She Taunts Me With Her Beauty

So, wait a second, let me get this straight: Now, all of a sudden, I love her and want to follow her to Italy and marry her afterwards; have her children, start a family, buy the dog breed she likes (we fight over this) and give her everything else that she wants, every little fucking thing she ever desired in her life?

Just because she posted a brief, 20-second video of her playing with her nephew?

Just because even though we communicate on an almost-daily basis, it’s all through texts and so seeing her move and gesticulate is new again – new while being wonderfully, comfortably, familiar – the way she speaks while gesturing with her eyes, her eyebrows, her high cheekbones, her tilted lips, her cavernous smile and that fucking laugh – the goddamn maniacal, incredulous laugh of a fucking goddess mocking us piddling mortals?

Just because suddenly I was reminded of the flawless beauty behind the horde of emoticons that she sends my way; her haphazard and rushed typing – that which absolutely reflects her thought process – that results in spelling and grammatical errors and flawed logic and mindless, sometimes ignorant and downright mean remarks?

I mean, could I be this superficial? Does it mean that much to me to have a physically beautiful woman? Well, no, there are lines and I’ve drawn them with nearly all of my ex-girlfriends: beauty isn’t enough.

But her. Holy fuck, her.

Her degree of beauty is staggering. She shouldn’t even be in my realm of possibility. But here she is, an arm’s length away, because while she may like her own looks (that’s how she acts, like she doesn’t mind what she looks like), she doesn’t like them as much as I do, as much as the rest of the world does. She doesn’t value them – or value them properly – and that incorrect self-awareness costs her shit like better guys to like than guys like me.

I mean, how am I one of the nicer guys in her life? I’m a dick!

I’m the kind of guy that will wave off a woman and then fall head over heels upon seeing a fucking Instagram video of her. I’ll dismiss and disregard women based on the smallest action or difference in opinion or if they pronounce the L in salmon. But all it takes for them to get back into my heart is a red sleeveless dress and a few swift raises of the left eyebrow and an imperceptible head-tilt while they’re explaining a card game on camera.

All it takes is for her eyes to turn into slits when she laughs, and I’ll fall in so hard that I’ll bounce off the bottom.

Choose A Fucking Path, Jesus Fucking Christ

It’s getting impossible to hang out with people whom I have little in common with. It’s not a choice – I just can’t do it in a healthy manner. It leaves me feeling drained and irritated and angry, and then I have to pull shit like this, fly to Ho Chi Minh so I can be alone for twenty days before I have to be around people again.

It’s even harder because I no longer know who I am. I don’t know what I value anymore. Or, I’m in-between two diametrically opposite lifestyles with a foot in each one, and I’ll lean to whichever extreme depending on my mood when I wake up.

So it’s not anyone’s fault (well, I suppose it’s mine) and I’m trying to manage my life so I’m not annoyed by people I weren’t annoyed with in the past, who haven’t changed their behavior at all, who I just find annoying when I choose to be New Alex that fucking day. Sorry. Sorry, everyone.

You know, I was like this when I was younger, too. Maybe I was always like this, and maybe that’s why I was never fulfilled in Toronto. The shitty part is that I was never ignorant to this; I knew exactly that I had to make a choice between two lives. Instead, I just ignored it and that’s why I’m still exactly the same, twenty years later: unfulfilled.

One side of me wanted to be a successful Art Director. I was on that path already, and it all came easy, naturally. At that point I’d just need to put in the years and eventually I would’ve been called down to New York. So half of me wanted that: a modicum of fame and celebrity in the publishing design world with a fancy condo and a driver and tortoise-shell glasses. I’d probably be publisher one day, with my propensity for everything publishing, from design to writing to editing to the bottom fucking line. A cocaine habit and a wispy, fashion-model girlfriend.

The other side of me wanted to be nothing. Wanted to avoid attention and travel the world and live in small huts. I wanted to be the kind of guy that didn’t need the exact shit that the other half of me valued. Not in any hippie kind of way – I wouldn’t be out to save the world or orphan children or stray dogs (well, maybe stray dogs). The point of that sort of existence would’ve been to just exist, to be a part of the experience of humanity (wait – this sounds hippie).

