Howdy internet peruser, my name’s Seven. You’ve stumbled onto a blog series of mine chronicling the miserable months of my life back in America that eventually led me to board a plane to Thailand. At this point—12 years ago now—I was trying to make the best of my situation, not knowing that in a few months’ time I’d make my first move overseas (to the UK), which was the impetus for my world travel that ended finally in TLOS. The wine mentioned below came from a winery that’s now long-gone. The winemaker’s first tasting shop was in Solvang and later moved to Avila Beach. The maker, the shop locations, and the wine were all superb and it’s a shame they’re no more. But the blog, like the memory, is a record of a thing that, in the midst of that gloomy life in Los Angeles, there were occasional rays of sunshine. My last farang girlfriend had already made her exit but hadn’t announced it officially. Yet I knew it was over, and so I consoled myself by chasing a couple of unimportant ladies, mostly enlisting them to accompany me on my trips to wine country…
“Monday, January 29, 2007 Current mood: contemplative
dreaming in metaphors
So I was reading the previous blog (yes, America, I read my own stuff. If I don’t, who will?) and noticed how utterly maudlin it was, and since my spirits have been. . . .UP of late, I figured I’d better coat over the malaise with a nice ruby red finish. I say ruby red because, of course, I’m indulging in my favorite pastime again. A little wine with my cyber-whine.
Yesterday at this time I was in Los Olivos with a—dare I say—fellow wine snob. Only she’s much better to look at than me. Which worked out well for me. At any rate, we hit my usual haunts: La Fond, Morovino, Epiphany, Concilience, and the local deli where I feel right at home every time I set foot inside. We escaped for the day, since my roommates were simply unbearable and I needed to re-clutter my wine cellar. I spent foolishly, buying $40 dollar bottles by the half-case and throwing caution to the wind. I suppose it was my companion that brought it out in me. Every time I look at her I reach for my wallet. I assume it’s because I don’t feel worthy of her company. Yet ironically, she’s told me she feels the same way. Why is it that all the most beautiful women have the lowest self-esteem? Is it the fear that all they have to offer is a beautiful body? That no one will see past the skin to the flawed goddess beneath? I wonder.
The wine I’ve opened is an Italian-style concoction made of Barbera grapes. Mr. Morovino prides himself on his Italian wines. Such tender loving care this man has when it comes to his wine. This particular gem would be better with food, but I’m fresh out, so it’s glug-glug-glug and see ya when I see ya. It’s so easy on the palate, like this girl was easy on the eyes. It soothes my jagged edges the way her quiet worship soothed my damaged psyche. The taste of the wine is both sanguine in its youthful fruit and robust in its old-world style. Just like the girl had the velvet touch of a nymph and the melancholy understanding of an old soul. She put her hand on my neck—an action that is seductive yet comforting. Familiar and protective. The wine softens my mood in the same way, one silken mouthful at a time. Here is an epiphany: women intoxicate. I’m not an alcoholic, I’m a problem drinker. Similarly, I’m not a lover, simply a problem Casanova. If I’m not seducing or being seduced, it’s a problem.
Thankfully, the wine does both. As did the girl. And all is right with the world. She has since gone her own way (I know it was only yesterday, but as soon as they are out of sight I assume they are lost to me and will never be seen again) and I am, foolishly, preoccupied with another. She needs my help and I call her a friend, but if I were more honest (and each sip makes me more so) I would confess that there are moments when I yearn to know what it feels like to hold her in my arms. And how her kiss would taste. And whether, when she lies next to me in my bed, her head on my chest, my heartbeat might lull her to sleep. This is the foolishness that blooms under the crimson heat of the Barbera, momentary lover and sweet truth serum. Like all good intimacies, both friend and betrayer, both a comfort and a curse. Bittersweet. Though not in flavor, mind you, there’s nothing bitter about this wine. How similar California must be to Tuscany. There’s no other explanation for the succulent unction that rolls over my senses now like a raven-haired, olive-skinned, green-eyed woman in a passenger seat on a highway with a view of the Pacific and the soft clink of bottles on the floor between her knees.
But enough of her. The next one beckons. I see her like a train conductor sees light at the end of a tunnel. Her smile is as bright. Like gold catching the light. She shimmers in the dark, my closed eyes shrouding, the dream enveloping, a permeating swell and nothing left but a softness, a white-hot touch.
This is what dreams are made of.”
I realize now that back then, in Los Angeles, I leaned on wine and various trysts with unmemorable women in an effort to ease a yearning that could not be sated. That is, until I found my way to Thailand. All those wasted years in America, I looked for something to fill a gaping hole in my life, thinking of course that a woman would eventually do. But none of them ever did. Thailand did. Since moving here, the relentless unrest in my soul has quieted. A lot of it has to do with acquiring a harem. I also have to thank the collective sweet attitude of every Thai lady I’ve encountered for proving that not all women on this planet are heartless, shit-brained fuckwits. But more than that, I think it was the act of taking charge of the direction of my life that made the biggest impact. I stopped letting other people helm this ship. I organized a mutiny against my own personal doubt, grew a pair of balls, and set a course for parts unknown which led me here. And as Robert Frost would say, that has made all the difference.
Tune in next week for another chapter of excavated angst, and until then cheers to another week above ground in this amusement park for the senses called Thailand.