Leky was a hustler when she first arrived. It was no secret that SHE was the case with everything. A symptom of something unholy. A symptom of a disease that inhabited her body at 18. A symptom of poor society. Whatever the case, your problems were her problems, and also, more importantly, her problems were yours. And the paradox, wasn’t that she held bad intentions. Very rarely, in this world will you find someone who ‘intends’ to fuck others over. It was that her good intentions were always about pleasing others, so they could, in turn, please her.
It wasn’t like she was a person who wanted to be this way. If she had the choice, she’d be someone different. Herein lied the hustle; the fight between who she ‘was’ and what she ‘wanted to be’. Who she wanted to be couldn’t be blamed on poor parenting. I met them once and they’re amazing people. Then again, maybe they weren’t. Whose to really know something like that initially? and that’s the genius of evil isn’t it? Acting like you care, when apathy is what you know.
From my perspective, however, if they were guilty of anything, it was being overbearing. and given Leky’s expeditions abroad, I hesitate to even say that. I mean there are undoubtedly dangers in this world and as a woman traveling alone, they are almost certainly greater.
Anyway, here they were, two progressives, out to lunch with a daughter who was sporting a Hot Topic neck-choker. Her makeup literally screamed at you when you looked at her face. And maybe your right, it wasn’t LITERALLY screaming, but one might be inclined to think it, given the volume of her natural speaking voice.
To put it plainly, if someone with a tackle box on their face could be considered plain, Leky was a hustler anting up in the wrong game. For her, it couldn’t be won. Sorry. That’s just the fact of it. Sure, life had dealt her a shit hand. And sure, the Leky that I knew, defiantly deserved happiness, but she was reaching for a moon that wasn’t worth the visit. I mean honestly, what would you do there anyway? Float around and shit? How long did Armstrong hang around before he was like: “Okay, I think I’ve seen everything I need to see here.”
Later that night we were on the Soi. The progressives joined the group for dinner. Rick’n band were playing and the Thai guy, Leky had a thing for, sat on a bar stool and slurped a beer. There were loud noises, but I imagine, the conversation started innocent.
“Hey you!” She slow-motion slaps him on the shoulder.
In broken Thai: “Gooooood eveeeniiing Teaaacher!” -probably not what he said.
Then more noise. Not sure if it was her’s or Rick’n band, but by the third, Third Eye Blind song, the conversation had quickly upgraded to PG13. She was stroking his neck with the back of her finger. He, a Thai, who are culturally uncomfortable with outward displays of affection, smiled threw his teeth. But like any woman at the bar looking for attention, when his 30 minutes had passed, she was on the move; chain smoking cigarettes outside, posturing in her ‘fuck you don’t talk to me’ stance, which always seemed to clash against the aurora of her personality.
I approached her.
“Hey, we’re heading to Step Bar in a bit, not sure if your in. I guess they’re closing for good and Chinaski know’s the owner.”
Chinaski, one of my Hero’s by the way, would later do an R rated version of the neck flirt IN FRONT OF a group of Thai Bikers and ON one of their girlfriends. The “Aliwhas”, as Ttam calls them, are a loyal bunch. So he really shouldn’t of been surprised when they kicked the shit out of him. But that’s another story.
Because we were foreign, they gave us a VIP section that overlooked the club. When we arrived, they lead us to the rooftop and Leky disappeared into the crowd.
The conversation was a mix; the basics of Thai swearing, French politics and strange phrases that only the British use and understand, were among popular topics. Leky was making out with an Aliwha. Not exactly a random, I’d seen him as a guitarist playing in the band earlier that night. And while the progressives were tucked tightly into their Thai beds, Leky ended the night hand in hand with her new friend.
When I arrived to the complex later on, it was Ed who I found standing in the hall in his underwear. Ed, whose name has not been altered in any fashion (because that would be a travesty) is a middle to upper aged Coventry boy. Hailing from the great state of Connecticut, with a community college haircut, he scratched his head and stared at the ceiling above him.
“They wont shut the fuck up! I have to get up in the morning and I don’t want to hear this shit!”
I swear Ed was talking to himself when I came up the stairs. It’s possible he heard me come through the main door, but I doubt it. His voice echoed down the stairwell.
“What’s up Ed?”
As I climbed, it became apparent that he was talking about Leky.
“It sounds like she’s getting ass-fucked in there.” He said in an agitated voice.
More than the loud and ostentatious moaning resounding from her 3rd floor bedroom, I was taken by the fact that Ed, a man I barely knew, would stand there in his underwear at 3:00am and scream the words “Ass-fucking” at me.
Sometimes, it’s like i’m the only one who bares witness to the absurdity of these events. I started to laugh at the situation and he just stood there shaking his head. I guess I was drunk and he was tired of all the noise. I couldn’t blame him really. It was a gross situation to be in and I still had to climb two stories up to the 4th. A risk that was necessary, but I felt uneasy to take. When I got to the 3rd I felt like I was in the middle of it. I mean, I like Leky and all, but how am I going to look at her in the morning if all I can hear is her gargling or yelling British obscenities that only the British understand, or if I overhear a Thai swearword that I may now recognize.
All that’s missing here are the French, I thought.
Sure enough, as if she’d heard me invading. A Thai guy burst open the door and stormed out. He blew past me on the stairwell. The door popped back, ringing into the interior like the ears do when a bomb goes off. Then, as if emerging from the fog of war, Leky stood there in the doorway. A lit cigaret hung like a fuse between both her cannons. With a phone in the opposite hand, she walked into the hall half assed, yelling “Wait! Come back!”. This time the volume was defiantly in her normal speaking voice. She wasn’t wearing any make-up.
When she saw me, she laughed. Then I laughed. Or maybe I was still laughing from before. I can’t remember. Or maybe it was the noise I’d made tromping up the stairs, or maybe, in a kind of fit of desperation, like a window that suddenly open’s for a cornered animal, something unexpected escaped the situation: a third man rising from the smoke. There was a shirt in his hands and a spook in his eyes and when he looked at me, it must of been the daze of battle, or maybe, he’d done things that aren’t exactly legal in this country, or maybe he just knew he’d been had. In any case, when he looked at me, he wasn’t laughing. And he too, trotting down the stairwell, was in his underwear.