The old man wasn’t much to look at. Sure he didn’t look his age. He appeared to be in his late fifties though I’d guess he was definitely a decade older than that. No head-turner, that’s for sure. Not with those world-weary blue eyes, saggy jowls, wrinkled pate, and surplus tonnage–all centered in the gut.
Still he wasn’t like most fatuous farangs. He wasn’t the type to meander down Sukumvit feckless and flatfooted in razor-thin flip-flops. Nor did he sport a Day-Glo shirt or soldier-of-fortune Bermuda shorts. Nor did he flaunt a Coppertone carcass from multiple trips to Hua Hin and Pattaya. Nor did he stumble blindly behind the tight tail of a Thai babe thirty years his junior as she snaked her way through the mad maze of interminable vendors, street urchins, and beggars. Nor did he frequent Pat Pong and Soi Cowboy bars and eateries wherein foreign freaks would congregate en masse juiced to the gills on little blue pills.
No, that was not his style. And that’s precisely what drew me to him. I was living at the time in a cheap but comfortable apartment on Ratchadapisek Soi 36, one of Bangkok’s more vibrant lanes, long on college students, noodle vendors, and small shop owners and short on anachronistic world travelers, wasted Vietnam vets, and sex addicts of all stripes. That I fell into the last category should come as no surprise. I’d become enamored with Thai women years back during my salad days with the CIA.
Across the street from my apartment stood a nondescript store. One afternoon curiosity got the better of me. Admittedly I went inside with low expectations. To my astonishment, the place opened up like a genial old whore. At first I could see only the household goods on the right and the frozen food to the rear. Then to the left, I saw them: rack upon rack of DVDs, thousands upon thousands of them. The old man was squatting down in the dim light rifling through the titles.
“Looking for anything special?” I asked.
The old man looked up and smiled.
“Not really,” he said. “I’ve already bought all the Stanley Kubrick flicks they have. Now I’m looking for anything with Angelina Jolie, Kate Winslet, or Scarlett Johansson. How about you?”
“Not interested,” I said. “I’m here for only a month. Back in California I subscribe to Netflix. How about you?”
“I live here,” he said.
“Yes, forty years ago I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bangkok. Last year my wife died so I decided to come back. My daughters aren’t too pleased but they have their lives and I have mine.”
“Daughters don’t take to Pappy shagging Thai poon, eh?”
The old man looked embarrassed.
“I’m sorry,” I said. “I didn’t mean anything untoward.”
“Oh, that’s okay,” he said regaining his composure. “I had a heart attack seven years back. A piece of arterial plaque got stuck in my widow-maker. I’d roll the dice and pop Viagra but why chance it? Anyway, I have my memories.”
That last remark caught me off guard. What did it mean? Once a man gets his rocks off, he gets his rocks off. Talk about pure Euclidian logic. What does the past have to do with fucking? Being a futurist I never relive the past, especially past pussy. My eyes are glued forever on the future, on my next conquest, on my next piece of tail.
“Hey,” I said changing the subject. “Let’s take a break. There’s a little coffee shop across the way. Come on. It’s my treat.”
“I’ll take you up on that,” the old man said. “This place isn’t going anywhere. Indeed it doesn’t close till midnight. Oh, by the way, my name is Fred Ficken. What’s yours?”
“Rob,” I said. “Rob Remmer.”
Fred and I both decided to have lattes. The tiny white metal table and even tinier white metal chairs were a far cry from Starbucks, but the price was much cheaper. So why bitch?
“What’s your line of work?” Fred asked.
“Retired CIA,” I said. “I was stationed here for four years, mostly in and around Chiang Rai.”
I’d expected this to set Fred back on his heels a mite but I was in for a shock. Instead he met my gaze and didn’t miss a beat.”
“I gotta hand it to you guys,” he said. “The Company does a great job infiltrating the Peace Corps.”
“How do you know that?”
“Before joining the Peace Corps,” he said, “I was a VISTA in Colorado. During the Denver in-service training two CIA agents had their covers blown. Now I look at it this way: if there’re spooks in a domestic program like VISTA, there sure as hell must be spooks in an international program like the Peace Corps.”
