivots and leaves his leg outstretched, I bring my foot down very fast on the side of his knee. Do you know the sound of a fried chicken leg quarter, when you twist the leg and thigh apart …yeah…that's the sound, only louder because were in this big concrete thing. He screams and reaches for his knee with both hands. I'm thinking, maybe we're done, just then he yells something and lashes out at me again, just missing me. He is twisted a little again, so with both hands I push him back toward his bike, but he falls funny kinda on his chest and face. I stand there still, waiting…geez he's real quiet. I finally walk over to him and roll him over. I study him a little. Seems he tried to cushion his fall with his hand the blade was in, his weight drove the blade home, so to speak. Around the wound are blood bubbles, then none… he's history! I walk over and sit down next to Rebel. He has quietened down, but now I am blubbering…just how totally fucked am I? I hear the skytrain go by, you can't see it from here…that's a good thing. I get up, walk over and kick his bike over, leaves a lower profile, then get my bag I dropped and give Rebel one of his chewys…now what? I start to get the chills as I would expect…the sweat stings my chest along where it's cut, there's not much blood, I don't think I'm cut much. A good thing is I had my burgundy "San Diego Beach" shirt, wet already with sweat, I reach into the bag and put on the black "Good Bush – Bad Bush" shirt, now I toss a few chewys to Rebel and leave. I walk straight down Sukhumvit past Soi 4, past the gas station, to the small pharmacy…I'm gonna need some things…
I'm back in my room now, turn the AC colder, open the window a coupla inches so I can hear any sirens. Take off my stuff…yeah, I have horizontal cut under left breast and deeper under right one, not bad…probably get 2-3 stitches at home…we ain't home…yet. Take a shower, remembering not to raise right arm too much. Then I dry carefully, using toilet paper to blot up blood, then dress with anti-biotic ointment, cover with small bandage pads and tape, an ACE bandage all around twice, and I am good to go.
It is still way too light out, will pack up most of my stuff, turn on TV to Thai channel, sound down, hope I don't see any news bulletins from around the Nana station area. Don't hear anything unusual across toward Sukhumvit…that's good.
Looking down onto the parking lot, under that tree, I can see the afternoon shift has showed up on time. Was there any question? The tall one with braces is my friend, we talk often, sometimes more. She told me one day last week, today no good…"NO CUSTOMER" just like cars. Sometimes it seems like often the girls here are straight up, at least about some things.
Sitting on the bed, too much nervous energy, hungry as hell, I knew I would, same as during my cop years. Slowly it starts getting dark. Like the proverbial criminal, I can't resist, I have to go back. I stall another hour, then am back into the heat and smells that are Bangkok. I'm still fairly swift for an overweight guy who burns 2 packs a day. Cross Sukhumvit, direct to Foodland, I love to watch the women cook there, love the food…not tonight. Gather my usual banana bread, some chewys for Rebel, and there it is…a big T-bone steak. It's about 50% more here than the States. Grab a coupla Darkie toothpastes, my buds back at the Mercedes-Benz dealership will go nuts over that! Cute checkout girl snickers at my selection…I ask for an extra bag…it's ok.
Now out, head down, left at Sukhumvit, down to Nana station stairs on this side. There they are, stumble slightly going up.. I'm ok. Cross over and light cigarette, half down stairs, I make Rebel's dog noise…call out "REBEL", there he is at the fence, looking up at me, probably thinks I'm nuts…me too! Patiently wait till no one around, reach into bag, rip plastic covering and pull out T-bone. Looks in the clear, lean out and toss about six feet behind him, into the weeds. Rebel doesn't miss a thing and is on it in-a-heartbeat. Number one rule: Dogs love T-bones! Ha! Smoke another along the fence, eventually he comes over, licks my fingers thru fence. There you go boy, I talk to him but have tears filling my eyes.
Behind Rebel in the concrete structure, all is quiet. Good. Try to tell him I gotta go and to be good. I know he will as I throw the remaining chewys way behind him into the weeds. I can barely watch as he obediently runs after them. Goodbye Rebel. I can't look back until I am in front of the Landmark. I put the steak wrapper in my spare bag and stuff it down a trash bin. Briskly back to room, why still teary,…the girls in parking lot look at me funny…I probably look more like drunk to them…just what they normally see. Glide into hotel and wave to a coupla regular residents I know…can't stop…inside and lock door…chain too! Phew.
Crack window again, turn Thai channel back up. I lay back and nod off listening for any news. I am rudely awakened by a pounding at the door…fuck me…"Whose there?"…" Me Kai …you know me?' Wow, yeah, I open up and pull her inside. She kisses me and walks by, I smell booze on her but, who cares? Maybe she had a ST? I don't care…at least someone did. I am in bed when she returns from shower…want boom-boom…no, baby, maybe later. Within seconds she is out…she kinda snores…she is one cute babe. Later she wakes briefly and we make love spoon style, incredible orgasm, she seems asleep as I rise at 3AM. I get cleaned up, dress, pack all else, finish my Scotch…hey why not?
At 5:30 AM, I put 2,000 baht in Kai's little purse, grab my bags, put "Don't Disturb" sign on doorknob outside, and kiss Kai on her cheek. She looks like an angel asleep. Going down the hall I tell maid– please let friend sleep and give her 200 baht. I've never been back to Thailand since then and only reading Stickman am I vaguely connected. I really appreciate this site and all the great submissions. Hey, maybe one of you guys in Bangkok could do me a favor…next time you take the Nana skytrain, going up the stairs, look to the right for a cute little grey dog named REBEL, he can get the ball you know…he is a good boy.
One has to chuckle. I wonder if Rebel has started feasting on the body yet?