Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 292
LONELY FOR LOVE — PART FOUR
Finally, finally it has come. I have been waiting for the love knock on the life door. Waiting, and searching, and hoping, and crying. And talking. Talking to my imaginary lover at night in bed, and talking to my imaginary life companion as I walk the streets of Bangkok and as I walk the streets of Boston. Fellow Bangkokians and fellow Bostonians see my lips moving and wonder if I am crazy. No, not crazy–just lonely. Lonely for love.
All over now. The final screw has turned. My life is now complete. The circle of life has now closed–closed around my future and closed around me. I have heard the knock at the door. I have opened the door. I have said Yes to love. I have met my future and her name is Lek.
I was supposed to be getting on another train, and I was supposed to be going in a different direction to a different destination, and I was supposed to be making a trip to visit a friend when I saw her. She was getting on a different train. Alone and fashionably dressed in a yellow sundress, yellow flip-flops, yellow Hermes crocodile purse, and a yellow ribbon in her hair. Dark skin and a single off center black braid to her waist. I ran after her like a man demented. My head was clear. My chest was tight. My hands felt bloated as if air had been pumped into them. I could feel pressure in the backs of my eyes.
There was an empty seat next to her. I sat down and then forced myself to keep my stupid man mouth shut. Anything I said would give up the game. I don't know everything, but I have learned that humans have a hard time talking to goddesses without looking like jackasses. An hour later she spoke. We talked all the way to Chiang Mai: my tortured self with the guardedness of a spooked male hopelessly in love, and her with the easy confidence and British accented English of a Hi-So Thai lady.
Her father was some sort of Thai international person. She had spent the last two years in Zurich. She had friends in Hong Kong. She took ski vacations in small Italian villages. She and her sisters and her mother had dress tailors and dress manikins in Milan. And of course raw stones were purchased in Kimberly. The stones plus blueprints were then sent to Bern. The final diamond mounting was done in Israel. She said she enjoyed the trips to Jerusalem but she was a little bored with big diamonds. I nodded my head. I had also been to many of these cities. We had a lot in common. It was amazing how much we had in common.
At Chiang Mai she said she had to stay with her friends but she could meet me the next day. We met every day for the next six days. I would stand outside the Chiang Mai Inn hotel and she would magically appear coming up the basement steps of the building across the street. Ever been to Thailand? Then you know. A 10,000 watt smile.
We went to Doi Suthep. The car that took us there was a smoked glass black Mercedes Benz that the hotel activity director had summoned. I felt special. To her it was ordinary. On the mountain top first terrace we rang the bells together. Another girlfriend of mine had discouraged me from doing this. But not Lek. Lek was fun. Then one terrace higher we interviewed with a monk and he tied lucky strings around our wrists. The next day we went to a silver factory where she bought an incredibly beautiful and incredibly expensive filigree silver disco purse. We went to the umbrella factory and I bought her a diary with a mulberry bark cover. She bought silver. I bought bark. We went to the furniture factory and pretended to be picking out furniture for our house.
Did I take pictures of her? No. Did I focus on looking at her? No. Did I have coupling thoughts? No. I just wanted to be with her. I could not have spelled my own name and I did not care. Be with her. Just wanted. I just wanted to be with her. Sometimes she seemed a little familiar, and sometimes her story seemed a little familiar, and sometimes her voice sounded a little familiar; but sometimes . . . sometimes in your life it is just best to follow your heart. Your heart knows what is best for you. In the Land of Smiles sometimes it is the results that count, not the journey. Who is going to say No to love?
We rode elephants in the jungle. She pressed against me in the elephant basket when the elephant was going down a steep river bank. I blushed. She laughed. Her laughter sounded like rippling water. I had to exert every ounce of self control to not stare at her face, and to not stare at her hair, and to not stare at her soft brown shoulders. I had to imagine that there were concrete blocks hanging off of my wrists to keep my hands to myself. She seemed familiar in a mysterious way. I said that already. I felt as if I had known her all of my life. But my life was starting all over now. I had been struck by the random lightning bolt of love. Stick a fork in me, I was done. Fried. Crisp. The mystery just added to the intoxication. Sometimes the white hot crucible of love can burn off your antennae and make you blind to what is obvious. Sometimes it is a good thing. All we want is to love and to be loved. Love is everything.
On our last day together we went to a butterfly place, and we went to a monkey show, and we went to a park with a waterfall. There was a wooden walkway that lead to a viewing platform in front of the cold misty waterfall. We were alone. I put my arms around her, and I lay my face in her hair. When I began to shake and I began to moan; she paused, and then pushed me away. Too much too soon.
I was a leaf on her water.
I did what I was told.
She was my master;
I waited for permission to be bold.
Love isn't predation or lust.
It is two hearts beating as one;
Looking in the same direction,
Warmed by the same sun.
We were so close,
But time was part of the game.
I would wait for her,
And she would wait for me–
Two hearts, one flame.
Back at the Chiang Mai Inn hotel I told her that it was our last day together. I was telling her something she already knew. This daughter of an international Thai business man could talk about art, and history, and morals, and philosophy, and world geography, and current events, and relationships. We had talked about our special relationship. We had been open and honest with each other. She had established the limits and I had agreed to those limits. You can't hurry time. You can't hurry nature. You can't hurry love. The wise man knows to wait. To everything there is a season. I would be back for her and for us in five years.
I would be eighteen years old then and my sister would be twenty three. Don't despair of happiness like this for yourself. We are not so special–surely you have a brother or a sister. Please don't envy us. Anyone can have this happiness. It's just a matter of having the right priorities, setting the right goals, and being serious about the person you share your life with. Only five years to go and my sister will be my wife. Beyond reproach or criticism we will be able to soar on the wings of our love and look down at all the happy faces looking up at us.