“We get our information where we get our information,” I said flatly.
“Yes,” said Fred. “But at what cost? I remember meeting another CIA agent while on home leave. I was stunned with his admission that he was battling the Commies in North Vietnam. Immediately Graham Greene’s The Quiet American came to mind. Hell, this guy could’ve been his clone. So I asked if he’d read the book and he replied cryptically: ‘Yes, we’re familiar with that work.’ Inside a year both he and his translator were gunned down.”
“Comes with the territory,” I said. “I hate to think what the world would be like without men like that.”
“Oh, really?” said Fred. “I beg to differ. Today’s world is much more hazardous than the world of forty years ago. Of course not all the blame can be placed at the feet of an inept foreign policy, but much of it can. Instead of working to secure a peaceful planet, instead of honoring the cultural and religious beliefs of other people, instead of giving brotherly love a chance, we’ve chosen to be the world’s bully–what Mark Twain called a ‘cosmic thug.’ Even our greatest scientists have repeatedly decried the folly of such a worldview.”
“I wouldn’t exactly call Russia and the People’s Republic of China partners in peace,” I said.
“The United States financed the modernization of both Russia and China in the 20th century. We built them up so we could tear them down. In any rivalry, the stronger the challenger, the bigger the gate. One must have a powerful opponent to suck in the crowd, to bilk the public coffers. You know that. You know that better than I do.”
I had to smile. He wasn’t entirely right but he wasn’t entirely wrong.
“Let’s change the subject,” I said. “You had your little niche in the Peace Corps and I had mine in the Company. But that’s in the past now. The only thing in life worth a damn is shagging women, so I shag as many as I can.”
Fred looked at me blankly.
“Surprise you?” I asked. “I don’t know why it should. What else is there? And don’t give me this fidelity, morality, and romance shit. Who the hell wants that? Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t fuck women. I love ‘em. There’s a difference, you know. A huge difference.”
“I gather you don’t have a family back in California,” he said.
“What makes you think that?” I said. “I have a loving wife and two grown children.”
“Then how do you fool them? How do you get away with it?”
“That’s right,” I said. “I don’t. Oh, for a couple of years I tried to. I played the game. I lied and cheated and cheated and lied thinking all the time I was fooling the wife. But I was only fooling myself. One night she caught me right in the act–hunching to beat the band. I thought my marriage was finished.”
“So she forgave you?”
“Not really,” I said. “She summed up the situation and came to certain conclusions. First she didn’t want a divorce. Second, she knew she couldn’t change me. Third, she wanted to control my sex addiction. And fourth, she needed a plan to cover all contingencies. You see my wife’s Chinese, not American. Practical people, the Chinese, especially when it comes to their spouses.”
“You mention a plan. Would you mind elaborating?”
“Not at all. It’s simplicity itself. Each year I work my butt off for ten months and make a pile. I then turn the money over to the wife. She figures out how much I need for two months in Southeast Asia and off I go. I can use the money in any way I want. I always opt to save on food and lodging. That way I can spend the lion share getting my rocks off. At sixty-seven, I’m slowing down, even with Viagra. But I’ll keep going as long as there’re bullets in the chamber. I love these women and they love me. The word ‘whore’ is not part of my vocabulary.”
“What about VD? You must go through condoms like a undertaker goes through coffins.”
“Raincoats are for sissies,” I said. “God blessed me with a strong immune system. I’ve only come down with the clap once. And that time the little darling even warned me saying she was mai sabaay. But I couldn’t pass her up. Not with a rack like that! Not with those perky little nipples and pistons for a pelvis. Well worth getting the clap for.”
Fred looked bemused.
“We’ve lived very different lives,” he said.
“Yes,” I said. “You haven’t gotten much in your time, have you?”
“Well, I haven’t exactly been celibate all my life. Remember: my wife died last year. We’d a long and happy life together.”
“I’m glad to hear that but it wasn’t exactly fireworks, was it?”
“What do you mean?”
