On The Sky Train
Ah, there’s Arthur…wandering along Sukhumvit. What is he thinking about today, we wonder? All the usual things most likely. Death, tits, lunch, his own unimportance, blowjobs?
Passing Chuwit Park, he stops to watch a bulldozer being driven up and down by a couple of bargirls. Landscapers, thinks Arthur. Making a bloody mess of it too they are. Or maybe it’s just happening in Arthur’s imagination. Hard to tell sometimes.
He arrives at the Nana BTS station. Today Arthur has decided to go for a ride on the skytrain. It’s one of his favorite things to do. He finds riding across Bangkok 50 feet above the ground very relaxing. It’s nice to get above the traffic-choked streets and glide in air-conditioned comfort through the concrete and glass. Comforting glimpses into roof gardens let him forget about the precarious state of the world. The trick is to avoid the peak travel times and find a good seat. Today he is lucky. Some giggling kids give up a seat for him. Nice too to get a bit of respect thinks Arthur as he parks himself between two rather embarrassed looking office ladies.
Arthur sits back to enjoy the ride. As the train hums along he hums quietly to himself. You can hum along with him if you like. He won’t mind. Today the song is called ‘On the Sky Train’. It goes like this…on the Sky Train, on the Sky Train. It doesn’t have very many words. The tune is similar to ‘In the Navy’ by the Village People.
Arthur loves letting his thoughts wander where they will. Hither and yon. Today his mind is a hive buzzing with ideas. Very few of them will ever get realized but that doesn’t matter. It’s the thoughts that count. Arthur is a dreamer, gazing through the window of the classroom of life, watching shapes in clouds, always wondering what it would be like to be somewhere else.
Lately he’s been getting into conversations. Mostly with himself. He talks to himself about Life, it’s origin and ultimate destination. Sometimes he totally forgets where he’s supposed to be going and ends up at Mo Chit or On-Nut. It’s not a problem. When it happens he just crosses the tracks and tries again.
Is Arthur insane? It’s hard to say for sure. He can function quite well on a day-to-day basis but he’s definitely burned his bridges. There’s no going back for Arthur. He actually tried it once but it didn’t work. Once, after a very bad week or two, he decided he’d finally had enough of Thailand and Thais. He got on a plane back to England. But England was awful, wet, gray, boring, full of yobs and Arabs. Much like Pattaya but without the sunshine. After a few days of hanging aimlessly around his sister’s house in Surbiton watching incomprehensible TV programs he’d started yearning for Thailand with all its madness and its noodles. He had missed the uneven streets and crowded markets, missed being able to just sit somewhere getting quietly stunned on Chang watching life go by. He had even missed the traffic and the smell of drains.
Thailand suits Arthur perfectly. As long as he has the money side of things under control he is free to wander and dream. The Thais, with the possible exception of Duan (who is different) exist as a constantly changing backdrop. A cast of extras who help him move from one place to another, prepare his food and provide an endless source of free, and not free, entertainment.
He gives them money. They provide services and ideas. They can be irritating of course, extremely irritating, but Arthur has got used to their mischievous ways. He doesn’t make judgments anymore and he doesn’t let them get under his skin except of course for Duan who has captured his crusty old heart (she is definitely different).
Thailand has certainly changed in the last ten years or so, thinks Arthur. Especially with modern wonders like the Sky Train. Young Thais had adapted to it all very well. Old Thais still weren’t sure. Ghosts had more or less given up. They didn’t like the BTS very much. His own mother’s ghost had stopped using it after she’d got caught in the sliding doors a few times. She just wasn’t quick enough. That’s another reason Arthur likes it.
The view from the Skytrain, it must be said, is sometimes spectacular and there is always a rich selection of Thai girls to ogle discretely. None of the girls he sees have quite Duan’s mystique of course. (Duan is exceptional).
But Arthur studies them anyway. And naturally he can’t help making comparisons. Do they have hair like Duan’s, silky, soft and sensual? What about their legs? Are they as finely shaped as Duan’s? What would these girls be like naked? Those tits over there for instance, are they as nicely rounded as Duan’s, with just the right amount of perky nipple? That little bum that just walked past, would it be simultaneously soft and firm like Duan’s? And can any of these girls match Duan in character? Would they have Duan’s mystery, her sudden mood changes, would they be cool and distant one minute, savage sexual predators the next?
Arthur doesn’t just look at the girls on the Skytrain of course. He also likes to study his fellow passengers. Especially the cross-cultural couples. This pair by the door for instance. A handsome young farang, possibly a teacher, and his girlfriend…she could be a student. She keeps caressing and fondling him in a very unThai fashion. Such a public display of attention would be over the top even in the liberated West and the young farang seems quite uncomfortable with it. That relationship won’t last, thinks Arthur. But will she figure out where she went wrong? Does she think she’s being ‘cool’ and liberated by rubbing herself against him in public? Silly girl. The farang boyfriend can get plenty of that nonsense at home. (Narrator’s note: Wrong again Arthur. He enjoys it.)
Ah, time to get off. The sexy recorded voice has announced the imminent arrival at Satanee Siam and Arthur is ready for a change. He gets up and moves towards the door, which slides obligingly open. Then he notices something unusual. The Thais are parting in front of him, much more easily than they normally do. Girls are putting their hands up to their faces. They seem shocked or amused by something.
From Bangkok Post…15th Feb. 2006
Naked Foreigner Rides Sky Train
Yesterday police were called to Siam Skytrain Station where Arthur Worthington, 67, from Surbiton, England was found naked and gesticulating wildly in front of a crowd of bemused fellow BTS travelers. When questioned Mr. Worthington said he had no recollection of ever getting on the Skytrain at all. He apologized profusely for any inconvenience or embarrassment that he may have caused. The police did not press charges.
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