Along The Fence
I wake alone and walk to the sliding windows and open them so I can hear the cricket sounds against the still black of early light this Ao Nang morning. I shower and my thoughts turn to the constant question that swirls in my grey matter,
the troubles as I refer to them, not the troubles of a Belfast city divided: but my troubles of what to do next with my life: go to Rizal province to reconcile with my Filipina wife?; or go to London to rejoin a Scottish lass met in this Thai
town that saw our joining one sweet morning where the red of her fur provided entrance to a desire bred of watch of her over previous days, desire driven forward once on a beach of sand, and her scent salty and perfumed, until rain cast us away;
or should I simply continue to meld to a statis, of continuing in this Thai town of delight and days that stray into the routine of another.
Routine. Something helpful when one doesn't really have anything to do. I go across the street and eat breakfast in the McDonalds. I go for a long walk along the ocean. On my return I stop at a 7 Eleven like shop and buy a beer and sit
on the plastic white chair outside it and watch the people walk by.
I get up and go to my favorite massage exotica. She expects me as I have come now every morning for the last two weeks. I shower and clean and she is the dispenser of soap. She did not smile much those first weeks but now her smile is a constant.
Her teeth are sparkling white and in her curved eyes is invite and thousands of years of evolution specialised to capture the male soul.
I dry off and lay down and where once she covered me with a small towel now she starts her hands upon my neck and back without need of it. But how of anxious and quick I need of her touch. My body is quite known to her by now and she plays
it as if playing the strings of a violin. She can make it taunt and looser and in the end it quivers and the piece ends in relax and ease. I always now take her hands and kiss the ends of each.
I go back to the hotel and lay by the pool. I feel the heat of the sun on my back and imagine the temperature in Teresa Rizal Philippines. It is much like that of Thailand. Sweat and rain and sun. And then I think of the temperature of the
city of the Thames. Rain, but cold rain.
I up and dip into the pool. Sometimes there are other Westerners about; quite a lot of Danes for some reason. Often they start speaking to me in their language thinking me their countryman. I say little back to the men and always smile to
I get out and go back to my room and drink some beer and watch CNN. The international news always is depressing. Sometimes there is news of strife of colors in Bangkok but here in this small city there is little felt of that tension.
I phone my wify in the Philippines. She asks when I am coming and I always say pretty soon. We live in the States in normal times, but these are not normal times for us. These are times of midlife crisis, if midlife for me can be defined
as early thirties. These are times when routine is safer than choice.
At the end of our conversation she always goes to tears and I start looking for ways to end the call.
It starts to get dark outside and I go out for early dinner. I have made some casual friendships and sometimes I'll see one of these mates and we'll get something to eat. The town has a few stands and some of the restaurants are
first rate. If I am alone I usually eat at the stands.
There is no Nana or Walking Street in this town but there is a street of bars and loud music, and of course, the girls. When I am with them any loneliness from the day dissipates as cool air over humidity.
When I get back to the room usually I am drunk. And it is also usually the time when I phone London. She seems happy at first voice. I am sensitive to other sounds I think I hear in the room . Are these slight sounds of male stripe? Why am
I a paranoid? Or am I?
When am I coming to be with her, she asks? Her studies are monstrous and she needs to feel me on top of her, she says. She seems to delight in speaking this way. When I come to her in London she shall take me in her mouth and make me never
want to leave her again.
After the call I am alone and not with either my wife or my lass. Sometimes I think of the massage and think of tomorrow. For now, I have to sing solo, as they say.
I open the sliding glass and sit on the small balcony and drink another beer. I have come to love the crickets of Thailand, and the sound vibrating of the other insects.
Thailand is so easy on the speed of time. Days fly by pass all speed limits. There is a choice for me. But it is so easy to wait. The surround of the beach and Asian beauties and limestone cliffs and warm rain form into avenues that circle,
for to break out is to leave the path of dreams. Stick may speak of realities beyond the time of visits, but it is still vacation for me, or perhaps, it is a retreat, a form of cowardice.
As one gets older, perhaps, one is not so eager to get up and brawl. Courage is a deficit if it leads nowhere, or to quagmire.
Am I stuck here? Are the pats who have stayed here for years stuck? What am I to do? I feel the comforts of substance and perceived decency are in going to the Philippines and reclaiming my wife and going back to the States. I feel the excitement
and youth are the choice of a flight to the old empire.
I enter sleep not thinking of either choice but of the hard and soft hands of the massage and the white smile of its applicator.
There are many of us in limbo, unsure whether to stay in Thailand or return to Farangland…