At some point in this story, the above title will come into play. When it does, I want you to remember that I’m being facetious with the word “loaned”. And just the word loaned. All others are politically accurate, fiscally irresponsible and socially acceptable in Miami. In fact, among other things, this was no loan. A loan in principle, and under the pretenses of modern society, suggests some sort of interest to the creditor; some sort gain that exceeds the farfetched ethics of giving away your articles for free. And with the empathy of a “Monster”, I can’t stress this enough, there was nothing gained from this transaction.
AD, since were on the topic, loves to use this word: “Monster”. To his credit, and in the right context, the use of this word is fucking brilliant. After a night of heavy drinking and debauchery sprinkled with some light friend fondling, he might say something like: “Dude, last night at the bar, this guy was a fucking Monster.” And usually he would declare it over the swaying hum of a hungover breakfast crowd, which made it all the more effective. Or heres another example: at school, maybe you locked a kid out of class, because everyday she takes to long in the bathroom, then lingers by the door for attention, thereby drawn away from your lesson. So maybe you walked over to the glass, looked her dead in the eyes as you slowly clicked the latch. You mouth the words NOT TODAY and she’s mortified a) because it was as badass thing to do, like a mic drop after a dropkick set and b) because, well, she’s a child. And you took the moment anyway, to think to yourself “you thought you had me” and even as she faltered with desperate knocks, you just kept on teaching, chill as a Red Hot Chilly, cool as a fresh Mountain Dew. And AD might of said in response to your story: “you’re fucking Mon-ster” emphasizing the ‘Mon’ bit before we’d both break out in a laugh. Me more intensely as I struggled to subdue the overtly maniacal pettiness inside and to act more like an adult.
The man in the Hotel lobby was a “Monster” too. You’d think people from Miami would have their shit figured out: composure check, salsa music check, Thai news channel 8 played on a 20in Zenith…Check. Like a true piece of evil trash, this guy from the desk smiled at us cordially, spoke English well enough and was as accommodating as a latino stylist in a nail salon.
Walking to our room on the second floor, we caught our first glimpse of destiny. AD and I knew each other superficially at this point, but when we saw the pool, I think we knew all there was to know. AD says:
“Dude, we should jump off this balcony into that pool later.”
AD pointed to the ledge of where we were passing. I walked over to it with a wild, childlike excitement.
“You’re a genius.” I said trying, but failing, to contain myself.
This is the ‘end game’, I thought. If all goes to shit tonight, we can always come back here and lay down a cannonball that would make a disappointed mother finally proud of her son. (She never watched! She was always pretending!)
After dropping bags, our first priority was food. We walked to the corner, grabbed a bite, shared a bottle of booze and texted the girls we were meeting up with later. Lets call them Lolly and Molly. “Lolly”, like the lollypop, was hard to break through on the surface, but when you reached the middle, it was about as disappointing as a tootsie roll. “Molly”, as in the name of that drug drunk Florida people take, made people sweat harder than they laughed.
We met Lolly and Molly in an alleyway. I know, given the description of these two lovable hussies, I’ve just made a compromising paragraph opener, but if I may continue without your misguided assumptions of ping pong shows and prostitution, we were meeting them for a beer at an Australian Dive.
After we left that shit hole (with the upmost respect for the Aussies), we took a 1,000 baht tuk-tuk across town to an empty club where they painted our faces with glow in the dark pastels. The ladyboy at the door thought it would be funny to draw a penis on the side of my face. After a half’n hour of waiting to get a drink by the bar, I started to wonder why nobody was taking me series. “I’m fucking white.” I thought.
“That’s got to be it.”
I actually remember this very feeling: being so convinced by assessment, that I looked over to guy from Zimbabwe and gave him a passive aggressive head nod toward the bartender. I tell you now in confidence, I’ve never connected so hard with someone in my life.
Then AD comes over. He’s fucking laughing. I’m laughing. We both point at each other and say:
“Dude, there’s a fucking shlong on your face.”
