Day 102

Because you love animals – but hate to see them captive – I would have proposed to you somewhere that was reflective of that. Maybe the African Savannah, where they run free. Or maybe that would be too risky. We’d be looking over our shoulder, watching out for the rabid hyenas and monkeys. We also wouldn’t be alone; our safari guides would be surrounding us, rifles cocked and ready. They’d be wearing Pepsi-Cola t-shirts and trucker hats in an unironic way, that is, from a UNICEF drop or something.

Maybe at the ocean, in the Maldives. But although you love animals, I don’t think you ever cared about the kind that live in the sea. Maybe dolphins because I can see you humanizing them. You like animals that have the ability to smile, or at least look like they’re smiling, like bulldogs. Maldives would be romantic but it would also be too rich. I don’t like it when the world is too textured with money or things of monetary value. I’m not pretentious (or reverse-pretentious) about it, I just like things the way The People can enjoy them. (Am I against elitism?)

Or I would have proposed to you at a place we’ve already been to. We created lots of memories everywhere. From the obscure (Guayaquil) to the bucket list-deemed (Galapagos) to the historic (Angkor Wat) to the dangerous (Acapulco) to the cuddly (Ubud Monkey Forest) to the relaxing (Haad Rin beach) to the delicious (coconut ice cream lady, Ko Samui). These are all holy places, even if only to us.

What’s our most special place? Maybe my old apartment in Toronto. That sad, downtrodden place that I lived in for a few years too long. I started being the loud one, then the years went by and I became the tenant that calls the cops on the kids making noise downstairs. I almost hit that guy, that one time. Maybe the park beside the apartment, the one sandwiched between my front door and the subway entrance. That park wasn’t meaningful while we dated but it became its own character afterwards. That might’ve been the place we were the most honest, most raw with each other. In that fucking park with hobos slumped over the chess tables.

I can’t see it happening in the normal way. The one-knee, professing-my-love way. Not that it’s too banal or too boring – though it is that – I just think I would want to mean more than that, more than everyone else, and so to do it the same way as everyone else would ground it from taking flight. I always think I’m special.

Sometime I would tell you, I love you. And then I would try to explain, but you would ignore me because what’s there to explain? But I wanted to explain:

“I don’t mean ‘I love you’ like ‘Hey, I’m off to work so I love you.’ I don’t mean it as a reflex. I just want you to know that. I don’t mean it as a reflex. I mean to say that I love you, that you’ve changed everything, that I will think of nothing else this entire day other than you and how to keep you happy and warm and safe and nothing else matters more to me than you do. That’s what I mean with ‘I love you’ okay? Not a reflex.” But instead it was, “Love ya, too.”

Maybe it would’ve been best to propose on the way back from a trip, after that 15-hour flight from Hong Kong to Toronto. We would be exhausted stepping off the plane. You wouldn’t expect it. I wouldn’t desire it. But it would be perfect because we would be returning back to reality, but I would fuck up that reality with this new one: end of a trip, beginning of another.

Because who wants to come back to reality? Who cares, no one cares. Let’s just fuck around with it, see how far we can push it and stay sane.

Maybe I would have proposed on one of our walks. That was something that was ours. It wasn’t mine and I let you into it. We discovered those together. When we walked, we were alone. Did you notice that? We weren’t in a rush, we hardly had a destination. It was just to walk. That might’ve been the perfect time to do it. It was our time.

But what I do know is that it would be simple. I think it would’ve been simple and probably in private. We never needed other people to see us. We were the only people that we cared about. The only one I’d need to call to give the news to is you. So perhaps I would’ve proposed on my driveway, in the middle of February, during a snowstorm, when the snowflakes are enormous and absorb all of the sound and make everything seem profound and dreamlike.

That silent winter night where the air is crispy and breathing feels good. Breathing feels like cleansing. Streetlights glimmer. I hate winter, but for some reason, that seems like the perfect environment and I don’t know why.

We wouldn’t make a big deal of it because it’s just the first step and we’re more interested in what comes after. Not the news or the wedding or the parties or the joining of families. The boring things. The falling asleep on each other. The bonding. When a couple melts into each other and becomes one. As Joseph Campbell would say, the rejoining of the duality.

