It’s an expression that I catch Ttam using every now and then. To this day, I have no clue what it actually means. Amy says I do it often. I tell her as a matter of fact, that taking the piss sounds like a bowel movement and in which case, many people do it. The novelty of that joke is that I still cant help but make it over and over again. What can I say, when the mood strikes me, it’s a Dad joke that gets me going.
“What brought you to Thailand?” I asked her on the Soi.
Not Amy. This new girl who was also British. She was cute and Ttam, as he loathes all woman from the country of her majesty the queen, couldn’t see what I saw. Then again, in retrospect, it was defiantly I who didn’t see what he saw.
I think I was a jerk when we first met. Honestly, it’s a defense mechanism, and its immature and petty and at this point, unintentional, but instead of telling me to “Fook off” as they say in Sheffield, she let me take her out a few nights later.
I want to tell you that I tried. I tried not to mention Mercy. I tried to keep her squeezed tightly inside. She fucks everything up for me. and I know It’s my own fault for putting her up there the way I do, but sometimes it dwells inside like an instinctive urge, like hunger or sex. I might see a chica sporting some jean overalls that Mercy wore or hear a shitty song I never liked to begin with or even, as pathetic as it is, some lame romantic gesture sending me straight into hell. And like a bursting alcoholic running to the can, I end up failing. Pissing on myself mid conversation. Like a true drunkard with poor dating etiquette, I learned fast not to ignore the mess. Because what other option is there really!?
It was mid talk, down a temple road just outside of Ayutthaya. Soi dogs roamed the broken alleys between the stains of light on the tarmac. I asked her to be honest with me; said she was holding back on something. We stopped at a picnic table just outside the temple.
I laid sprawled out. Looking through the pruned fingers of a mango tree, I tried to measure the stars.
“I lied to you yesterday. When I said I came to Thailand for adventure.”
I remained silent. Content to look up and listen as she sat next to me. She was looking off into rice fields. Then paused for an indefinite amount of time so as to choose her words more carefully.
“Do you believe in God?” She started again.
“Sure.” I said.
“I’m surprised to hear you say that. You don’t strike me as the type of person who believes in God.”
“You don’t strike me as a person who would lie.”
I wanted to laugh, though the seriousness of situation didn’t call for it. The dynamic had clearly changed. She was staring off, I was laying down, listening, and at that moment, I knew she was about to mistake me for her psychiatrist. I shouldn’t have said all that shit about Mercy, I thought. She thinks I was confessing something.
“It’s okay. I’m just kidding. You can lie if you want to.” I guess I was trying to comfort her… because I’m an idiot. but now thinking on it, I was defiantly instigating.
“I’ve sinned a great deal and I just feel terrible about it.” She said in a sad voice.
(Oh shit. Oh shit. Oh shit.)
“I broke up with my Boyfriend too… before I left England. He didn’t believe in Jesus Christ or in an Afterlife. He was narrow-minded.”
(Oh shit Oh shit Oh shit)
“Well you shouldn’t feel bad about it. I’m sure he’ll appreciate it in the end…that you were honest with him about it. If belief’s don’t align, that can be tough on a relationship. Whatever was meant to be was meant to be: Maktub, ‘It is written’”.
“I know. I know. It was a sin to be with him for as long as I was.”
(Oh shit Oh shit Oh shit)
“I mean…” She politely continued, “How could I ever be with someone, I mean really, be IN LOVE with someone, who I knew was going to Hell?”
(Fuck fuck fuck)
“You’re right. God wouldn’t do that to you.”
I knew the comment would sound sarcastic.
because I didn’t actually agree with it. and
because I wanted to confirm that God only had only her best interests in mind.
I couldn’t help myself. Maybe I am a dick.
“What do you mean?” She said with genuine curiosity.
(Oh shit Oh shit Oh shit.)
This conversation went on for about 45 more minutes. She told me things that she discussed with her priest. Question: Is that a sin? I don’t know. Feels like there should be a confidentiality agreement going on between the Almighty and Her subjects. I listened. Tried to respect her beliefs. Kept my sarcasm to a minimal. By the end, one thing was clear to me. She was defiantly in some sort of turmoil about her place in the world. Most people are, to be honest. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I couldn’t relate.
Whatever my reservations were on the Christian chick, I decided not to call her back. After all, I too was going to hell and she certainly wasn’t going with me. Not for money, not for fun, not for God and most defiantly, not for Love.
A week passed. Two maybe. I can’t remember. It was Saturday Night- Soi- Earth Bar. I came late. Skipped Earths and went straight to Street Lamp to shoot stick. Rick’n Band were playing. Enter Chinaski. We played three games and he left. I stayed till close. It was nothing special. I guess I was just trying to avoid an awkward therapy session with what’s-her-face. The meeting was inevitable. When I walked over with the French Connection (more on him later), he went inside and I sat down at the table. Chinaski was drunk and trying to pull off “The Cigaret Trick”. The girl’s were laughing, he waved me in. There was a cigarette in his mouth.
“I’m all magic’d out.” I said.
Not true. It’s just the trick requires a smooth table and I was gently trying to lead myself away from a defiant fail. She looked at me and smiled. I looked at her and smiled, then we fell into the background. I wasn’t feeling the bar that night. It tends to happen every now and then. Drinking IS an antidepressant after all.
“Truth or Dare?” Chinaski said, looking across the table.
“Dare… Always Dare!” he continued by answering his own question and without time to wage a response. They laughed again. He was soo drunk haha. I laughed with them.
“I dare you two to kiss each other.” He gestured his cigaret toward the Christian, then to another girl sitting beside her.
“No way.” Her friend said. “We’re not kissing unless you give me something.”
For about 10 seconds he sat there swerving. Then as if making a decision, the “Ah fuck it light” went off in his beer soaked brain.