Happiness would come from picking a fucking path. That’s it, just picking one of those and aiming for it and hunkering down and struggling to achieve it. But I refuse; my soul refuses to choose. It wants both of these COMPLETELY OPPOSITE THINGS and it wants them both AT THE SAME TIME.

In some bizarre way, I’m doing it. I’m actually achieving both – half of my life is spent with Western friends in lounges, nightclubs, steak frites and Uber; the other half is spent alone on a motorcycle, all my shit strapped to the back, eating at restaurants where I order food by pointing at what other people are eating.

But in the end, I’ll lose living like this. Straddling two entirely different worlds that can’t – probably can’t – coexist. If I want a wife, a family, a dog – and I do – then I’ll have to choose a world. It’s been extremely hard to choose a city to live in, a woman to date. Sometimes it takes me an hour to decide what to eat for dinner (my brain is breaking down, seriously). But I didn’t realize that I have yet to choose a life philosophy. How fucked up is that? Something that normally descends into a person’s mind, something that most people automatically decide!

Entrepreneurs know that they are entrepreneurs. Artists know that they are artists. Some people know they want to be rich; others know they want families. And then there’s me who wants all of these things and none of them, all at the same time and then at varying stages of my life.

Jesus fucking Christ, I didn’t realize how dire this was until know. But I suppose, like a heroin habit, the first step is to acknowledge that there’s a problem. Okay, so what do I do know, find myself? Backpack the world like a 19-year old between high school and college? Fuck, all of this shit happened because I went and found myself!

And found myself to be a fucked up psychopath.

Breasts

I blame it on Baywatch, on my coming-of-age years taking place at the same time breast implants and abdominals were gaining popularity. The 80s were all about voluptuous, soft, womanly bodies. Then in the 90s it was all waify, heroin-chic – a trend I merrily skipped – Kate Moss and whatever the fuck Courntey Cox turned into in the last years of Friends. After that was a synergy of the two: slim, but healthy. The kind of body you can only get by lifting heavy weights, not six hours a day on the stairmaster.

This was right up my alley. Big, muscular thighs and taut, rippled abdominals. Biceps and shoulders and traps. And then breast implants, to replace the tissue invariably lost when I woman has this low body fat percentage.

Anyway, my point is, I’m finally relaxing on my body standards for women. It’s happening automatically and I wonder if it’s because I’m settling, or if I’m just over childish things like how a woman looks on the outside (ha ha ha).

I think I came to this conclusion in a logical manner. I watched all of these super slim women in my life gain weight during pregnancy, and then weren’t able to shake it off afterwards (including my sister). Shockingly, I didn’t tell myself, “Wow, she got fat and will never return to normal. What a shame.” It’s a horrible, horrible thing to think, but I truly thought that I would be the person to think it.

But I didn’t. Instead I said, “If those girls couldn’t lose the pregnancy weight, no one else has a chance. Oh well.” And that was that, my ideology was instantly, permanently changed.

I also thought – and it was all done in a split-second, like my brain didn’t take any time to come to a conclusion – “I’d rather have my own children than to have a forever-slim wife.” Once you put it on those terms, it’s easy. Who cares about a bit of extra fat?

So there you go, my standards have changed. I don’t even care about tits anymore, for the love of fucking god.

If you see the kind of porn that I’m watching now compared to a year ago – and then every year before that – holy shit, that’s some telling shit. It started off with these voluptuous, large breasted, large hipped European women like Seka (but only because it’s what I found in my dad’s closet).

Then I moved to blonde and slim with those giant First Generation breast implants that were perfectly round, like volleyballs under the skin, back when doctors (and patients, I guess) thought that the best implants were the ones that looked the most fake-ish. (Devon; Jesse Jane)

Then I switched to super-fit brunettes with taut abs and definted arms – also with First Gen implants, maybe even larger than the blondes but seemingly more subdued because of their less attention-grabbing hair. (Jessica Jaymes; Lezley Zen)

Then I went back to the blonds, but more natural and healthy. Fit but with more pronounced and womanly waist-to-hip ratios and golden tans and a bit of freckles. The Girl Next Door porn start with softer, smaller implants. (Kayden Kross)

And now I don’t care about the breasts much, and I finally see the big deal about Sasha Grey who was immensely popular five years ago – even breaking out of porn and into the mainstream – but I never saw what the big deal was, all because I couldn’t get past her small tits. I had no care that she could stuff six penises into her mouth and another three into her anus, because my brain couldn’t get turned on by her boyish chest and so refused to watch even a 10-second clip. Sounds silly in retrospect.