I would lie on you. I would be too heavy for you but I would lie on you, where your collarbone meets your neck, where you have that mark. I would strangely feel light on top of you so you would let me lie there and we would exhale more than inhale and melt into each other and into the bed and onto the floor.

And we would stay like that listening to each other breathe and the world would keep spinning and we would miss everything and we would not care.

We wouldn’t make it.

Day 100

Suddenly, I am suspicious of the receptionist. I realized I’ve been out with her three times and the point of each time was to eat, which I paid for. Not movies, not drinks, not a walk along the harbour (what the fuck am I talking about now?) I don’t normally balk at paying on dates — in fact I insist on it — but this is Bangkok so I’m more on edge about being taken.

But of course she doesn’t reach for her purse. I’d be a dick if I were a westerner making a local pay for meals when I earn significantly more money than her. (This is the same as in Toronto, actually.) From a third-person perspective, I understand this. I get this. I even despise it when the other Local Girl secretly pays the bill while I’m in the washroom. It’s just that when I’m smack in the middle of it, I can’t help to feel suspicious and sour about the whole thing.

She’s put me in the Foodzone. Like the dreaded Friendzone, but (probably) worse. Wait, I get to kiss her so it’s (probably) better. I don’t know, I don’t feel like thinking about which metrics I would even need to  figure out which zone is better or worse. Wait, yes I do:

Chance of Sex:
• Friendzone: minimal
• Foodzone: average

Misunderstandings (I thought you were just being nice!):
• Friendzone: high
• Foodzone: minimal

Wasted Time/Money/Resources:
• Friendzone: every single resource is wasted
• Foodzone: controlled and minimal

Secretly Making Out In Hallways While Dodging Condo Management:
• Friendzone: no
• Foodzone: yes

Totally Being Used To Pay For Her Meals:
• Friendzone: yes
• Foodzone: yes

Ah, there we go. All day today I was adamant of dropping her and moving on, because I was so sour of this paying-for-meals thing. But in reality, at least I’m only paying for her meals, which is just a small part of being in the dreaded Friendzone. At least I’m not her shoulder to cry on, her rebound when her boyfriend hurts her feelings. At least she’s not calling me to pick her up drunk at a club at 4am. At least we’re not really friends. She knows that I like her, because I said keep telling her that.

Jesus, am I glad I did this comparison. I almost went and prematurely ended it all in a diva-esque fit. How many times did I do this before to women? Christ, pull yourself together! Get a fucking grip!

***

Avoiding the Friendzone is probably the biggest and most common obstacle for a man to overcome. I think it’s the most frequent complaint I hear from my male friends, and I feel it’s always the first hurdle that I need to jump. This happens because the man wants to show that he’s nice and caring and giving and generous (as he should be). If the woman digs him, then all is good. But if she doesn’t – or if she’s undecided – she can take the easy route and say, “Oh, I thought you were just a nice guy, I thought we were just friends!”

It’s bullshit. Women know it’s bullshit, they just hope that the guy is too mortified to argue and accuse them of it. And they’re right. Well played, women of the world.

“Why can’t guys and girls just be platonic friends?” That’s what I hear from bullshitting women who are trying to justify the months of free dinners and tickets to musicals and weekend getaways from men they have Friendzoned. No man is nice, you idiots. (Except me. But it’s because I want your friends, you dummies.)

Awhile back in Toronto, I asked a female friend how she was meeting such an eclectic group of new friends. “I go to bars and pick them up and then Friendzone them on the first date.”

“That’s fucking mean as shit.”

“It’s called socializing. Grow up Well, she’s not wrong.

Because guys should know better. Especially in this day and age of Friendzone Internet memes, they should know better. I didn’t know this ten, twenty years ago because there wasn’t a name for it. (We called it, “I don’t know if this girl likes me” syndrome; it’s not as catchy.) I thought these girls were one-offs and that I just kept choosing the wrong ones, the ones that actually wanted to be friends. I didn’t know the majority of women pull out this card because it’s the easiest to pull out.

Anyway, I’ve become an expert at staying out of the Friendzone. I haven’t been in there for a good decade, and if I accidentally found myself in there, I’d fight my way out in a single drunken night, erection in hand. I just couldn’t stand wasting anymore of my life thinking if a girl liked me or not because she gave me all the signs but not The Signal. I was the type to roll around in bed and think about this shit, suffering in excruciating pain, so it was a move grounded in self-preservation. The sweat and tears I wasted…

I was on a date with a girl and she was getting mopey about an ex. “We dated for a long time and so a lot of things remind me of him.” Her eyes started to tear.