“You can’t tell me that one vagina has an endless number of variations. It just ain’t so. Now don’t take this the wrong way but what you really needed was a night with the pros.”
Fred gave me a quizzical look.
“Funny you should use that particular turn of phrase,” he said.
“Do you really want to know?”
“Yes,” I said.
“It might bore you,” he said. “A man with your experience might find it a frightful snooze.”
“Go ahead and try me.”
“It might take quite a while. Are you sure you can sit there and listen?”
“Try me,” I said. “Who knows? You might have something to teach me.”
“Peace Corps Volunteers are a strange lot,” Fred said leaning back and relaxing in his chair as much as was humanly possible. “Bangkok volunteers tended to run in groups of threes. I don’t know why but we did. My compadres in crime were Paul Pankowski and Brice Schoonenburg.
“Paul came from a working class Polish family in upstate New York. Bespectacled and not terribly handsome, he more than made up for it with his height, sensitivity, and strong masculine presence. I remember our first serious talk together. ‘You’d never know it to look at me,’ he said with great solemnity. ‘But I’ve one helluva tree trunk. Women don’t take me seriously till my drawers go down and their skirts go up.’
“Brice came from a more complex gene pool. Of Dutch and Cherokee ancestry, he was a wild mix of the logical and the loco. There was a raw, naturalistic, devil-may-care attitude about Brice that many volunteers found offensive. Paul and I thought otherwise. Sure, Brice had his eccentricities. To dodge the Vietnam War, for instance, he’d force-fed himself to three hundred pounds but had subsequently slimmed down to a solid two-twenty. As a result, there were stretch marks all over his arms, legs, and abdomen. But to concentrate on that side of Brice was to miss the complete man. Paul and I knew that in a pinch Brice would be there for us and we would be there for him. In the end that was all that mattered.
“Most Bangkok volunteers met at Pat Pong on Friday night. Not us. To economize, we searched high and low for a cheap place to rendezvous. Brice finally found Linda’s, a modest bar run by a Chinese woman near Saphan Kwai. Linda was an elegant woman who shepherded her girls with great care and concern. She wouldn’t let them go out with anyone. If a man were an asshole, Linda would tactfully tell the girl to drop him. She not only knew how to run a bar but had also been happily married to a farang, now deceased. In a word, she had her shit together.
“As you know, there’re many ways to get laid in Thailand. Some men opt for bargirls. Others opt for massage girls. Still others opt for short time at the hotels. Brice was into short time. ‘All places specialize,’ he was fond of saying. ‘The teahouses specialize in tea. The bars specialize in drinks. The massage parlors specialize in massages. But only hotels specialize in sex. That’s where the pros are. All the other joints are strictly for amateurs.’
“For weeks and weeks he’d tried to talk me into going to his favorite hook shop the April Hotel. One night at Linda’s I finally relented.
“‘Okay, Brice,’ I said. ‘Let’s go.’
‘“What was that?’ he bellowed slamming his hand on the bar. ‘Did Fred Ficken say he’d go? Did my ears hear right or have I gone stark starin’ mad?’
‘“You’re ears heard right,” I said. ‘Now calm down. You don’t have to broadcast it.’
‘“Oh, yes, I do,” he said. ‘You might change your mind so we’d better move fast.’
Brice then turned away and yelled down to the far end of the bar where Paul was putting the moves on a winsome Thai lass.
‘“Hey, Paul. Drop whatever you’re doing and get a cab. Fred wants to go to the April. Let’s scat before he has second thoughts.”
“In a matter of moments I was hustled out of the bar and into a taxi. Paul sat in the front seat with the hack while Brice and I sat in the back. I’ve never seen Brice so animated.
‘“You’ll never regret this, Fred. These girls are the best. No screwing around like you find in the bars and the massage parlors. Cash on the barrel head. Money up front for service rendered. That’s the way sex should be marketed throughout the world, not this romantic, Victorian claptrap. Say, Paul, I’ve got a favor to ask. This being Fred’s first time he has dibs in the selection process. You can have second choice, whereas I’ll take the dregs. Fair enough?’
