if one day you just up and leave.


all my money is gone, but that story isn't even worth telling.

bangkok was just kind of eh. once you've seen one major asian city, you've seen them all. what's it like? a bunch of asians crowding together in markets. street vendors selling meat on sticks, fake purses, fake watches, fake t-shirts. i went on a tour by myself. it was good, to be alone again. can i do this? for two years? just be by myself and have no one to talk to? in the bus, the guides spoke thai and broken english, i heard indians, and i heard french. i listened to kanye west, and the song "runaway" made me very sad.

my cousin, her friend, and i went to patpong, the infamous red light district. it was homely looking girl after homely looking girl popping things out of their vaginas. one smoked a cigarette out of hers. another popped ballons by shooting darts out of her hoo-ha. yet another shot ping pong balls out of hers, and i returned the serve with a paddle. one tooted a horn. another blew out birthday candles. if there is a god, why does this kind of thing happen every night? we went to another place, and there was just straight up fucking. nothing left to the imagination. penetration right on the stage, and i thought i was gonna be sick. i just looked at the girl's face, that look of hopelessness, a look that said, hey, i'm being fucked in a chalee bar, and you foreigners paid $15 to watch me get fucked in this chalee bar, congratulations.

at least the food was delicious. on the last night, i treated my cousin and her friend to dinner, and it cost around $70. but it was worth every penny.

i've come to realize that i don't really like traveling. i kind of just want to be in one place until it gets old and then move on. but that's no way to live, right? that's just being a bum, or more specifically, a hobo.

but a few weeks ago, i was in a van, and we were coming back from a full day of swimming at calatagan. the street was dark, and the driver was really putting the pedal to the floor, despite the oncoming tricycles and motorists. it was dark, and other than the sound of the engine, it was quiet. i felt peace, at ease. i thought, i am going to remember this. it was a good memory, and it came to me when i truly believed there were no good memories left to make. that night gave me hope. but the combined speed and darkness also gave my mom a panic attack.

and then i was walking back to my niece's house in fairview. we had just spent the evening playing music in her friend's bar. we walked along a dirt road, and we were out in the countryside, so i could hear the crickets, see the full moon and stars directly above us. another good memory, i'll keep it.

i could picture myself back in california. i'm sitting on the sidewalk, and there's no one around. my parents are inside, they're watching tv. some kid will walk by, but he won't even look at me. i'm sitting there the whole day, just imagine it. the mailman delivers the mail, not even a hello. the whole fucking day will go by, no one will say a thing. not one word. no one will ask, why the hell are you just sitting on the sidewalk all day? no one will ask, what the hell's the matter with you? and that's not what i want. that's not it at all.

contrast it with this: i'm in fairview, my niece's house. her three friends come over. one of them, janine, is a very cute, dark-skinned girl with crooked teeth. she smiles all the time to show those crooked teeth. and they're taking hours just trying to figure out how to play some indian movie on a usb inserted into a portable laptop that's going into the hdtv. someone comes downstairs, and she's holding her baby. the friends coo over the baby. another friend stops by, and my cousin, espie, she invites everyone to sit down at the table to eat. a neighbor stops by, and she's adorable, too, this incredibly thin, shy girl who just wants some ice cream. she just gets the ice cream with her head bowed low, and she tries to slip away unnoticed. i want to grab her and tell her that life is too short to be shy, that she should spend her days making music, screaming her head off, demanding her fair share from this shit, lonely world. she should love and be loved, as we all should.

and that's what i want: community, family, a sense of belonging. not taking things too seriously. to show gratitude for the small bowl of ice cream that's already melted. this is all i've ever wanted.

i'm almost home.

1 comment:

Aby said...

A nice read :-)