“Stop that. We’re on a date and I’m a guy that likes you. I’m not your friend. You’re not allowed to cry to me. You are not allowed.”

She looked up, her eyes still red. But she smirked and she got it and she gave me credit for nipping that shit in the bud. She snapped out of it and we made out in the hallway between the bar and pool tables.

You do everything you can to keep that date between a man and woman, not “Hey, wanna meet up and get some coffee?” You don’t invite a girl out for coffee, you say, “Let’s go on a fucking date and make out like fuck afterwards.” You put it all out there. If she’s going to back out, make her say, “I don’t think we’re going to work out.” It’ll be better in the end with no misunderstandings, and then you’ll be introduced to her friends who you can now date.

Stay out of the Friendzone by any means necessary. Reiterate throughout the date: We are not friends, we are not fucking friends. “Hey, want dessert? You’re fucking hot.” “What kind of movies do you holy shit your legs are incredible.” Hold her hand, flirt boldly, loudly, whip out your goddamn cock and place it next to the salad fork.

Day 99

I do these things, these super romantic movie-moment things, and I mean to but I don’t mean to. Like I was on my way to my regular massage joint and her place was on the way. She was getting ready to go clubbing. “Can I stop by and get a kiss?” I didn’t miss her, I wasn’t dying to see her; it was a 5 second detour for me and I’d get a kiss. Five seconds for a kiss! Who wouldn’t?

But it leads them on into thinking that I just might be different from all of the others. I’m not, I’m the same. Probably worse because I do shit like this, tug at the heart strings. I encourage them to like me back and then when they do, I get scared off and disappear into the night like a phantom that leaves them confused whether I really existed or not, and if I did, if they misunderstood everything.

I think my pattern is this:

Me: I like you.
Her: Okay.
Me: I like you.
Her: Okay.
Me: I like you.
Her: Okay.
Me: I like you.
Her: I like you too.
Me: Whoa whoa whoa this is moving too fast…

I don’t think I do that play-to-win thing. But do I? Do I? I don’t care about winning, I care about the playing. So it’d be play-to-play. Oh fuck, that’s worse, isn’t it? To have no end game. Ah, the introspection achieved from letting your mind spit out 750 words a day.

***

A few years ago in Toronto, I met with an accountant. A very popular, very famous Jewish accountant who had a Bluetooth headset and must’ve answered it thirty times during my hour-long meeting. I needed creative accounting done. I was making well into the 6-figures for a few years, running multiple businesses and grew a substantial stock portfolio. I’m good at organizing my finances and sorting everything into various accounts and stashes, but at that point I needed professional, complex advice.

He advised me to have a trust that would own the holding companies that would own the actual assets. That way, my assets couldn’t be traced to me, the individual. I could get sued but no one would find the money because technically it wouldn’t be mine anymore. Interesting stuff, all of it legal.

He asked why I wanted to do all of this and I said it was 3-fold: 1) better tax sheltering; 2) I wanted to begin giving my father money but didn’t want him to be taxed for it; and 3) I was close to marriage and just wanted my assets to be out of the equation in case it all went downhill.

I was in a different headspace back then. I was building my assets and there was nothing more important to me than to protect those. So even when talking about love and marriage, I was really talking about how to hide my money from my own family — immediate, future wife, etc. Everyone. This cutthroat accountant, this almost-slimey, used-car-salesmany character gave me this advice: “Marry someone good. Marry out of love. Marry someone you trust.”

And that blew my fucking head up. I thought he’d be on my side: “You need to protect your money from everyone because money is the most important thing in the world.” But he didn’t say this, he didn’t back me up. He was slimy but he was a better man than me. That’s when I knew I had to re-prioritize the things in my life.

***

I had a dream that I was watching a movie with a girl. Then I got a text message from another girl that I was dating, so I excused myself and left the theatre. I met the other girl and something happened that I couldn’t go back to the first girl. Not that we started making out or having sex. Something like, we were at a restaurant and chatting and she started talking about her ailing mother and suddenly it was hours later and I just missed my chance to go back.