Now, I’ve been dating all sorts of women and not giving to much care about their breasts. Some are big, some are small, most are in between the two. Who cares, it’s all about the nipple, anyway – which also means that I’ve grown to appreciate that breasts are used to pleasure the woman first and foremost and what I think of what they look like hardly matters compared to her breastular tremors of passion.

And then I think to my past when I was in my twenties and dating ferociously, like a rabid wolf in a flock of sheep. Dating for months, weeks, days at a time. Did I – did I break up with anyone because of their breasts? How mean is that shit? But I probably did. I probably did. But I probably wrapped it in a better, more valid break-up wrapping, like, “Oh, she has no hobbies,” or, “Oh, she has too many hobbies.” Both valid.

White Girl At My Gym

There’s this white girl at my gym.

I’ve been going to this gym for a few years now, whenever I’m in this city. It’s one of the only gyms in the city with a combination of deadlift mats and air conditioning – normally it’s one or the other, and it’s a choice I refuse to make.

I just have this feeling that she’s interested in me. God, I haven’t used that term in probably a decade: I’m interested in her. She’s interested in me. But I don’t mean it like back then, back in highschool or early college years when it meant: I like this girl and I’m interested if she likes me back. That’s what it meant, right? Back then, it was dangerous to outright say that you liked a girl, in the event that she didn’t like you back. Holy fucking shit, that’s some end-of-the-world shit.

And so you’d say you were “interested” until you were sure, absolutely positive that it was reciprocal. Only then could you say, “I like her (because she likes me back).”

(Well, except for me. I’ve tossed out “I like you” half a million times in my youth, without a response. I would say the words and they would hang in the air, forever, still hanging right now, waiting for the girl to grasp them.

Okay, why do I talk shit like this? Why do I keep saying I’ve been rejected a billion fucking times in my life? It’s not true, it’s just not true. But why do I want to convince people that it is, though? My subconscious is up to something. It knows how to manipulate people much better than my consciousness, so I’m kind of not worried. That’s why I trust that Drunk Alex when I’m blacked out – he’ll talk shit but it’ll do nothing but generate good fortune. Like whatever it has up its sleeve right now, it’ll leave me in a better place if the general public believes that I’ve been rejected a million times. I just want to know whyyyyyyy.)

Anyway, so this time I mean interested in a neutral way.

The local Vietnamese know that I’m not a local Vietnamese. With the enormous Korean population here, they can likely nail me down as Korean, even with my dark tan and large body frame. But to white people – to this white girl – we all look the same. So what happened was that we were working out next to each other in this gym with deadlift mats and air conditioning, and she thought I was just a local.

But then somewhere along the way, she discovered that I was a Westerner. Maybe when I asked the trainer how many sets he had left? Or she saw that I was reading GQ on my iPad? Or because Taylor Swift was blaring from my headphones? Anyway, it was black-and-white the way she switched the manner in which she existed around me, if that makes any sense. The weight of her presence changed from floating around in the background to always being in my periphery.

Like she wants me to talk to her.

So I’m not going to talk to her. And then one day I’ll talk to her. Because, again, that’s what my subconscious is telling me to do: “This is not the time, let her wait.” Why, though? To make her feel more comfortable? To ease us into it? To determine if she’s even attractive (I have yet to tell)? I have no idea what I’m up to, what the smarter Alex’s strategy is. But it’ll probably work.

Wait, fuck, I guess this all means I’m more interested in her. Ugh. How is she winning….?

 

But She Does Have Incredible Breasts…

You know, I could just go to Italy. I could easily follow the girl from Toronto to Italy on a $240 one-way ticket that I found on SkyScanner. (One-way, because from there I’d invariably go back to Asia. Which actually kind of sort of negates the entire future potential with this girl, anyway: no matter what happened in Italy, no matter how good of a time we would have, I would not go back to Toronto.)

So in a few weeks I’m flying from here, Ho Chi Minh, back to Taipei. Then kill the few remaining days in Asia running around with my ridiculously hot local friend and her ridiculously hot local friends, before catching my flight to Los Angeles.