“That’s fine with me,” said Paul. “But are you sure? We could always flip a coin.”
“Naw,’ said Brice. ‘As long as Fred gets spermed out, I’m happy.”
“At the April Hotel we were ushered into a sleazy room with a double bed and two threadbare chairs. Brice sat perched on the bed holding court. Paul and I sat in the chairs. In no time the pimp entered with three girls. The girls weren’t all that fetching.
“What do you mean insulting us like this? This is the first time for my friend here,’ growled Brice pointing at me. “Go and get some prime pussy.”
“I seriously doubt if the pimp understood the phrase ‘prime pussy,’ but he soon came back with three women who were more pleasing to the eye.
“That’s more like it,” boomed Brice. “Okay, Fred, now take your time. Don’t screw up and pick a loser.”
“Taking Brice’s advice, I eyed the three girls carefully. I immediately eliminated the one on the left. Though cute, she was too short and pudgy for my liking. The girl on the right, however, was a real eyeful. Tall, statuesque, with long black hair cascading to the waist, she was a real stunner, the obvious choice. But there was something about the girl in the middle. Though not drop-dead gorgeous, she did exude a certain exotic allure, a vivaciousness, a sauciness that was downright infectious. The eyes in particular stood out. They were a wondrous mix of comedy, complexity, and come-hitherness.
“I’ll take the gal in the middle,” I said.
“You could’ve heard a pin drop. Paul was in a state of shock. Never in his wildest dreams did he think I’d turn down Miss Statuesque.
“Go ahead, Paul,” I said. “It’s your move.”
Paul hesitated. Both Brice and I knew that Paul adhered to some weird, esoteric Polackian code and that code now came to the fore.
“You choose,” he said to Brice magnanimously.
“Me choose? Get real. Both Fred and I know that your tree trunk is about to split your pants. A deal’s a deal: you get second choice. Go ahead and take her.”
“Okay,” he muttered. “I’ll take the tall one.”
I walked over to Miss Witchery. Up close, the full force of those deep dark cobalt eyes became readily apparent. “Thanks for choosing me first,” they seemed to say. Then, taking me by the hand, she led me out the door. We walked down the hall to her room. Smiling, she motioned me to take off my clothes and lay on the bed. I did as I was told. This was her turf, not mine.
“She took off her green blouse and black skirt. I’d expected her to remove her bra and panties but she didn’t. Instead she stood at the foot of the bed and smiled whimsically. She had a deceptive body, much more curvaceous in its natural state. The breasts full and tawny jutted up and out. The waist tapered to a V at the naval before sculpting to a superb superstructure that highlighted her ass to perfection.
“But it was the face that captured the magic; that held all the allure. A forehead broad and without a care. Eyebrows thick and arched. Eyes that danced with deviltry and daring. All was there. All the witchery any man ever wanted and then some.
“Khun chuu aray?” I asked.
“Rachanee,” she said. Her voice had a rich, liquid, husky tone that caught me off guard. I’d expected a high, immature voice–something that would break the mood, something that would make this ridiculous situation even more ridiculous. Instead I was hit with a double whammy: the witchery of her eyes coupled with the wantonness of her womanhood.
“Khun chuu aray, ka?” she said slithering up between my thighs.
“Fred,” I said.
That beauteous face was not more than six inches away from my pecker. I tried to control myself but failed utterly. I watched in horror as Ratchanee inched forward to her destination. I say ‘in horror’ for, as a child, I’d suffered an indignity from which I’d never recovered…
“Come on. All you have to do is suck it for a few minutes. It won’t kill you. And look at this.”
“My brother held up a sketch of a nude woman that he’d copied from a high-class girlie magazine. I was too young to appreciate it but old enough to know it was worth having.”
“Come on.’ he repeated. ‘The picture is yours if you do it. Believe me, no one will ever know.”
“I put my tongue tentatively on the head. It tasted awfully salty but I wanted that picture….”