And then I thought, “Well, I have no excuse to tell the first girl why I didn’t return from the washroom, so I guess I’ll just never every see her ever again.

I’m sure I’ve done this before in life. I thought I fucked something up so I just left, no questions, no answers, no explanations. But it’s always better to just come clean and say, “Sorry, what happened was that I met this other girl and I thought it would just take a few minutes but she needed my help and I totally disrespected you and understand that you never want to see me again, but there’s the explanation behind it.”

I always have anxiety when dating multiple women, which is why I never do it. It’s just too much, it overloads my system. That’s the point of this dream, because though I’m crushing on a million girls at one time (normal) I’m actually acting upon several of them (not normal). So my subconscious is saying, “Fuck you, you’re not getting any sleep tonight. You wake up right now and think of what you’ve done.”

Day 98

It’s becoming hilarious that I’m dating someone that works in my condo. My message to her right now was, “Such soft lips for kissing. Hey, can you send someone to reset the router?”

I can’t wait until it’s: “Great waking up with you this morning. Hey, can you come back and make the bed and clean my toilet?”

We had lunch together today. I had to pick her up on my motorbike at the building next to mine so no one would see us. Then we drove to the Foodland grocery store two kilometers away. (Grocery stores are the shit in Thailand, it’s where I always aim for when I want local food. The grocery stores themselves will have incredible ready-made meals, but then the lobbies will also have cheap and good local food. We went to a place called “Took lae dee” and I asked her if it was Chinese. She said that it means — and I should’ve known this — Good and Cheap in Thai).

Yesterday I was holed up in my apartment for 10 hours, working on deadline. I told her to come up and see me. “But I need an excuse!” I called down and told them I needed pillows. She came up a few hours later to record the electric usage metres down the hall from me. She stood there with a clipboard while taking down numbers all in a very serious manner as I stood behind her speaking quietly and trying not to ravage her. It was all so secretive, so taboo. The owner — known to be a strict man, but I would be too if all my fucking workers were making out with the guests — turned the corner and I immediately went into Frustrated Westerner mode.

Owner: “What is it that you need?”
Me: “Well I asked for some more pillows and haven’t got them yet.”
Owner (to girl): “Get him his pillows!”

Goddamnit, I laughed my ass off. Not on the inside of my head, I was laughing aloud at the absurdity of the whole thing. I like absurdity. I like it so much that I create absurd, awkward moments. It’s kind of cheating, it’s like how in the first Christopher Nolan Batman movie, the League of Shadows would artificially destroy civilizations so they can rebuild stronger, but under the guise of a natural disaster or something. (It’s pretty much the exact same thing, I should know, I’m good at making similes, like an otter builds dams.)

The downside to her working in this condo is also what makes it absurd/fun/awkward: it has to be kept a secret. What that means is no sleepovers. What that means is I can’t do what I love doing with a woman, lying on my bed next to one with a glass of wine and watching Netflix. Not even on the bed, on the couch. On the floor. Whatever, the main ingredients here are 1) girl; 2) wine; 3) Netflix

So either she has to quit or I have to move or we stop seeing each other. I really don’t see any other way that this is going to work. She lives only a few blocks away, but her condo is strictly women-only. So what do we do, get a hotel room? Get a fucking Honeymoon Suite on weekends so I can watch the rest of Parks & Recreation?

Today she wore an oversized white t-shirt and fitted pants or jeans that stopped just above her ankles.

She hopped on the back of my motorcycle and asked me if I showered. I did. She said I smelled. It was my t-shirt, I picked it up off the floor in a rush to meet her. I got caught right away. She laughed while I felt ashamed of myself for the next hour. I told her she should tell me that shit at the end of a date, not the beginning. Then as she was adjusting herself on my seat, she told me my ass was fat. Then she held onto my waist during the ride and grabbed onto some fat and said, You are fat. She was joking, but watch, tonight I’ll go back to the gym for an hour of jump rope, and then eat an egg white omelet and try not to faint.

Day 97

It’s deadline week, so I had to put in a solid 5 hours of work before my date with the receptionist. It should’ve been 8 hours but Bangkok’s at peak temperatures (45C) and this the reason I’m out here. I swim almost every morning and this is boring.