In Los Angeles, I have to nab a client. I have to have to have to get that fucker to put me on retainer. I razzle dazzled with my work, and now I have to razzle dazzle with my personality. A fucking cinch; I’m nice fucking guy and do awesome fucking work. So I’ll stick around for two or three weeks – max – work at the client’s office, write my book, see friends, eat tacos, say hi to the girl that crushed me the last time. Then it’s mid-July and I fly back to Toronto for a wedding, to see the new niece, the nephew, the friends, that old man who used to change my diapers.

And then it’s August, and that girl goes to Italy, and she pleads for me to come. I’m not an arrogant halfwit (well…) – she doesn’t want me there because she desires me so, but because this is the first trip she’ll be taking by herself, and she’s having anxiety about it. I’m sure some of it’s romantic – we’re not friends, or so I keep telling her – but it’s not her paramount reason.

You see, with any other girl, if there was just a shred of potential, I’d jump on the opportunity. Nothing gambled, nothing gained. I don’t need much of a green light to make a move. Any light would do, even red, which makes me sound like a rapist of some sort. I could just delete that sentence but I’m trying to make my 750 words so I can get some fucking banh mi, so it stays. Anyway, I don’t need a great signal, just any signal – and she’s giving them. Normally, I’d go.

But here’s the thing: we’ve been (casually) trying for years. Four years now, we’ve been in a weird on-and-off, half-dating relationship. We love each other but hate each other (or that might just be on my side: I find her incredibly irritable at times, mostly when I’m tired. She’s almost the type to exclaim, Looks like someone has a case of the Mondays!). We’ll see each other sixteen days in a row, and then skip the next eight months. Rinse and repeat.

So for once in my life, I’m making a decision – well, not making but will probably make a decision – based on past events. Do you hear that? I’ve learned from the past! Astonishing for a man who loves making mistakes, the same ones over and over again. But not this time. I can’t. It’s just too obvious. I can’t go through with it, fail, and then plead ignorance. And I hate not being able to plead ignorance. I hate not being able to say, “I just wanted to see what would happen,” because at this point, I know. She knows. We all know. It’s just energy and money and time thrown into a black hole.

Maybe I want to keep us like we are. Maybe I’m comfortable with having this pseudo-girlfriend back in Toronto who sends me selfies every other day. A non-platonic girl that I can flirt with, who I can message with whenever I strike out with a woman on this side of the world. She does the same to me; it’s an unspoken deal we have that we pretend that neither of us are dating and just sorta-kinda waiting for the other. Neither of us are very convincing, but like I said, it’s a relationship based on comfort and not reality, and maybe that’s what’s worth hanging onto.

The last time I was in Toronto, I gave it another shot. I don’t even know what that means because I don’t know what a “shot” between us would even comprise of. She wouldn’t move to Asia and I wouldn’t move to Toronto – so what was my offer? What could it have been? I don’t remember what was spoken, just that we were driving north on Don Mills in her Volkswagen SUV and she was wearing her eyeglasses.

I asked her something and she said no.

The Worst Human Being, Ever

Never had I met someone who I hated so immediately. On the one hand, I thought I was over hating new people. I thought I subscribed to the life is too short philosophy, and if there was a person that I would even just potentially hate, I would take myself out of the situation by walking away abruptly.

But you know what? It’s because I subscribe to the life is too short philosophy that I hated this person so instantly. I was in a situation where I couldn’t walk away, and so my options were to either pretend I like her or publicly display that I do not. Life is too short to fuck around, so I chose the latter.

The thing is, she’s a combination of at least six different categories of people that I despise, all rolled into one short, squat, fat little girl.

I met my friends, visitors from out of town, at Xu, a swanky lounge here in Ho Chi Minh city. Their local friend was this putrid, horrid little human being, whose hand I shook because I didn’t know any better at the time. I had no idea she was disgusting.

The thing is, she wanted to hold all the knowledge and information. The out-of-towners would ask for advice, “Where’s the best pho?” “Where’s can we go to drink beer on the street?” and when I tried to answer, I’d be immediately shut down by this horrible monster, who would validate all of her responses with, “I’ve lived here for 12 years, I should know.”

We were deciding where to eat for dinner, and I asked what sort of local food they wanted. Terrible Fat Girl replied, “Uh, we’re not eating Vietnamese food. I’m taking them for sushi.”