Then we both shamefully walk to the bathroom. Him chuckling, me rethinking my moment with the Zimbabwe guy. Lolly and Molly, staying true to their name, were MIA most of the night. Lost in a crowd of brightly colored forangs. At one point, we attempted to leave; clubs aren’t exactly my thing. The girls were on a spacious dance floor which had somehow collected 50 people beneath a cage where a woman in a cat suit danced aggressively sexual against the cage.
What was the artistic message? I needed to know. Was this a feminist expression of unconstitutional gender norms? Designed by wealthy Viagra-less men, is it depicting the social hypocrisy which imprisons our sexual freedoms? I scanned the faces in the room convinced that everyone felt the same way. But why a cat face? And does that make me a dog? I think if I was a dog, I’d give fuck’all about society. I’d best be content to sit around and lick my balls all day. Then again, that’s not so different than how I am now. Ahhhhh…Okay. I get it.
Anyway, off message. The chick in the cat mask turned into a ladyboy partway into the night, so thats gotta change the metaphor…Right? Lolly and Folly face were falling all over each other when I pushed through the 5 people on the edge to reach the center. I shouted over loud disco purring and two asian broads fighting in the corner:
“Hey we’re going to head out. We’re feeling a bit tired and we’ve got to head back.”
“What!?” She shouted, still gyrating mildly. “You’re leaving!?”
“We had a lot of fun” -lie “We should do this again next time.”- dumb lie.
“Wait. We’ll come with you. Give us 5 minutes.”
After 25 minutes of talking to the very same woman who painted a cock on my face, we were all but ready to go. The lollypop and Molly mop stumbled down the steps and said: “Where to next!?”
We told them about the pool at our hotel. How it had a balcony. About our plan ‘B’ for the night. Though, perhaps unconscious for most of our story, they must of heard the word “pool”, to which they repeated several times and seemed to agree about coming back with us.
When we arrived, that fucking fake latino monster was waiting by his colored Tv. Not even a Hello from this butt licker before he says, in broken English, “If you have visitor in my hotel, you have to pay 1,000 baht for extra guest.”
That snide piece of shit.
“What!? I blurted out in disbelief. “They aren’t staying at this hotel. We’re just going to the pool.”
“The pool is closed” He said dryly, then turning back to look at whatever Thai version of Seinfeld he was watching.
The girls were giggling. AD didn’t seem to care. He nodded with his chin over to the pool patio outside. We escaped through the side door. The man jumped up from his rolley chair. One of the girls saw him pacing quickly toward the door. She pulled out a cigaret and started smoking. He hung in the threshold of the doorway:
“I said, pool is closed.”
“We’re not in the pool” I said to him matter-of-factly. “We are standing outside to smoke.”
He closed the door and walked back inside. Through the glass, we saw him frantically pacing back and forth. He picked up a phone, looked at us with laser beam eyes, then put down the phone. He walked quickly over to his desk, he aimlessly flicked a pen, blew a puff of air, then trotted over to the water machine. He pulled out a cup and tried to drink some water, he shook the water bin a few times, then he put the cup down. Finally, he found the elevator, he pressed a button, then disappeared into it.
“We should jump in” Lolly said.
“Na, I don’t want to piss this guy off”
She walked over to me. Cigaret still in her hand.
“Do it. Go in. I will, if you will.”
AD sat in a lawn chair on the patio. I looked over to him for help. He was a chilled out Buddha in that chair. Actually, come to think of it, that’s how he is most of the time. I just didn’t known him well enough.
Then, she did it. She pushed me in. I quickly pulled my phone, keys and money from my pocket. I sloshed over to AD, and this here, this is where I “loaned” him my clothes and money.