In the middle of the day she texted me asking if I’m in my room. I said I was. Ten minutes later she was at the door, ostensibly to say hello. What’s up with that, did she just miss me? I hadn’t seen her since a week ago when we first went out and I blacked out. Why do I find this so suspicious, that she came up to say hi? Like I feel there’s another reason behind it that I’m not seeing, but there isn’t, there can’t be, because that’s exactly what happened, she knocked and said Hi and then said, Gotta get back to work.

At 8pm I met her in front of the condo. We jumped on a motorcycle taxi to Sukhumvit. It’s always weird and amazing when I split a motorbike taxi with a girl. It’s always me sandwiched between the driver and the girl which must be an awkward sight since I’m double the size of them. But the girls say it’s inappropriate for them to sit in the middle, something about these drivers being the alcoholic rapists of the city who’ll get excited at any crotch rubbing. So it was the driver, then me straddling the seat while trying to balance, and then her sitting on the back, sideways, lady-like, with legs crossed and slumped over the side of the bike. She grabbed my waist with her right arm and I flexed my stomach for the entire duration, risking a fucking hernia.

I dig her style. This wispy-thin black dress with slouchy boots (why do I know these descriptors?). She looked like she practiced the dark arts of the Wiccan. All that black contrasted with her relatively-white-compared-to-me-but-not-high-class-Thai-white skin and her blonde hair. We talked a lot about her style, about her perfect hair with no split ends or signs of damage, odd because she’s been dyeing it for a decade.

I don’t know what she was wearing under the dress, but there were like 3 pairs of bra straps going on. Maybe dress-camisole-bra? Why do I know what a fucking camisole is? Anyway, straps are sexy. Guys are conditioned to see a strap and think of breasts, so seeing 3 sets inexplicably makes me think of 3 times the breasts.

We ate expensive Japanese food ($80) that always tastes complicated to me. I have the palate of a 14-year old Texas kid. I can only really appreciate bold flavours, not these intricate, delicate dishes the Japanese come up with where you have to savour. Basically, I eat Japanese food for the wasabi/soy sauce dip. Hey, you’re being boring again.

Afterwards we went to a bar, a pub, exactly like back at home. An expat pub so it was full of white people, exactly like back at home. Beers were $5-$8, exactly like back at home. Hated the fuck out of that fucking place.

She told me she wanted to go to Korea to get plastic surgery. She just volunteered that information. Said she wanted to shave the sides of her jaw down to get a V-shape. I told her not to, that she might ruin her square jaw now. I’m not not into plastic surgery, but man, keep in under control. I dig the square jaws, the Olivia Wilde look. Courtney Thorne-Smith, if anyone remembers her. I mean, that’s what attracted me to her.

Then she told me she had her eyelids done, her nose fixed, her skin brightened. That in conjunction with her blond hair, I suppose I have no idea what her natural look is and can’t tell her what’ll look good or not. I think she said something like, “If you think I’m beautiful now, then you fell for the plastic surgery and made my case that it’s a good thing.” Yeah, she got me there.

She also wants “big tits.”

I can’t put my finger on her. These “pretty” girls in Bangkok, it’s much too easy for them to date a farang. To get them in the palm of their hands. So I’m sure she has a few chasing her around. She must. But to what extent? Is she milking them for money? Is she authentically dating them? You just never know in this city, and it’s not because the girls are money-grubbing whores — it’s because the fucking foreigners, the fucking weak-ass fucking desperate chumps too easily throw money at them. It’s not chicken-and-the-egg, it’s clearly started by the fucking foreigners.

But it’s hardly a problem. Or there’s an easy way to figure it out: don’t buy her anything.

I had this argument with my Israeli friend here, who was taken by a girl. Completely taken, paid to fix her house, paid for surgeries for relatives, then she took off, went off with another farang. “I gave her everything she wanted and needed and she went for the guy with more money. They just want the most they can get, enough is not enough.”

So now he spits poison at every local. He’s just way too paranoid and distrusting, even of the women I date and even befriend. He tells me to watch out, to dump them. I tell him, “I’m just not going to buy her anything, you fucking idiot.”

It’s not hard to not fix someone’s roof or not pay for their great-aunt’s triple-bypass surgery. Look, I’m doing it right now. So effortless, the way I’m not buying a girl a trip to Spain and Rimowa luggage. Fuck, it’s your own fault and you ruined the country.