Ratchanee was now hovering over it. Her pouty little mouth just inches away. I couldn’t stand it. Reaching down I put both hands on the sides of her head, right over her ears. Her hair felt soft and silky yet at the same time rich and lush.
“Don’t,” I said.
“I was now looking straight into her eyes and she was looking straight into mine. For an instant she looked troubled and the elastic smile fell from her face.
“You no want?” she asked in bewilderment.
I didn’t know what to say. I wanted it and yet I didn’t want it. How could I explain that? Ratchanee seemed to read my mind. Suddenly that witchy look came back into her eyes and her tongue darted forward licking the head. A soft tingling sensation shot up my back and into my neck.
“Aroy maak!” she said gleefully.
I roared with laughter. How could licking my penis be delicious, let alone very delicious?
It was at that moment that I capitulated, that I totally surrendered. Instead of holding her head suspended in midair, I allowed it to descend. She took my shaft into her petulant mouth like a seasoned sword swallower at Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. I closed my eyes and let my head sink deep into the pillow. Instinctively I started to pet her downy soft hair. It was the least I could do….
The initial wave of sucking was multiple and layered. It seemed to come from a distant place, a place where the sudden surge of pleasure promised to be fleeting and ephemeral. But then came the respite and the surge was allowed to dissipate and disappear. A second wave of sucking even more multiple and layered now asserted itself. It drove crest upon crest of comfort up the trunk and into the farthest extremities of the body and soul. My mind reeled in ecstasy and exhilaration. All thought deserted me. My entire being felt like it would explode into a zillion atoms. Then came the respite yet again. How could that be possible? How could she control my glands and my blood flow in such a remarkable way? No sooner had I asked those questions then the third wave of sucking struck. This time neither her genius nor the temple of her throat could quell the rush of my loins….
“I gazed down at her face. Her witchy brown eyes were aglow with victory and triumph. I kept stroking her hair gently. It was the only way to thank her, to show my appreciation. Then I saw it. My poor wretched member was twitching spasmodically and feebly from the ordeal. Well, that was it for tonight. There was no way to get Roger to stand tall again. Not now. Not after having been totally sucked dry.
“Rachanee slowly slithered off the bed. What was she about now? I could hear her footfalls make for the bathroom. Of course that was it. She had to clean up. She had to make sure that I’d not given her a disease. That brought me back to reality, got me to thinking. What a horrible existence! Sucking and fucking total strangers night after night after night. What kind of a life was that? What kind of future did she have locked away in a place like this? Why did I have a life of freedom while hers was one of suffocation, of abject servitude? Surely I was no better than she was. I’d just proved that.
I could hear Ratchanese gargling repeatedly in the bathroom. What did this all mean? Why was I asking myself all these silly questions? An hour ago I didn’t know this woman existed. Now, sapped of my sacred seed, I could only lay on my back and think of her. Ratchanee of the silken hair and satin skin. Ratchanee of the wide and witchy big brown eyes.
Returning from the bathroom, she didn’t waste any time. She snaked up between my legs and laid her head on the flat of my stomach. It was a touching thing to do. Again I began to stroke her hair. Suddenly she turned her head and rested her chin an inch or two above the naval. Our eyes locked, only this time the witchery, the subtle mockery, was supplanted by an intrinsic tenderness, a spiritual softness, the likes of which took my breath away.
“Then she did it. With the left hand she popped open her bra while with the right she did away with her panties. All in one seamless motion. I was confused, at a loss to what she was about and why. Surely she wasn’t going to try and make me come again. That would be preposterous, totally out of the question. She was now lying on top of me: her firm young breasts incredibly warm and supple and yielding, her face only three inches away from mine. I could see those warm inviting lips, those lips that minutes ago had driven me to the brink of madness. Throwing caution to the wind, I embraced her madly and our lips locked together like suction cups. There was nothing soft or gentle about the kiss. Rather it was an atavistic kiss–a kiss steeped deep in primordial passion. My tongue sought out hers and her tongue sought mine in a voracious, almost cannibalistic, fashion. The inside of my head had more fireworks than a Chinese New Year.
