Thai Thoughts and Anecdotes Part 338
Today's quote of the week: "Whenever Mrs. Kissel breaks wind we beat the dog." — from the movie '10'. Try and say that in Thai.
Hello Stickman fans and Dana fans and ceiling fans (I've had two scorpion bowls with Fa–we made them ourselves in her apartment):
First a quote from the Dana Quote Contest #7. Remember, the first email to identify the source gets the prize. And further remember, do not contact the Stickmeister about this. As usual it is all on me. Who loves ya baby? Dana does.
"Slow airspace responders were cannoned to the ground and then barbecue assed with flamethrower bloom just so they would not think it was an accident: "Eat dirt yet ped." Children and the elderly were encouraged to move with a Gatling gun firing wet soi dog turds. The combined zygopteras pink fuselaged firepower of 20mm cannons, and rocket launchers, and grenade launchers, and flame throwers, and anti-tank missiles, and 50 caliber door guns was impressive but nothing struck fear into the ground dwellers more than the giant bow mounted rotating cluster self-feeding reciprocating Gatling gun that could fire 900 huge wet soi dog turds per minute. Flame throwers? Scary. Anti-tank missiles? Not going to be a good day. Being harassed with 50 caliber bullets and tracers? A downer. But nothing was worse than being chased and surrounded and then targeted and brought down by wet soi dog turds. Forget face after that. You just had to move out of the neighborhood. Ever seen a soi dog smile? Dogs hiding and watching thought humans getting the Gatling gun sloppy soi dog turd treatment was the funniest thing they had ever seen. Another reason you had to move."
And now continuing with the recent Bits and Pieces theme: an Introduction followed by an essay and then a true story.
'At one time on the island of Madagascar there existed a lemur the size of a gorilla.'
Reading is not the same as gift receiving. You have to earn comprehension, and information, and pleasure. To make sense of 'At one time on the island of Madagascar there existed a lemur the size of a gorilla.' you have to know about the island of Madagascar, you have to know what a present day lemur is, and you have to know how big a gorilla is. Readers criticizing writers should ask themselves when was the last time that they used the dictionary, or a map atlas, or looked at a globe or a map or a chart. Active intelligent fun reading sometimes requires tools. Ask your average reader to list his/her reading tools. You will get a look of incomprehension.
I'm not a big fan of definition indexes because they usually seem too basic to me: as if the writer or the publisher was not really committed to the concept except as page filling fodder; but I sometimes think that a definition index for Thai-farang websites that feature Thai-farang genre writing might be helpful for new readers. For example: what is a teeruk? It can be kind of a drag for the writer to have to dumb down his story or essay by having to eliminate words like this.
"But I subdued myself, setting my heel on the throat of my own song." — Vladimir Mayakovski
Anyway, I am developing the opinion that an attached index would be helpful to everyone. Maybe this Reader's Submission part of this website should start with a Thai-farang 'words-of-interest' dictionary. Another example: what is Danaism? You get the idea.
Anyway, that is not really what I want to talk about today. Let us start with an essay and then we will finish with a story. Enjoy.
MY MOTHER DIED
My mother died two years ago. I should be over it by now. I am not over it by now because I loved her so much and now I am sad that she is gone? No. Between my twenty-fifth year and my sixtieth year I never called her once and I never wrote to her once. Ok, we were not exactly joined at the heart. She was not a perfect mother and I was not a perfect son. Still, I am left with regret. I wish I had been a perfect son.
Dad was part of the equation. From age twelve I loathed him. To visit or to call or to write to mom was to almost certainly make contact with him. That was not going to happen. I sacrificed my mom on the alter of my contempt for my father. I was not alone. My sister was the better more responsible sibling but she has informed the nursing home in Massachusetts that she is not going to fly 3000 miles from California upon his death. She told them to just throw the body in the street. Good for her. When she told me this over the phone it was our only bonding moment as brother and sister. I imagine standing on the curb taking pictures as cars and trucks run over him.
Of course life and your life should not be like this. Our personal fantasies of family should not be so filled with lack of contact, regret, contempt, and dreams of violence. We all wish for happier times and happier results and happier memories. Closure Counts is a fantasy mantra tune we all sing.
I sometimes imagine that it might be nice to be there at the end for the wonderful Thai ladies that have smiled at me. Closure and good intentions and a squeeze of the hand. Respect and well-intentioned love at the end. Me holding a hand and kissing their eyes. But, of course, for so many reasons, that probably wouldn't work either. I guess it is going to be a lonely life of failure and anger and regret. And the Thailand experience can not be depended upon to make up for previous emotional deficits. Not even the Kingdom's prostitutes want to receive a phone call, or a letter, or a visit in the hospital from me. They don't hate me, they are just indifferent. Even worse, and more evidence that you should not count on your Thai experience making up for the past. When you get off the plane Thailand is a start over and you can not reasonably expect anyone to care.