Day 96

I think I’m going on a date tonight, with the receptionist at my condo. Think because I asked if she wanted to do dinner and she said she’d let me know tomorrow (today). What am I, not-first-fucking-choice? Ah well.

Usually I wouldn’t shit where I eat. Never date classmates or coworkers. It’s just that these things usually end up terribly and you just want to stay away from having exes in places where you might see them on a daily basis. I suppose my condo in Bangkok counts as one of those places.

But I feel this time it’s okay as I’ll be flying in and out of this city for the next bit, and then probably for a few months in the summer on my way back to Toronto. So if this does end up being a terrible idea, at least I’ll only have to suffer for a few intermittent weeks.

Something about her. I think my friend said it best: she’s not the best looking girl (but a very good looking girl) but there’s something very, very sexy about her. I don’t know, is it because she’s calm and quiet? Because she looks like she won’t take my shit? Or is it the blonde hair and the tattoos? She has a Japanese fetish (“Culture and food, not the people,” she said) and looks the part. A Yakuza gangster girl. Her eyes are cold, like she’s seen the underbelly of Tokyo and nothing else can shake her. That 1000-yard stare you get in Vietname or in a corner of Shinjuku, that’s what she has.

She dresses like a French woman. I don’t know what I mean by that, having never been to France. But everything’s just so flowly and sexy without effort. You know? Like thrown together, but you know it’s all done very conscientiously, very purposely. She comes off like that, like she knows what the fuck she’s doing.

I don’t like sloppy. Stray hairs and tampon strings. I don’t like it.

Cold, cold eyes. She’s not the first girl I was attracted to because of the cold eyes. Shit, I never acknowledged this until right now. I need to file this somewhere. (But why? It’s an automatic response, a reflex. I don’t need to be aware.)

Having her work here in front of a dozen monitors displaying all the CCTV cameras in the complex is a little weird. She can see when I leave and when I arrive. She can see who I leave and arrive with. This matters little as this hardly happens. But still. There’s that other local girl, who I’m sure it’s all finished with, as I just don’t have the energy, the motivation to pick up my phone to message her hello.

Ah well. Replace replace replace. Substitute. That’s like, this is how it is, this is what happens. I just wish I could stop this cycle and maybe just like someone for a good long decade. That would be nice. That’s akin to the way I chose Bangkok to just unpack all of my things and hang up clothes and fold up shirts and put them all away in the wardrobe, whereas usually I keep everything mostly in their packing cubes in my backpack, ready to take off for the next destination.

I got tired. I got tired of new things. I just want old, familiar, comfortable things. Jesus Christ, is this the mindset men get into before settling down? That they no longer want new women, new experiences? That they don’t need to ever have — ever again — that first date, first kiss, the butterflies of anxiety floating in their stomachs when they’re trying to guess if that girl likes them back?

I mean, I could probably feel like that for 3 years. 5 years. 20 years? But I’m sure it’ll always come back, that curiosity of the new.

Am I a pioneer? Am I a fucking explorer? I suppose I am. If I could go to Mars, I wouldn’t hesitate. “You will be alone and it will be dark and you will die out there.” “Well, would I have my iPad and Instagram?” “Yes.” “Then yes.”

Yeah, fuck, I suppose I’d be one of those on the first boat from Portugal to the New World. So if I have that attitude with places and things, does it make sense that I have it with women as well? Well, it makes perfect sense, but I guess what I’m wondering is if I could stop that curiosity/explorer part of my brain from leaking into the women/relationship side.

Probably not.

 

Day 95

My life oscillates between missing Bangkok and missing beaches. I just got back yesterday so I’m still in let’s-explore-Bangkok-there’s-so-much-I-have-yet-to-see mode still, but it”ll end in a matter of days. I have travel exhaustion which is a mix between complacency of new stimulation and a willingness to get out there and do things because I’m already tired, I might as well get more tired and then rest afterwards.

Let’s not be boring. There must be fun things to write about. It’s always girls, isn’t it?

The local girl, the switch turned off. Is that usually how it happens for me, a switch? Not a dimmer knob? I don’t know, I can’t remember the demise of all my break-ups, nor do I want to.