Suddenly I felt the fingers of her right hand tighten around my member. But it was there for guidance, not stimulation. I soon discovered that. What twenty minutes ago had been limp and lifeless now roared to life like a locomotive hell-bent for Laramie. It was a veritable resurrection….
…The soft molten gushiness cascaded downward completely encasing the fragile and enfeebled fountainhead. It seemed innocuous enough. But once at the root there was a tightening, a constricting, a garroting so intense, so extreme that all gushiness was lost and, in its place, came a serpentine strength of immense power and potency–a strength that took hold and refused to let go. The fireworks were no more. The skyrockets and roman candles gave way to cluster and incendiary bombs. The tightening, the constricting, the garroting repeated itself as did the cluster and incendiary bombs. It was like looking at the Universe without eyes, without God, without external stimuli. The blinding bright white light, the deafening din of drums, the hard hand of reality, were all washed away leaving me alone in a sea of infinite wisdom and peace….
Rachanee made her second trip to the bathroom–this time to douche herself. This set off yet another round of questions. Why did that bother me? Why did I want my seed to stay inside her body? Sure, Ratchanee had a right to flush out her wondrous joy box. After all, it was her body and I wasn’t planning to see her again. Or was I? What if I wanted to suck and fuck her again? What if I wanted to live with her, be with her, mate with her? Didn’t that change the equation? Didn’t that give my seed the same right to find its mate too? Wasn’t that the natural order of things?
Reentering the room Ratchanee sat down on the side of the bed, wrapped her arms around me, and French kissed me again. We made out like a couple of teenagers for a good fifteen minutes. She then got up and put on her clothes. I did the same. As she made for the door, I grabbed her by the hand and spun her around.
‘“I want you to come and live with me,” I said flatly. “Do you understand?”
“Me understand,” she said. “But no can do. April Hotel very strict. Ratchanee no can go. Boss no like.”
“Ratchanee,” I said. “I’m not asking you to come with me for a day. I want you to come and live with me. Do you understand?”
The witchy look left her eyes completely. She was now looking at me with great wonder, with great disbelief.
“You okay in the head?” she said tears welling up in her eyes. “You no make joke?”
“I okay in the head,” I said. “But it won’t be easy. Brice and Paul will have to help us. Are you brave enough to make a run for it?”
She nodded her head determinedly.
“Okay,” I said. “Let’s do it.”
Brice and Paul were waiting for us in the lobby. No one else was there, not even the pimp. I immediately took both aside and told them the plan.
“Listen, Fred,” said Brice. “I know Ratchanee is a great girl and she screwed your brains out. But this isn’t the Eve of St. Agnes, you know. Who do you think you are? John Keats?”
“I don’t want her to live in this hellhole,” I said. “I want to give her a chance at a better life. She’s smart and sweet and loving. She deserves more than slavery.”
“But what’ll happen to her after your two years are up?” said Paul. “She doesn’t have any skills. Like so many others, she’ll be forced back into bondage.”
“I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it,” I said. “Listen. We don’t have much time. Are you guys going to help or do I act alone?”
Brice looked at Paul and bit his lip.
“Okay,” he said. “Have it your way. But let me try to strike a deal with the pimp before we do anything rash.”
“Fine,” I said.
The pimp entered a few minutes later. After paying him off, Brice dropped the bomb.
“My friend here has taken a liking to Ratchanee and Ratchanee has taken a liking to my friend. They want to set up house together so she’s coming with us.”
The pimp was not amused.
“No can do,” he said.
“Ah, come on,” said Brice. “Surely one less girl at the April won’t hurt you.”
“No can do,” the pimp said. “Ratchanee’s the angel of the hotel. No way me let her go.”
“How much do you want?” Brice asked. “Would five thousand baht do the trick?”
“Ratchanee not for sale,” he said emphatically. “How about another girl? Another girl go fucky-fucky same-same.”
“I want her,” I said.
“Me no understand farang,” the pimp said. “Ratchanee nothing but ai na dad. She orn kuay maak maak. Why you want woman made for water buffalo?”
