December 6, 2019 By bangkok7
Hello and happy Friday. Bangkok Seven here, with another frowback to what would have been a life sentence in the prison of America had I not grown a spine and dared to escape. Life in Thailand is a dream compared to the fevered nightmare of the West, as the following will attest. I wrote it while in the tailspin of my final crashing romance with a female farang—a road that, thankfully, I’ll never travel again. But before I learned of the mystical, wonderful Land of Smiles, I thought my only life choice was to remain in Los Angeles in a dysfunctional relationship, placating my aching psyche with wine while my days passed in a blurry malaise. These blogs are a record of that hopeless time, before I was saved by Thailand…
“Wednesday, January 03, 2007 Current mood: morose
Who would pay $100 for a pinot noir??
ME! That’s right, I’m the dumbass with too much time and money on his hands. Alright, truth be told, there are a few pinots out there that are worth the money, and are over 50 bucks. Problem is, the one I bought. . . .wasn’t. It was from Tandem, which–God love em–as delicious as their wine is, this one wasn’t worthy of the price I paid. I found it languishing dustily on the shelf of a boutique wine shop in Chatsworth with a reputation for over-pricing, and I fell for it like a naive wine whore. But it was their last bottle, and Tandem is so hard to find in Los Angeles, and I had money to burn, baby!!! So I indulged.
Very earthy (old world style) and a tad chalky-minerally for my taste, but bursting with berry fruit nonetheless. It took some time to fully bloom (it was a 2001) and I used my new decanter for the first time to speed up the process. It tickled the senses. It ripened the mind. It reminded one that truth and beauty can be found almost anywhere if one were astute enough to look. And I’d found it on a small shelf in a wine store on Topanga. Yes America, I’m feeling smug.
It’s interesting how and where and that a human being can find solace in the most innocuous of things. The rest of my life is crumbling around me. Outside my window and inside my brain, a nuclear explosion is laying waste to everything past and present, yet I find myself in the eye of the storm because of the wine. It lets go my senses like sinuses opening up. I feel the warmth of something like sun rays casting light on the shadows of my present state as if my reality–that of painful isolation, rejection by loved ones, and affirmation of my ineptitude–were a cut-and-pasted digital image rather than the pathetic and heart-dissolving reality I now flounder in.
I console myself with words and long solitary walks on the beach. Neither compensates. Neither alleviates. I look down the barrel of my days and ways and realize there is no alternative but to face the nightmares like a floater on a wave. It will take me under no matter what zig or zag I may have up my sleeve. I quell the terror with pinot. I subdue the demon with Vicodin and Scotch. Oh yes America, I’m not so prejudiced against the harder stuff. It all concocts the same way on a molecular level, and my thoughts welcome each sensation like a trampoline.
My best friend has shunned me for three weeks and won’t tell me why. She withholds her body like an Indian giver, the image already fading to a blurred sketch in my mind, and has the gall to wonder what’s troubling me. She can’t understand why I’m upset. I can’t understand where she’s gone, or where I’ve gone wrong. Actually I know. Letting someone matter is the biggest mistake in the world. When someone becomes important, it’s only a matter of time before it all explodes. Melts the curtains, ignites certain memories that burn in a flash and then simmer as embers for days and days and days. Where is the drug that erases? Scotch bulldozes, but only for a day. Vicodin softens for exactly six hours. 100 dollar pinot lays down a bed of silk and feathers, and then razor blades at 4 a.m. Isn’t there something that wipes it all clean? I paid so much for this wine, what else is there that can do the job? Someone tell me, please. I’ve got money to spend. It would’ve gone to the girl but she’s MIA without reason. It should’ve been for a vacation, a five star dinner, more DV tapes and handcuffs. Instead it clutters my bank account. Someone point me in a direction so I can do something besides spin my wheels.
I don’t think I’m asking for too much. I don’t want love. I don’t want fidelity. I just want an explanation. Or a drug to make me sleep. The wine is potent but temporary. I don’t know where else to turn, except to someone new, someone who won’t shroud their intentions in mystery, someone who will be straight with me.
Will it be you?”
I remember writing this like it was yesterday. My office window was open. The trees outside were lolling in the breeze. The sky was a clear, almost bracing blue. And I was suddenly aware that my soon-to-be ex was already gone. She’d return a few more times for wine and fancy dinners, but her heart (and body) no longer leaned in my direction. In the following months, I’d try to replace her with others, none of whom stuck around, which is just as well since they couldn’t measure up to the one who left. And I was set on an inevitable course to destruction. But somehow, inexplicably, something good happened. I moved to Thailand. At the time, it seemed like nothing more than an attempt to run from my memories. I had no idea that I’d make it my new home, and in doing so leave all my misery behind for good.
Tune in next Friday to read more of how I got from there to here, and in the meantime keep your balls warm, your beer cold, and cheers to 7 more days above ground in the greatest country on Earth: Thailand.