The last time I saw her, I was excited for our mini getaway. I always really truly authentically want to see her. She makes me laugh, even though we don’t speak the same primary language. It bothers me that sometimes I need to dumb down my humour to make her laugh (like I look like this animal or that person or something — simple comparison humour, I guess). But at least that’s because of language restrictions and not because she’s stupid. Immature, but not stupid.

Oh, right, so that’s what she did. On the first night driving to Kanchanaburi, we stopped at McDonald’s. I got the Big Mac combo and she got fried chicken (Thai regional menu). We were eating fries and she would dip them into ketchup and then into my mouth. Then she would purposely miss and get my cheek. She did that a few times before I gave her a stern look and said her name in an exasperated way. It wasn’t the first time she pulled this trick. It wasn’t the first time in my life anyone had pulled this trick. Maybe she thought she was the first? Or maybe she was trying to do the funny-through-repetition thing. Or maybe I was in a bad mood and everything was funny but I was a cranky-pants.

Either way, she got mad at me being mad (another immature ploy) and moved to the next seat, I suppose waiting for me to say sorry? I take these as terrorist threats (women use terrorist threats) and do what you’re supposed to do when children act up: ignore.

I think she was becoming more annoyed that I was simply ignoring her and reading whatever was on the tray liner. But I can’t give in, I don’t care that I’m the older one. This is where I teach you how to be a woman, I thought. Right? I don’t know.

Anyway, she snapped out of it and relaxed and we continued our trip.

I’m not sure if it happened on the same weekend, but I remember complaining to a friend about this very recently: at one point she would step on my foot, and when I tried to move, I’d stumble a bit. She found this hilarious and so had to repeat it about a million times, both irritating my toes and dirtying up my shoes. Both really minor things, but they’re not minor when they can be avoided, right? So minor things turned into major things and again I had to give her a stern look and yell her name in an exasperated manner.

So I think that was the beginning of the end, the age thing.

She also brought up — did I write about this recently, it sounds familiar? — that she would be alone on Thai New Year’s. She brought it up a few times. But I kept telling her, “Look, I always give you dibs on my time, the caveat being that you have to let me know a few days in advance since you live 2 hours away and I’m always busy with work or visitors.”

I think she — or maybe all Thais in general — and I did definitely write about this recently — just doesn’t take that shit seriously, or they’re very fluid in their schedules. Anyway, let’s move on.

I mean, god, she’s beautiful, and when she loses the baby fat will be even moreseo. (That sounds gross, like I’m dating some child with chubby cheeks — but I didn’t lose my baby fat until I was 30. I had no idea there were some chiseled cheeks under that fat. I just thought, well, that’s my fucking face, I guess that’s it. But at 30 a few centimeters fell off.) But beauty isn’t enough, all of my exes were beautiful. (It’s not enough, but it’s a requirement.)

So is it really the immaturity that’s killing it for me? Because I’m on the cusp now, I can walk away or dive in. Likely walk away, though. That’s always my instinct: we’re not meant to be.

Day 94

Missed, what, 5 days? This has never happened before. Well it hasn’t happened in 94 days, I’m keeping count right up there. Onward and upwards.

Five days down south to meet up with  Canadian friend. Another acquaintance from Seattle tagged along, a guy I met in LA after I broke up with a girlfriend. Almost immediately after the break up, I booked a flight to go see my friends down there to boost my spirits. I don’t find my Toronto friends supportive in matters such as these (this isn’t their fault; we just never opened up to each other to this degree. My American friends, however, are the friends that I am friends with exactly because of matters such as these. We’re all moody, petulant, emotional, angry, romantic writers, and can cry on each other if need be).

I remember I met him down there when I was drinking away my sorrows (I really loved this one) while being introduced to picklebacks. Putrid picklebacks that taste so damn good. Anyway, he was coming to Toronto in a few months and I told him to look me up, but to give me some time to regroup some male friends as I was trying to rebuild my social circle that was obliterated by a 2.5 year relationship. And that’s exactly what happened, within months I had rebuilt and had a good, solid circle of new single guy friends to roam the city with.

So he tagged along down south, met my other friends. At this age nobody really gets in the way of anyone else too much, since we’re all just old enough to walk away from irritants. Anyway, point is, we rented motorbikes to drive from Krabitown to Ko Lanta and he crashed his and had to be taken to the hospital by ambulance.