When the Thai guy got off the elevator, I was convinced that he wasn’t actually using it for traveling purposes. He was all disheveled and limped out of it as if he’d somehow been injured. When he looked over at the white people frolicking in the pool, without a doubt this time, there was a hurt in his eyes. He quickly ran over to the door and with his limited vocabulary, he shouted “You owe me 1,000 baht!”. No explanation needed with this guy, this monster. He just held out his hand like a snotty kid does to his mother; seeking retribution for life’s disappointments.
Because I learned the phrase “Mai Khoa Jai”, which means: “I don’t understand”, I wanted to use it here. Even if he was expressing himself clearly in English. It still fit somehow. I’m sure of it. Anyway. I walked in, sopping wet in a T-shirt and my underwear and offered to pay his 1,000 baht fine.
Rather be humbled by it, this man was heated by the haughty gesture. I kid you not, this was about the time when he went into the other room an grabbed his mother to fight his battles for him. And let me say, she was a tough Thai woman. Much respect to the fear she’d put in us. The girl’s left after 10 minutes and I walked back to the room with AD, Clothes in hand. For some stupid reason, like a small little Soi dog, the Thai man trailed us to our room, watching until we shut the door.
AD and I chuckled a bit at the whole thing. I was tired, laying in bed, sober enough to just want to sleep. AD was still on his phone. Every 10-15 seconds, it would ding. This continued for a bit, until he stood up and said “I think I’m gonna go back out.”
“Really!? I said mumbling and half asleep. “It’s like 2:00am”
“Yeah, gonna meet up with these Tinder chicks I met last week.”
“Well, unless you have 1,000 baht, don’t bring them back here.”
“Yeah man. I’ll try.”
“No” I said, then chuckled one last time before blacking out.
When I awoke the next morning, I faintly remembered a knock at the door, but thought little of it. I looked over with sore eyes to find AD’s bed empty. My phone, nearing dead, had not held a charge to the shotty outlets. I had a message that read the following:
“Hey bud, didn’t want to wake you, but things got weird last night. I tried to bring those girls back, but the hotel management wasn’t having it. I headed home in a van.”
“So they kicked you out?” I texted.
He took ages to respond.
“Wait, does that mean you went home-home?”-home was 2 hours outside of Bangkok.
My head was pounding and the wifi was shitty and I sat up on the bed to collect myself. I reached for my pants, but my pants weren’t there. Hmmm…they were wet last night. Maybe they were in the shower drying. Nope. They weren’t in the shower drying.
Okay. No pants. No pants. Hmmm….no pants. I put my phone to power save and went back to sleep. I couldn’t think straight. When I awoke there were a few messages for me:
“Yeah, I had no choice. When the girls left, I got so mad.”
“So I ran up to the second floor balcony and jumped off into the pool.”
“They called the Thai police and kicked me out.”
I looked around the room. It was clear now that there was a trail of water spots reenacting the scene for me. One particularly large one at the door and another at the bedside table. For whatever reason, the one at the bedside table puzzled me the most. Why there? What could he have been doing there?
If your wondering right now, why this was my first concern. Why I was investigating a crime scene, rather than panicking about the fact that I had to walk through Bangkok in my underwear or that I didn’t know enough Thai to communicate my way home, or even that my only source of navigation was on 10% battery? Then I tell you I must of been in shock. Utter disbelief.
Anyway, it was then that it occurred to me, that bedside tables usually collect things. Things like phones and loose change. Loose change! Shit. Wallets. They collect fucking wallets! and stray cash! And this motherfucker, took all of my money last night. I have no money.
I searched my person, my room, my bag to confirm the fact. That mother fucker, I thought to myself. I pulled up my phone again:
“Hey, did you take my money?”
No reply. I lowered the phone. Now absorbing all of the above….I picked the phone up again.
“Wait…you jumped off the balcony without me!? What the fuck!? We were gonna do that together.”
Seething in the thought, in missed opportunities, missed callings of crime fighting, of detecting shit, yet little too late, I sunk into my sad, sad shame. If I could say it to him now, I’d tell him that jump hurt more than all things combined. It was principle AD. It was principle.
Now who’s the Monster…