(After a month of not writing, I can’t write for shit. Excuse me as I shake out the bullshit.)
I flew from Hong Kong to Bangkok on Monday evening. I took a taxi from the airport to Lat Phrao, a suburb north of the city where I rent my motorbikes from an Englishman named Ben and his Thai wife.
The traffic was crawling and I kept messaging him to stay open, that I was right around the corner. If he closed, I’d have to make the journey back up to Lat Phrao the next day, which would’ve killed precious hours that I didn’t have. But I’ve been renting from Ben intermittently for the past three years – which also means the money I spent in rentals could’ve purchased a new bike – so he bends for my antics.
I hadn’t been in Bangkok since March, but it felt the same, comfortable. I strapped my bags to the back of the Honda Click using three well-placed bungee cords, donned my battered blue and white, full-face helmet and raced down the street, dodging bikes and zig-zagging through cars.
Motorbiking is my favorite fucking thing to do, hands down, and it’s been six months since I’d been on one.
I got lost. I got so lost and no matter how many times I trace the route in my head, I have no idea how it happened. I somehow ended up way west of where I was supposed to be. I knew this because I hit the freeway that I always try to avoid, the one that’s always grid-locked from the city center to the old airport. I took that freeway south, missed an exit and got even more lost – again, not knowing how I could lose my way in a city I spent three fucking years in.
I finally checked into my hotel three hours after I left Ben. The sun had set and I was exhausted from the heat and the fumes of a city my body was no longer used to. I cancelled plans to meet a friend for drinks, bought some cans of Singha Light beer, took a bath and went to bed.
The next morning I hit the excellent gym attached to my apartment – the reason I always choose this apartment. Then I did this and that, rode around on my bike and ran errands and ate Thai food for the first time in months (at the food court in the grocery store – it’s not stellar food, but it’s my old haunt and that was the point).
At 6pm I walked to Phrom Phong BTS subway station and took it three stops into the shopping district. At the station Good Girl Gabby was waiting for me.
We hugged. Maybe we kissed? Maybe it was on the cheek? Probably, probably on the cheek. We have a weird relationship, now. Three years ago, we started off legitimately dating and then became more friends. Then another few weeks of dating and then it would fall off again. We just meet up with each other and have no expectations: sometimes we’d say hi and kiss on the lips and end the night with sex; other times we’d go see a movie, eat ice cream and then go our separate ways.
Maybe we knew we weren’t for each other, but since we were comfortable we just spent our time together while waiting for the ones that we were meant for. Yeah, that makes sense. Why wait for our soul mates alone?
Good Girl Gabby was taller than usual. More beautiful, too. I met her when she was 23. At 26 years old, she’s more mature with sharper features. With her new office job in the city core, she wears subtle, grown-up makeup and sophisticated outfits.
We went to CentralWorld and ate at a shitty Thai restaurant. She knows my preference for street food, but Jesus fucking Christ, Bangkok has restricted street food vendors to clean up the streets, especially in this high-end shopping mall district. So we begrudgingly ate at a shitty Thai restaurant before I dragged her to Bershka because we don’t have that store in North America, and then she dragged me to have her favorite panna cotta from a Japanese café on the third floor.
Afterwards, we walked through Siam Square and failed to find an open massage parlor on a Tuesday at 10pm (illegitimate massage parlors, however, were open everywhere), so jumped onto the SkyTrain for Terminal 21 mall at Asok where we knew there was a Relax.
First Thai massage in six months and it was overpriced ($24) and underwhelming. Fuck off.
I needed more food so we walked outside and down Soi 17 where I knew there was a Pad Thai stand. She was apparently swept up in the Clean Up The Streets! fuckery so we ate noodle soup at a stand outside of 7-Eleven. Then we back to my apartment where she was crashing for the night so she could have an easy commute to work the next morning, a mere 20 minutes away compared to her usual 2-hours on a bus from a small town up north.
It was one of those times when we wouldn’t have sex.
The next morning, I woke up at 7am and nudged her to wake up. She scrunched up her face and grunted like a disobedient child who didn’t want to go to school. It was at this precise moment that I knew that I would never see her again. Not because of the scrunching or grunts or any other concrete reason. I looked at her face and thought, That’s enough. I kissed her on the forehead and she scrunched and grunted some more.
I left for the gym and when I came back she was gone, this time for good.