I miss my mother. I think. Maybe what I really miss is the opportunity to do our relationship correctly that I blew through youth, and stupidity, and selfishness. I'll miss every wonderful Thai lady that was nice to me. I guess that is how my life is going to end. Missing people who don't miss me. And what does the wisdom of age tell me? It is what it is. And time only moves forward. Do not expect Thailand to erase the past. God does not care about geography, only souls. Thailand or the place you came from, you will have to try very hard to be different. And while trying to be different than before you will clutch and grab at every nice moment and positive sign like a drowning man reaching and lurching and scrambling for debris in the water. Every good time and happy smile directed at you will be like fireflies of hope in your soul's night sky. Sure you are in a different place but you are still you. It's a tough gig.
Beware because it is easy to be beguiled by energy and motion. Endless hope and splashing in the water does not always mean that you are moving forward and leaving the past behind.
Listen to F. Scott Fitzgerald from The Great Gatsby: "Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgastic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that's no matter –tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther . . . And one fine morning . . . So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."
Looking at the broken poems having one too many beers in a Kingdom bar it is easy to imagine them as boats sailing forward but going backward. I used to be unkind about these human wrecks but now I wonder if I am so different and if I was correct. Maybe these men we are so quick to judge and so anxious to beat on are broken poems. Living haikus without sense or rhyme, facing forward but going backwards; prisoners of time.
Anyway, sizzling hot days and falling coconuts by night are not enough to make up for sins of omission and sins of commission in your past. You did not call your mother on her birthday? A sin of omission. You did call your mother on her birthday but you talked to her in a thoughtless manner? A sin of commission. My Fa is a mother now. I watch her daughter for future sins. Sins against a mother's love. People are all we have and love is all that counts. Even a bad daughter of a good whore will be loved more than I will be loved, but I try to make a contribution. I try to set an example. The daughter will never see me treat the mother with disrespect. Thailand is my Petri dish for self-improvement.
I don't dream of Buddha so I have no chance for reincarnation. I only have now and now and now. I do my best but life is a big equation with a lot of variables and diminishing time. Many parts and pieces. But without Siam's desperation, and Buddhism's fatalism, and Thailand's abdication of individual respect maybe I have a chance to be a better son. I wish I had been a perfect son. Sorry mom.
And now today's story titled:
ANOTHER TRUE STORY
The Sisters of the Divine Church of Purgatory of Pattaya (SDCPP) asked me and asked Fa to do a slide show presentation on the life of a prostitute on the boardwalk in Pattaya. Priests, nuns, cardinals, noviates, and . . . everyone came. There were twenty-eight sisters in attendance. A sheet for a projection screen was hung up between two palm trees. Chiang Mai Kelly handled announcements and entry hand stamps, 500 Baht Walt provided the folding metal chairs, Bang from Isaan served refreshments (chili lemonade, chili donuts, chili mints, and chili hand wipes), and Pattaya Gary handled security. Emma and her pre-op transvestite friends provided Catholic hymn singing while chairs were filling up (Nearer My Tranny To Thee, My Farang Loves Me–He Tells Me So, and Silent Night, Whoreing Night).
The Sisters of the Divine Church of Purgatory of Pattaya were hoping that the informational session would be able to give them the information they needed to lead the prostitutes away from the Devil and towards Jesus. At least that was the avowed intention and the agenda. Women who dream of sleeping with Jesus judging women who send hard earned money home to buy schoolbooks and new clothes for their children. Turning happy well adjusted ladies away from happy well adjusted foreigners and toward God. Anyway, I did the speechmaking and Fa operated the carousel slide projector.
The next morning all twenty-eight Sisters of the Divine Church of Purgatory of Pattaya showed up on the boardwalk opposite Soi 13/0. They wanted Fa to teach them how to walk, and how to talk, and how to smile at men from Tasmania and Tokyo and Boston and Christ Church and Manila. They wanted men in their lives. They wanted Fa to teach them how to stand under the palm trees and do make-up. Goodbye Jesus, hello Sven and Bruce and Pedro and Marcel and . . . a Cardinal showed up. He wanted to meet Emma and her tranny friends. No he did not think he needed to clear it with Rome first.
Fa and I doing good. Chiang Mai Kelly, Pattaya Gary, 500 Baht Walt, and Bang from Isaan: volunteers in service to a good cause. Smiles for everyone. Pattaya, paradise on Earth. Another true story.