To be called a ‘clitface’ and to say she ‘sucked cock’ was bad enough, but the water buffalo crack went beyond the pale. Vulgarity was one thing but bestiality was quite another.
Unfortunately for the pimp Ratchanee’s older brother had taught her the fine art of Thai kick boxing. She took dead-aim and let him have it right in the nads. She must’ve driven his balls into his throat for he let out a gasp and fell to the floor like he’d been poleaxed. But Ratchanee wasn’t finished. Bending over the pimp, she reached into her bag, flicked open the straight razor, deftly unzipped his fly then did the dirty deed. The pimp let out an ungodly scream while clutching his groin with both hands.
“Holy shit!” screeched Paul. “She cut his dick off. Are you sure you want to mess with this babe, Fred?”
“Now more than ever,” I said. “We’d better scat before the crowd arrives.”
“What if he bleeds to death?” said Paul.
“I wish he would,” said Brice, “but I’m afraid he’ll survive. This happens in Thailand all the time. Come on. Let’s go.”
The street outside was deserted, except for an emaciated three-legged dog scrounging for food. I’d been holding Ratchanee by the left hand but had paid no mind to the right. Now I did. It was clinched in a fist. Blood was oozing from between her fingers.
“What the hell?” I said.
Ratchanee cocked her arm and tossed something high into the night air. It landed with a soft thud. Without hesitation the dog limped forward, snatched it from the pavement, and gulped it down.
“Lord Buddha say many ways to make merit,” she said.
Brice, Paul, and I stood there transfixed, dumbstruck by the savage subtlety of the act.
Frantic voices could be heard coming from the April Hotel. But it was too late. An unoccupied cab rounded the corner and came to a stop. We all piled in. We didn’t wait to bargain with the driver. We had other priorities.”
“How long was it before you married her?” I said.
Fred gave me an odd look.
“That obvious?” he said gazing at his empty cup of latte.
“It wasn’t terribly difficult,” I said. “Much of my work with the Company was connecting the dots. You still haven’t answered my question.”
“Three months,” he said. “I wanted to marry inside a month, but Ratchanee wouldn’t have it. You must be sure,” she said. “Me no want butterfly man.” Of course, the Peace Corps had other ideas. The country director tried to dissuade me but I was adamant.
“I’m sorry you lost her last year,” I said. “My condolences.”
“Thank you. But she didn’t stand a chance. No one survives pancreatic cancer. I cremated her in the States, then brought her ashes back to the family temple in Mahasarakem.”
“And you never played around on her, did you?”
“No, I didn’t. Why would I? She was an artist in the act of love.”
“Do you plan living the rest of your life like this?”
“What do you mean?”
“You know exactly what I mean,” I said. “Do you really believe Ratchanee would want you to live alone? I’ve never met a Thai woman yet who thought like that.”
“I don’t know,” he said. “Sure, there’s much to what you say but what about my heart?”
“What about it?”
“An orgasm might kill me.”
“So what if it does? What would you rather do? Rock out with your cock out or die lonely and afraid in some garret?”
There was a long, pregnant pause.
“What do you propose, Secret Agent Man?”
“How about a steak dinner at the Sizzler followed by some bar crawling on Soi Cowboy? That’ll give me the latitude I need and the longitude you need. What do you say?”
“I was just thinking how odd this is,” said Fred. “You start out as a spook and I start out as a vol and–”
“We both end up in pursuit of pussy. Makes perfect sense to me.”
And thus began a long and storied friendship.
Author’s Bio: Girard Richard Christmas is a seventy-year-old retired American ESL teacher. As a young man, he was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Thailand and Western Samoa from 1973-1978. He subsequently taught English in China, Japan, and the United States. Mr. Christmas is the author of two books: Reports of My Death: Beyond-the-Grave Confessions of North American Writers and The Orawan Poems. He currently lives in Bangkok.
ai na dad = clitface
aroy maak = very delicious
compadres = friends
farangs = foreigners
khun chuu aray, ka = what is your name
may sabaay = sick
orn kuay maak maak = suck cock a lot