“Okay, I’ll bite. What do you want me to do?”
“You have to kiss him” She said giggling.
We turned to each other and almost immediately kissed. What can I say? The “Ah fuck it light” was already turned on and there was no sense in mulling it over. We knew what needed to be done. Lets not make a big deal about it…not because i’m self conscious, but because I’ve already made a deal about it. I told Chinaski, the following morning, that he was my first, that I couldn’t get him out of my head, that there is no one else for me. I told him that for someone with a clean-shaven face, it prickled me in ways I hadn’t imagined. Anyway. We’re both going to hell I suppose.
Though the girls were a more hesitant than us, they weren’t going to be shown up by two Soi drunks. When they finished, the Christian stood up. It was clear that she’d been hit pretty hard. Maybe it was the kiss. Maybe the Hong-tong. Maybe it was that she was racking up a laundry list of sins to confess on Sunday, but I sensed that she wasn’t going to make it back.
Chinaski wooed the blonde and brought her up to his room. He pulled the wingman card on me.
“Are you okay to go back?” The blonde said to the Christian.
The Christian hic-up’d quite a lot. Not even sure if it was an answer she was giving. Could of just been coincidence that she was making noise.
“I can walk her back. It’s cool.”
“You can’t take the bike!” The blonde shouted at me. “You’re drunk!”
“I said, I’ll walk her back.” I said this again to her slowly.
“But how will I know?”
This blonde wasn’t doing here stereo-class any favors. Regardless, reasoning with a drunk woman is like trying to fuck a blow dryer. You can’t do it. I tossed my keys to Boom.
“Better!?” I said condescendingly. I was walking away to catch up with her friend while the blonde stood there for a moment processing the comment. The brunette was 30 meters down the road, bumping into parked cars and dragging her bag behind like a ratcheted Soi dog.
This girl was a hot mess, I thought. I mean. She was drunk-drunk. When I got her back to her room. She pressed her forehead against the door to hold balance. And when I unlocked it, she literally fell into the room. I caught her of course, because thats just who I am, then spun her round and placed her gently on the bed. I got some water and set-up a bucket.
“I’m gonna go” I told her. “I need to get my bike. Are you okay?”
She lifted her buried head from the pillow and nodded at me.
As I walked out. I checked my pockets to make sure I wasn’t taking her keys.
Fuck fuck fuck. I don’t have my keys. I don’t have my swipe card. I can run back to the Soi and hope they’re still there. What will I have to show if they’re not? Where was the last place you had them? Earth Bar. Boom! No room keys! Street Lamp. Wahhh that was like 3 hours ago. There’s no way you’re getting in, they bar the windows. You couldn’t even break in if you wanted to. Fuck fuck fuck.
I turned around immediately. It was all I could do. It was either that or sleep on the street. T’tam wasn’t out. Chinaski was knee-deep in the blonde from Ohio. God as my witness, and I know you’ve heard me before lady-upstairs, I asked permission to sleep in the room. She nodded like she did before. You saw it.
We were both in our clothes when we woke up. Fact. When she turned to me on the bed the next morning. It was I who was embarrassed.
“What happened last night?”
“You don’t remember.” Not really a question I was asking. In this context, it was clear to me that she had no idea.
“Did you forget to turn on the fan?”
“You were getting cold” I said. “At one point, you were shivering.”
“I was? I don’t remember. I feel really sweaty”
“Yeah, I’m sorry” I said. “I left my keys at the bar and didn’t want to risk going back”.
“Did something happen between us?” She said.
I swear, the way she said it was so casual, I wasn’t even sure if I was talking to the same girl.
“Yeah, something happened.” I said in a regrettable voice.
“Last night, you made your way to my side of the bed…you knelt down beside me as I slept…I don’t know if I should tell you the rest.”
“What!?” She said in a sort of subdued alarm. “What happened!?”
“Well, when I woke up you were looking into my eyes…and you had taken my hand…and put it…into your…well, you put it into your hand…and it sounded like you were praying.”
“Oh my gosh, I’m so embarrassed.” She bursted out.
I knew that tone well. It was a kind of shame that only a Catholic could be privy to.
“Don’t be.” I said to her. “You weren’t praying exactly. I just thought you were at first.”
“Oh I see.”
“You were holding my hand…and slurring a lot…” I chuckled.
“and then it started to…rain.”
“Rain? That’s weird.” She said. “I’m sorry if I scared you any.”
“Yeah” I said to her awkwardly. “I don’t think you get what I’m saying.”
I pointed down to the ground. Then, not really certain of the best course of action. I got up. My clothes were soaked. Her clothes were soaked. She sat with the same face on, flicking through her phone as I tied my shoes at the edge of her bed. She must be scrolling through texts of the night, I thought. Trying to piece it all together. Wondering what the blonde was up to or maybe just succumbing to the basic instinct of beckoning for help. What a weird situation, mind you, as calling for help would bear the risk of having a proper explanation for calling in the first place. And what was that exactly to her? Looking at her then, she still seemed clueless. Her embarrassment was misplaced if anything. Not unlike a shaky belief in the things which lead us to Hell. Now granted, from an Agnostic standpoint, I can’t exactly give judgement either way. That is my nature I suppose. I’ve been in this boat before. Well, not exactly IN THIS boat, but a boat, where I’d blown a hole in the side of equal size. Upon exiting, I stepped over a rather large puddle which had begun to mote it’s way around the bed. What was there left to say? She’ll need to escape eventually, I thought. And as I propped the door open, she looked up from her phone. Her brown hair was caked and there was a wonder in her eyes.
“I’m sure God will forgive you”
I said to her softly and doing so while propping the door open; there was a musk in the air and the room was beginning to smell.