September 6, 2019 By bangkok7
Greetings intrepid reader. It’s Seven again. For this frowback Friday, I offer a different kind of story that harkens back to my sad existence before Thailand, when I maintained a blog on a now non-existent platform. Way back in those dark days when I suffered through my young adulthood in Los Angeles alone, lonesome, loathsome, and forlorn. Back then all I had to occupy my time were the TV, the wine cellar, and the desperate thoughts rolling around in my head drawing me nearer and nearer to insanity. During that time, I was prone to imbibing of too much wine and then putting pen to paper and growing less-coherent as intoxication took hold. What was born out of that turned out to be a series of pathetic soliloquies (pathiloquy for short, copyright BKK7), many of which I will share with you over the coming several Fridays, if only to illustrate the contrast between a life in the West and the sweet heavenly repose of a life in Thailand. Here’s one from back in the aught-two-thousands:
“Saturday, March 05, 2005. Current mood: weird
Menage A Trois
No, it’s not what you think, it’s the name of a wine. Trois because it’s a blend of 3 grapes–Zinfandel, Cab, and Merlot. Not a traditional GSM, and I know, I know, it sounds ghastly, but it is, in fact, the opposite. Silky, even-tempered, subtle. I get plums, light chocolate, a little bing cherry. . .and a hint of–what is it, lavender? Anyway, it’s inspiring. 3 parts. Like Plato’s tripartite soul, like the 3 Matrix movies, like Larry, Moe, and Curly (never, never Shemp). And of course, it reminds me that a man is 3 things: the man’s self-concept, the man other people see, and the man he truly is. Menage-a-trois.
I don’t know how people see me, but I know it isn’t what I am. In fact, I think I see me as I truly am, and spend most of my time either covering for that, or trying to convince people I’m something else. I think I may finally fall in love when a woman sees past the act, recognizes the real me, and accepts it completely. Is that the wine talking? Of course, but come on, need I repeat the Latin catch-phrase? In the vino lies the veritas, and the veritas makes the man. Oh lord, am I about to wax poetic?
They say things come in 3’s. Sneezes, traffic tickets, strokes of bad luck. I haven’t had three of anything since. . .1996. Three bad decisions, followed by 3 years of despair, and 3 failed attempts to love and be loved. 3 failures that should have been successes, 3 attempted appologies, 3 new careers, 3 different homes, 3 maxed-out credit cards. 3 missed chances to change, 3 favorite bands, 3 years of counting the months in 3’s (3 summers lost in the vineyards of the Central Coast, 3 wine clubs with 3 separate bills), 3 more screenplays stufed in a drawer, 3 bad explanations for why it won’t work out, 3 girls’ photo albums with pictures of me and nohting to show for it, 3 more who won’t take no for an answer, 3 revisions of a novel that no one reads, 3 publishers who say “no thanks,” 3 home-made cd’s about love that never leave the changer, 3 cars in 3 years (eclipse, bmw, toyota), 3 near-death experiences, 3 unfinished paintings, 3 misspelled words in this blog, and all of these came in the last 3 years, so I just proved myself wrong.
Trios of song titles that point to something worth noting (arranged by band, of course): The Smiths–There is a Light That Never Goes Out, That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore, Nowhere Fast. Embrace–Make it Last, Now You’re Nobody, Happiness Will Get You in the End. The Police–Every Breath You Take, Next To You, When the World is Running Down You Make the Best of What’s Still Around. Roxy Music–Oh Yeah, The Space Between Us, While My Heart is Still Beating. Stone Roses–Fool’s Gold, Breaking Into Heaven, Your Star Will Shine. U2–Trying to Throw Your Arms Around the World, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Running to Stand Still. Crowded House–Fall at Your Feet, Whispers and Moans, Fingers of Love. The Clash–Train in vain, Lost in a Supermarket, London Calling. Jeff Buckley–Last Goodbye, Lover You Should’ve Come Over, Lilac Wine.
3 ways to end this blog:
Words, words, words.
Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.
Our souls, our souls, our souls! (a quote I found etched into the vinyl of a Smiths record, I think it was This Charming Man, the 12 inch single.)”
As I look back on this wine-tinted winge, 14 years after the fact and 10 years into a life of complete bliss in Thailand, I’m struck by 1—the amazing pendulum swing from what was my daily demeanor back then to what it is now, and 2—the pall of utter despair that used to hang above me like the sword of Damocles. I don’t think I’m overstating when I say that the West is poisonous, and trying to live within its cultural, societal, and economic parameters is a slow agonizing death by soul-suffocation. I think the biggest personal change for me, between then and now, is the total abandonment of any notion of having a partner. I have six sometime-girlfriends and three friends with benefits, and can’t even conceive of monogamy. They say variety is the spice of life. I don’t know about that. I just know that in Thailand, things are generally quite a bit spicier than in my hometown, a place I’ll never go back to again.
Check back Sunday for the weekly, and cheers to another wonderful week in the dreamlike existence of the Thai expat.