“You’re taking them for sushi on their first night in Vietnam?” I asked.

“Yeah. Vietnamese food sucks here,” she said. “It’s way better in Canada.” We were both from Canada, as were our out-of-towner guests, the Honeymooners.

“Yeah, the Viet food’s good in Canada,” I agreed, smiling, trying to maintain civility. “But it doesn’t beat Vietnam. How can it? They should try Pho Le! Huynh Hoa! At least Nha Hang Ngon?”

“No. Look, I’ve lived here for 12 years, I don’t think you want to argue with me.”

“Okay, but I’ve lived in Canada for the 35 years.”

“So?”

“So if you’re saying you know more about Vietnamese food in Vietnam because you’ve lived here for 12 years, then I’m saying I know more about Vietnamese food in Canada because I’ve lived there for 35 years.” I gave logic a shot.

“No. I know more about food here and food there than you do.”

So this is the type of person she was. Not only did she have strong opinions about things – which is absolutely fine – but she wouldn’t even hear anyone else’s opinions on the same subjects. She wasn’t interested in conversation, she was interested in saying something and everyone agreeing.

God, it got to the point where we all agreed to eat and drink at the touristy market (which I’d never do, but suggest for first-time visitors because it’s a thing and a much better thing than fucking sushi). The Honeymooners were down because it was a walk away from their hotel, and they were jetlagged and had a 6am wake-up call the next morning.

So with that settled, we all shuffled into a taxi. While the rest of us chatted in the back, the Fat Little Fucker told the cab driver a different destination: a fancy-ish fusion restaurant along the promenade that was popular for their steak frites. “Hey Fatty – stop fucking around,” I said, along the lines. “Tell him Bin Thanh Market, you chunky turd fucker.” She told him.

What she was doing was showing off. She wanted to show off her life to her old school friend (the girl half of the Honeymooners). Her conversation was littered with her accomplishments and who she knew and which places they owned.

Jesus fucking Christ.

Sometime in the last third of the night, I mentioned where they should go in Bangkok. Which restaurants and neighborhoods they should check out as first-time visitors. She went into a tirade about how Bangkok now has Michelin-star restaurants and top-notch lounges and they should go to those. I agreed. “Bangkok is more modern than Tokyo, you should check out everything.” But she wasn’t looking for me to agree with her – she was looking for a fight. She argued with, not with me but at me, until I had to say something in a situation where I usually say nothing and leave.

“What the fuck is wrong with you? Why are you so angry? What’s your fucking problem?” I was ready to scrap. This bitchy little fuck – I was ready to fucking go.

“Oh, it’s just the way I talk, I have resting bitch face.”

“This isn’t about resting bitch face. You just fucking suck. Holy shit, I meet a thousand people a month and get along with them, especially for just one night. I’ve known you for an hour and I can’t stand you.”

“No, really, it’s just the way I come off,” she said.

Ugh. Fuck you. All of that bitchiness, all of that pouring poison onto our conversation all night, for nothing: she turned tail the second that I became combative. The second I “stood up for myself.” Ugh. I despise her even more now for being such a pussy. Worst human being, ever. After me.

 

Heart Attack Girl and Cancer Woman Dug My Grave

Fuck, this is the year that I’m losing women. I sincerely like them and then I sincerely lose them. That is, there’s no games, no subterfuge, no excuses – I liked them but they just didn’t like me enough to continue … well, whatever it is that we can do in this highly unconventional life that I live (which I suppose could have a lot to do with it; which I didn’t realize until this very second).

Women who made me imagine the future, you know? Jesus fucking Christ.

I did that thing that people do: I thought that I was in control. I thought that I had all the say in the matter. I’ve witnessed people do this with jobs: “Oh, I’m going to take a break between jobs, I could always easily go back to work,” and when they try to go back there’s nothing out there for them.

I told myself a version of that for the past four years: “Oh, I’m going to take a break from serious relationships. I could always get a girlfriend when I want to. This is 100% my choice. The girls are all out there eagerly waiting my return.”

Nope. Fuck nope.

Two incredible girls in the past half-year, both started off strong, promising, hopeful – and then evaporated into thin air. One ended abruptly like a heart attack; the other dissolved slowly like cancer. Both were a shock. Both were upsetting blows to my self-assured ego that had told me, Everything the sunlight touches is our kingdom. (Why the fuck do I know Lion King quotes?)