Of course, I was excited by all of this. I’m just super psyched when it comes to logistics and processes and all of that shit. I don’t know why. I was curious as to what forms needed to be filled out and the method in which the Thai emergency medical industry worked. Of course, this is after I knew he was (probably) okay. He wiggled his toes and was screaming only at the surface wounds, the skin that had been scraped off of his body by the road, most on his leg and some on his arm.

They took him to the hospital and I followed on my bike. I got there while he was still in the stretcher, outside and under a fan. Flies buzzing about. They wheeled him into a room (the entire hospital was just rooms — like a commercial plaza/strip mall type thing). They set up all the aluminum (stainless steel?) apparatus: scissors, tweezers, pans to catch everything in. Bottles of iodine and tins of diluted water. They needed to clean his wounds. That’s when I stepped outside, squeamish to the cries of old men. Didn’t matter, I heard him, anyway. These loud roars like they were disemboweling him. I completely understood — I, too, am a pussy when it comes to the stinging pain of alcohol cleansers. I have many scars on my body, dirty with brown patch marks under the skin, because I was too much of a pussy to clean it before dressing it.

Anyway, he’s fine. I took pictures of him in pain and — of course — during my shooting he looked at me like, what the fuck, dude? but then afterwards was glad that I was smart enough to document it all rather than to hold his hand and tell him everything was going to be alright.

What was I talking about before?

Los Angeles. I went to LA to get over the break-up. Years later when I spoke to this ex, I asked her, “You said nothing when we broke up. You didn’t even fight it. I didn’t think it was over until you just let the break-up take hold. Why?” She said, “Because you took off to LA after and for me that was the end of it.”

I don’t know, I’m not saying one thing or another. I’m not saying we would’ve got back together and be married right now. But I know I woke up the morning after the break-up wondering if it was the right thing to do. It would’ve just taken her saying something … in fact, just reaching out, opening the lines of communication — and we probably would’ve continued. So nothing happened because we both waited for the other, and then I went to LA. Okay.

Day 93

It’s Songkran, Thai New Year’s, and everyone’s out there drenching each other with water. It’s awesome because it’s weird and wacky and foreign, but it’s also awesome because if this happened in any other city in the world, fist fights would break out. White people aim for the face and you can see it in their eyes the bloodlust and also that they’re counting points, tallying up their score. Everyone else is just having fun.

This girl sent me photos of herself, naked. She drunk texted me from thousands of miles away, saying she was grilled about our tryst a year ago. Then she sent me three photos, one of her body, one of her face and one close-up shot of her vagina.

Why the fuck…?

I was looking at Em Rata’s pictures the other day, the ones that were hacked from her phone. I was on that site that aggregated them all and saw the huge list of celebrities with hacked photos. It shocked me that this many people — nevermind celebrities — have naked photos of themselves on their phones. Is this really a thing? Am I that much of a prude or that behind to not know about any of this? I mean, I have workout photos but I’m clothed, or at the very least, wearing boxer briefs. The lighting in unflattering and my room’s a mess and it’s just clear that these aren’t supposed to be sexy.

Like there’s no photo of my cock anywhere on this planet, whether in print or electronic form. And I have to say that it’s quite an easy feat. It didn’t take any effort for me at all to not take naked photos of myself.

But it seems everyone else in the world does, and they share them with each other. Why am I so uninterested in this phenomenon? Is it because I prefer pornstars with their perfect, plastic bodies?

So these naked, masturbating, horny selfies that she sent. I don’t know, I excused myself from the Songkran/New year’s festivities, went to the washroom and had a look. She has a good body, pretty face — but what am I supposed to do with these? What’s the protocol here, was I supposed to touch myself and send photos back? What do all the crazy kids do? Photos don’t do it for me, but I wanted to somehow thank her for the gesture of entrusting me with hers. That’s a huge responsibility.

Why do this, though? Does she need validation that she’s still attractive? Well, that’s not a maybe that’s a definite. Everyone needs validation at any age. But why come to me? The guy you had a quick, one-time fling with years ago, who now lives on the other side of the planet? Well, maybe I just answered my own question. I’m out of the picture.

Anyway, aside from random sex photos from a woman, Songkran is pretty neat. I highly advise it.