Stickman Readers' Submissions July 20th, 2011

My Red Obsession

Memory can be a moving force along the tracks of the brain that builds desire. The Aberdeen Express is fire in my thoughts. She moves in me regardless of the moral road. I thought she had left the pleasure palace, but now the form of her small but firm and silky colored moons ablaze. The first feel of the slide into her one early Ao Nang morning, awhile ago, comes present in memory.

I am being driven from the province in Rizal in the Philippines to the airport in Manila. I have left the small city of my Filipina wife to fly back to Sussex in England to pick up and sell a painting of mine kept at my mother's place.

He Clinic Bangkok

My wife has been in full "tampo" mode. She has not forgiven me the Ao Nang interlude with the Aberdeen Express. She refuses to see me. I intend, after I attain money on my trip, to come back to the Philippines and build her a terrace on the second floor of her family home. Money can not buy everything, but it can often buy forgiveness.

Aberdeen had left my thoughts. Indeed, when I heard from my mother in Hove, England, that Aberdeen had shown up to say hello to the mother of a friend (me), I had thought it somewhat creepy. The fact that she had made a friend of my mother added to the negative.

But, … but, … somehow her equation in my reflecting neurons has changed. Perhaps the absence of sex while being in the Philippines has drawn desire in the direction of red tufts where once I touched. Perhaps my mother's phone calls speaking of her has brought a change. I did not know, until my mother told me, for instance, that I was only Abderdeen's second lover. When I had first met her in a cooling pool in our mutual hotel, the Somkiet Buri in Ao Nang, I had not considered her experience. When my eyes lowered on the red bright small curls displayed around the cotton v spread between her legs, just under the water line, my thoughts turned to wanting of other things than biography.

CBD bangkok

I am in the back of a car with some of my wife's relatives as we drive to the airport. It is late afternoon and the streets are congested. Outskirts of Manila are ugly, as the colors are not Bangkok bright, but more sullen and dispirted. One might come to this country for women, or cheap living, but the compromises are more than in the Land of Smiles.

At the airport, which is old, where many soldiers with their guns move about, I go thru the doors after inspection by security, and enter the more uniform world of transportation center. The humid heat of outside lifts as the air conditioning kicks in. Later, while waiting to board a Philippines Airline flight to Heathrow, I scan the waiting people around me. As the flight is called I am again reminded of how most crowd to enter the plane as fast as possible, to then wait in their seats. A few of us delay until the last moment. When I finally come on the plane I sit next to a couple – young Filipina, older British male, much older. During the flight I talk a lot with him while his wife sits quietly. There seems little interaction between them. They have been married several years and perhaps the lack of commonalities have taken their toll. Attraction wears thinner in most cases where once touch supplied the most necessary power.

I should be thinking, as we whirl above clouds, of practical things. Of maybe moral things; but memory can be a living creature, and I think of her, of the way her hips move smoothly as she walks next to me on that Ao Nang beach, as our hands hold as the rain starts, and thru the liquid slight splashing on her slight clothes, I notice the outline of her nipples, and I feel the urge to bend my mouth to their place and take them in. Later, at a different location, I would have my sweet catch, each pink colour sway next to my tongue, its rubbery tips at play, wet and moving around.

The plane lands and the gigantic fly kingdom of Heathrow is outside the window. It is around noon. I always feel the sense of returning to home though I am American now. I am always ambivalent about England, where I was born. Somehow, always missing it, yet always feeling confined by it.

wonderland clinic

After the usuals I take the train just outside its terminals to Victoria station. I am then to wait for the first train to Brighton and then walk over to Hove, where my mother is. The memory of Aberdeen lives but she must be past, I know. This is the real world, right? I had my fling, so to speak, and now I must rejoin the real world, of wife, and responsibility, and realise growing up is leaving memories safely entrenched within. To another time. Haven't you learned that compromise is mostly easier than pursuing pleasures? Isn't that what everybody is always telling us?

Aberdeen is around ten years younger than I. She has just entered med school in London and who am I to enter her life? Yes, she has expressed her desire to be with me, by seeking out my mother to somehow connect with me. But as my thoughts of her rest perhaps on threads outside the realities we all face, aren't her thoughts of me surely along the same thin holdings? How many times have we read on Stick of those who jumped on the sex machine only to find breakdown later? No, I must keep the Aberdeen Express to my dreams, and keep my feet on the damn Victoria Station grounds. Next train to Brighton.

Still, I have some time until the next train, so I leave the station for a pub outside, and a quick pint.

I find a place quickly and enter the drinking world. The first sip is liquid gold. I hear English surround sound and it is soothing. It feels safe. But I have a train to catch. Outside I cross the street to the station. I must pass a row of black taxis to get inside.

I approach one, open the door.

I get in.

I give an address in East Finchley.

What am I doing?

The streets I pass are not real. I tell myself this.

I get out at the address given. It is a typical row house. I knock on the door. A young lady with long brown hair in jeans and white blouse and black boots answers the door.

"Hi," I start. "My name is Peter. Is _____ at home?"

"No I'm afraid," she answers. "She's not home yet."

I look sad to her, I'm sure.

"But," she says. "I know who you are. Would you like to come in? You can wait in her room."

I come in, and she leads me upstairs, and opens one door and tells me ______ shouldn't be very long, and just to make myself comfortable.

It is a student's room, with books everywhere and rather Spartan furnishing. The bed, however, is rather large, and with a down comforter, and pink pillows. I am actually very, very tired, so I lie on the bed, and fall asleep.

I awaken smelling a perfume. This is my first sense. My eyes are still unopened. I feel a small rush of air on my lips and then I feel other lips upon mine and my eyes open to see her eyes upon mine and the bright shine of her red long hair of her head and the world is only of the now and the world is only of her wonderful touch upon me.

She says: "Lawrence, home from the desert."

It has been a drought, and now it is thirst quenched.

Are not our wonders of moments, and now wonder has left inner space, and come into our joined air.

The end

Stickman's thoughts:

And you never did return to the Philppines?

nana plaza