The last one, the cancer, she had my hopes waning for months. It was a tumultuous emotional rollercoaster that I rode alone. I mean, I just thought that I was making the right moves. I did everything I knew to get a girl to like me, everything I learned in 37 years of dating a thousand fucking women across hundreds of fucking cities, to get her attention in order to just get the chance to get her to like me.

We weren’t absolutely nothing. We would kiss and have sex and hold hands when no one was watching. But, you see, although I’d won a minor physical victory, I couldn’t win her heart and mind – the shit that matters. Like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman who refused to kiss her clients on the mouths. It was exactly like that: all I had was her body – but that’s nothing at this age. People sleep with people, and I didn’t want to be just people.

So I’d go back to my city and she’d go back to hers and I’d have to start back at square one. I’d have to start back at tedious Whatsapp messages asking how her fucking day is going. Liking fucking Instagram posts and leaving funny comments on her fucking Facebook. And I would shut up and do it, because that’s one of the things that you’re supposed to do.

But all of those things that you’re supposed to do failed to ignite her feelings. Eventually I was no longer inclined to make just the right moves; I was now desperate enough to make any and all moves, because the worst thing would be to make no moves. And so I did, I tossed everything I knew at her: compliments and emails and attention and then no attention and gifts and praises and insults. And then I was empty of them. I didn’t give up and she didn’t outright reject me; I simply ran out of moves to make. And that’s why this will end, because I ran out of moves and she never made any to begin with. I guess that’s valid.

I’m too tired for Hail Mary’s, you’ know? I used to be good at them. This would be the time to knock one out, to say, “Look, here’s the deal, what do you think?” I’m just too tired to build that wall to protect my ego in order to launch a do-or-die proposition in case she answer with the latter. I mean, I’m proficient with rejection; I oftentimes seek it, revel in it. But it’s only because I had that wall, and that shit’s getting tiring to rebuild these days.

 

Accidentally Rejecting Taiwanese Actresses (And Then Wanting To Kill Myself)

My first time “living” in Taipei and the rumors are true: the women are as beautiful as they are friendly. Incredibly stunning creatures, with fashionable clothing and stylish hair and perfect makeup – that natural, rosy look combined with the dark, sparkly pupils.

They’re so beautiful that I expect them to be models, actresses, or in some sort of profession where their superior aesthetics come into play, that which helped them to secure their job in the first place and now helps them sell various products and services to ogling men.

Nope: dentists, florists, cooks, marketers, IT support, restaurant managers, event planners – just normal occupations like any other girl, in any other city. Which begs the question: if this is what the regular women look like, how remarkable is an actual Taiwanese model? How breathtaking is a pop-star, a flight attendant, an actress?

Well, the actress, I met last night. My (gorgeous) friend brought out her (stunning) friend whom I met last Tuesday at a lounge, where I was crashing their girls’ night out – a table full of women way out of my league. Someone that night asked me, “When will you finally choose a city to live in?” and my friend answered for me, “Oh, he’s waiting to fall in love with a girl who will make him stay.” Awwww’s all around.

Then someone said, “How about [actress]?” Then someone else replied, “Yes, perhaps [actress].” I finished my gin and ginger and went home.

Last night, six of us ate an enormous dinner at Din Tai Fung, the original location on Xinyi. Afterwards, we bar hopped as some of our group dropped off and others joined in. Finally we ended up at Fucking Place, a dive bar with undivey-like prices. I was four double gin and gingers drunk (which is on the cusp of blacking out, if I wasn’t smartly dosing myself with 100mg of caffeine pills every 30 minutes) when the (stunning) friend from last week walked in with her incredibly beautiful friend, The Actress.

They sat at the adjacent table facing each other, and (stunning) friend beckoned me over to sit. I sat. She introduced me to The Actress, who looked exactly like another Taiwanese girl who rejected me about years ago in Toronto – the most brisk rejection of my life, relative to how confident I was that I could attain her. (I was destroyed and I loved every second of it.)

Here’s the thing: when I’m drunk, I’m completely oblivious to … everything. Especially women, especially women I’m being set up with. In fact, I probably teeter closer to thinking that no woman in the room is interested in me, so I automatically dismiss any notion of romance and give my attention to the drink menu.

