The Windmills of Her Mind
"What shall I think about tonight?" said Fon to herself.
When Fon was a young girl, and she was bored helping her mum with chores. Her mum would always say to her "Fon, when you are doing a job you don't like, think about three things. Something that makes you worry, something that makes you happy, and something that makes you angry. If you do that, the time will pass quickly and your job will be finished before you are even aware you are done."
Fon began to think.
Something that made her worry was easy. Money. Fon was always worried about money. How could she not be? Money was always needed for something. Money to send home, for rice, for electricity, for water, to pay for her dad's medicine, to fix the roof where the rain came in, to pay for milk for the baby, school fees for her younger brothers, whiskey and cigarettes, donations to the temple and gifts to the monks on holy days, repairs to the tractor, diesel for the tractor, new tires for the tractor, lottery tickets for her mum, soap, toilet paper, shampoo. When Fon started thinking about how much money was needed to keep the farm running her mind would want to explode.
Then there was money for herself. For rent, for food, for electricity and water, for female stuff, clothes, her telephone, the sky train, the ten baht she gave the beggar woman at the end of her street every day for good luck and the extra tip she would give the taxi driver who would come pick her up no matter where she was or how late it was, and see her safely home.
Something that made her happy. Well, that was easy also. Two things in fact. Her baby and his father. She worshipped her baby. She worshipped every bit of him, from his tiny toes to the shit that regularly poured out of his backside. She loved his giggling and loved his crying, and loved the way his eyes lit up when he saw her.
His father made her happy also. His easygoing smile and the way he laughed when he watched those stupid Thai game shows where people fell into water and had cream pies thrown at their faces. She loved his taut body and sinewy muscles, the hardness of him. His slim body, small but tough. She loved the way he made her laugh, and just made her feel good all over. She didn't mind that he couldn't take care of her or the baby; he had other responsibilities, she knew.
What made her angry? Well, Fon liked to think she never got angry; cultured and well mannered Thai people were not supposed to lose their tempers, but sometimes things got her a little upset. Small things, different things. One thing she was starting to get angry about was how fat everyone was becoming. Her girlfriends were becoming fat. All those doughnuts and chips and fatty foods. "We never ate like this back home, back on the farm" they would say to her. "Leave us alone and let us eat what we like." But Fon was a country girl, through and through, and she ate properly and minimally and looked as slim as she did before she had the baby.
The men she knew were fat also. They didn't grow up on farms so had no excuse, except that they had been eating that way all their lives. Didn't anyone have any respect for their bodies anymore? thought Fon. Smoking, drinking, eating too much…how hard could it be to follow a proper routine? The more Fon thought about it, the angrier she became.
The body was like a temple, she had been taught by the female monks in her village. If you put bad things in then bad things will come out. Fon believed that, as she believed in ghosts and spirits on her land. She had never smoked, nor tattooed herself, and when she had tried alcohol one time she vowed never to drink it again. Why eat such fatty foods and get a belly like you were 4 months pregnant? Many of her girlfriends and the men she knew were like that. Respect your body and it will serve you well, Fon thought. Treat your body badly and no good would come of it.
Suddenly, the man on top of her began to grunt. Fon knew he was almost finished so she stopped thinking and encouraged him on. When he had finished shuddering he lay on top of her for the longest time until she said "How much do you weigh?"
"85 kilos" was the response.
"I weigh 47" said Fon. "You can get off me now."