So I thought (stunning) friend was simply introducing me to a friend of hers, and wanted me to make small talk, just for shits and giggles. So I did, but The Actress didn’t speak much English. As I was miming and gesticulating with my hands to her, (stunning) friend kept urging, “Just try to speak Chinese! You can do it, just try!” and it occurred to me that she thought that I was Chinese.

Honestly, she was so stunning that it didn’t occur to me that I had a shot, so I spoke to her on a non-sexual, non-flirty level. I asked about her work, her age, her name and how drunk she was on a scale of 1 to 10. If someone just said, “Hey, they brought her out for you,” the side of my brain that’s good at this sort of thing would’ve switched on. But that’s the caveat: I have to manually toggle that switch to the on position.

Eventually, I returned to my seat at the other table. I was drunk, y’know? I wanted to be merry with my friends. My plan was to return to her table and try communicating again after a breather, but she quickly left the bar without saying bye, jumped into a taxi and went home. “Why’d she leave?” I asked (stunning) friend. “She’s sick, she drank too much,” she lied.

We went to eat after, again, and (stunning) friend was shitfaced and on my ass. “You could’ve went home with someone tonight.” “Have fun sleeping alone.” “Wow, you really fucked up.” I was still – or even more – drunk at this point, so had absolutely no idea what she was talking about, and I didn’t care to ask. I just shrugged off this weird, drunken, beautiful girl who was insulting me and calling me gay, like it was our nighty ritual.

And then I woke up in the middle of the night and everything fell into place. I had inadvertently rejected The Actress, a woman possessing a degree of beauty that I’ve never experienced (yes, I have). That’s the kind of city that Taipei is, where the women are so beautiful and friendly and accessible, and men like me are so not used to it that we blow our chances in the first five seconds. What the fuck.

This won’t happen again. Now that I’ve caught myself, I guarantee it won’t happen again. I’ve artificially inflated my ego to forcefully think that no woman here is out of my league or out of my reach. Every single woman shall now be a target, an object of affection that can be won. Thanks, girl that called me gay!

Ritalin Has Made Me Meh Instead of Meh!!

What’s disconcerting about my foray into prescription drug experimenting – of which I’ve never done before – in particular, self-medicating with Ritalin – is that I’ve discovered that I definitely do not have ADD or ADHD or anything of the like.

I’m normal, I’m fucking normal, and that’s bullshit.

Those days I can’t write, or those days that I don’t want to write – that I’m not in the mood to write – I thought I could solve them with a small, little, illegally-procured pill. Well, to be specific, ¼ of a dosage of a pill. Nope, that little fucker makes me even more distracted. The stimulant actually stimulates me, which means that the chemicals in my brain were balanced to begin with and all of my experimentation is unbalancing them. And so I should stop.

(But I can’t stop until I finish all the pills that I bought, for another (legitimately) psychotic reason: I hate wasting anything. Especially these Ritalin pills, this pack of 15 that cost me roughly $4 per pill on the Bangkok black market, while if I bought them legally with a prescription in hand would’ve cost about 20 cents each [Thailand hospitals/medicine are heavily subsidized by the government]).

So there goes my excuse to not write. I don’t have a chemical imbalance; I’m not mentally or physically exhausted. It’s simple procrastination and the fear of finishing the fucking book that’s taken me 37 years (and counting) to write.

I mean, I’m not afraid to work. I like work. I completed 82934 projects this year, working tirelessly from hotel rooms, from on top of makeshift desks fashioned from duvets and pillows. Hunched over, drinking a can of Diet Coke or beer. I’m a fucking virtuoso at design and illustration and writing for money. But when everything’s done and I’ve freed up my time to get back to the fucking book, I jump on the couch for six hours and browse through Imgur, Instagram.

Is this boring? This could be boring. But I need to stop talking about girls. Jesus fuck, is that my entire life?

It’s been about a month since I’ve seen a girl that I like. It’s also been a somber and gloomy month of, well, not sadness, but no sunshine. No bright moments. I moved to four different cities and nothing’s catching. That happiness that comes from the journey failed to arrive this time. So a month of melancholy, and I’m wondering if there’s a correlation to the girl, that girl, any girl. God, is happiness in having someone to like?

Jesus Christ, don’t do this, don’t write about girls like this is a fucking diary, you fucking idiot. Get back to stories.

Hong Kong Junk Boats or I’m Boring Myself To Death These Days

Every weekend in Hong Kong, people rent big ass boats to drink and dance and party on. Junk boats, they call them, from back when they used to rent shoddy, wooden fishermen boats to take out to the islands. These days, they’ve been replaced by multi-million dollar yachts, but the name’s stuck.

I really, really, really thought and hoped and wished that it was an actual junk boat. I was probably the only one.

Anyway, so this is what they do in place of Torontonians going to the cottage every weekend. For the past decade that I’ve been visiting Hong Kong, the timing was never right for me to make it, until a few weeks ago, when I forced it to happen, forced a stopover on my way from Bali, Indonesia to a wedding in Taipei, Taiwan.

I woke up at 7am and met a friend who flew in – same deal, he was flying to Taipei for the wedding and I told him to stop in Hong Kong for the junk boat. We met everyone at the dock a 9am, a strange sensation to see these people at this time of day when it would be more normal if we were coming home from a Saigon nightclub. Took an hour bus ride to the dock somewhere on the east side of Kowloon. Someone began to circulate a bottle of cognac, I suspect the Canadian girl with the eyelashes.

The boat was massive, three floors of white … whatever boats are made of. Carbon fiber? Molded plastic? No fucking idea, this is my least-ridden category of vehicle in my life (although my next plan is to learn how to sail and sail – solo – around the world). Between 10am and noon, I tried to drink casually. Mostly beers, but I had to be part of the team and take shots from the bottle of whatever that whichever girl was jamming down my throat.

And then around 1pm, I was gone. Blacked out. I woke up in my bed at midnight, with hiccups, each hiccup releasing the putrid stench of half-day old whiskey, and forced myself back to sleep and woke up again at 10am the next day. So that’s, what, 21 hours of unconsciousness?

The last thing I remember was kneeling on the starboard side of the boat (I have no fucking idea what that means), and a girl wearing a sideways snapback hat and a loose classic rock tank top over black bikini was feeding me a crab shell filled with crab meat and some sort of brown alcohol (it was all brown alcohol, my most despised color for alcohol). As I was downing the shot, I saw a pretty girl behind her laughing at the debacle, wearing a coral (or navy) bikini. She was white or pale Asian or mixed and had abdominal muscles. One of my last thoughts before blacking out was, “I need to go talk to that girl.”

The next day, I was piecing together the events of the day. I used to do this all the time in Toronto, asking my friends which girls I tried to kiss and who I needed to apologize to. Around 2006 I stopped asking. It was just known throughout the city that I’m a drunk, and I blackout, and there’s no use bringing anything up because I won’t remember it.

(This is why it is a very, very favorable characteristic that I can’t get erect while drunk, or even mildly buzzed, like two beers. My brain has given up the chance of sex decades ago, so I don’t even try. The horny part of my brain shuts off and I have no interest in sex or foreplay or petting or touching breasts. I do, however, still enjoy challenges and rejections and melodrama, so I flirt, talk a ton of shit and try to kiss everyone around me.)

Though this being Hong Kong – virtually a new stomping ground – I gathered the main points:

  • I made out with a girl, a friend of mine. I’m not sure what the extent of “making out” is, those are everyone else’s words, not mine
  • The pretty girl in the coral bikini is a lesbian who was broken up with recently. I made out with her anyway, and then tried to get her and the aforementioned friend-I-made-out-with to kiss, and when they did I shoved my big ass nose in there to attempt a three-way kiss
  • I asked a girl, another acquaintance, to “just give me a chance. Let me take you on a legitimate date. Everyone’s wrong about me, you’ll see.” This is perplexing because, what the fuck, I don’t ask for chances.
  • I asked a girl, a good friend, to “just give me a chance. Let me take you on a legitimate date. Everyone’s wrong about me, you’ll see.” This is perplexing because, what the fuck, I don’t ask for chances.
  • I probably propositioned the girl that I enjoy being rejected by every few months when I see her. I don’t know why I find it so amusing. Also, she’s a new divorcee who hasn’t been single in probably a decade – maybe this is my way of doing community service? I don’t remember speaking even a word to her, but we’re in a photo together, which means I was in conversation-proximity, which means I talked mad shit. God, that was probably interesting.