The Return of Tall French (Kinda)

Tall French is in Bangkok, her Facebook told me so. Though she hasn’t got in touch with me – hadn’t got in touch with me, when I was there all of March (I’m in Bali for April, then Hong Kong for a quick week, and then Taiwan for all of May).

I’m not surprised; I left things – I left her – in a pretty shitty way in Athens, Greece, last September.

(What the fuck kind of life is this? All of these women in all of these locations… It seems exhilarating and impressive, but I swear to fucking god, it’s just all sort of ordinary and mundane when you’re actually living in it. Most days, I’m trying to find a Wi-Fi connection to work and watch Netflix.)

The last time I saw her, I gave her an apathetic hug at the front door of her hotel in Athens, after we explored the city that night. The thing was that I didn’t want to see her. In my mind, we were finished. Our mock-honeymoon was over, and now I was on deadline to produce Zoomer Magazine’s monthly iPad app, a gig that took me like, 8 hours a day for a whole five days to complete. (That’s a seemingly normal work week, but you gotta understand – I typically put in, like, 20 hours per week and call it a month).

So I didn’t want to see her but I went to go see her because I felt bad that she was in the city alone, when I was a few blocks away from her in my cozy own AirBNB living my own life. I knew that she liked me, and I felt guilty for it. So I said, I’ll finish work early on Saturday, let’s go out and grab dinner and drinks before your flight the next morning.

We met for dinner in a cool neighborhood she found on her solo wanderings where five streets merged into a roundabout, with an artfully-vandalized fountain in the center. She wore a cute black dress and heels, the first time she wore those on the entire trip so far. Her trying to look good for me made me feel even more guilty.

I had her hooked on my favorite Greek dishes: pork souvlaki and saganaki. Alright, shit, they’re probably the most common Greek dishes – but she’s never had them, especially growing up in a Muslim household.

(That, too, could be one of my greatest achievements: getting a Muslim girl hooked on pork. In the beginning she declined my offers of pork souvlaki, but she saw the sheer happiness and gusto when I would sink my teeth into it. So one day we were eating on al fresco in some small fishing town on the south side of Crete. We ordered what we usually did – her, salad; me, pork souvlaki plate. I took a bite-sized piece of pork and placed it onto a torn triangle of pita, added a bit of her vinegary Greek salad, sprinkled some feta, spooned some fresh tzaziki and then – this is key – inserted a couple of French fries.

I shoved it into her mouth and her eyes bulged, popped from her fucking head. The salty pork with the crispy fries with the tangy tzaziki and fresh tomatoes – Jesus fucking Christ, she loved it.) We chose a restaurant in an alleyway and sat at the al fresco table and ordered the usual, our last chance to compare pork souvlakis and saganakis before she was off to France and me to Croatia.

Tall French does this thing, and I’m still unsure if it’s a personality trait of hers, or of her culture. I hear all the time that French people are these arrogant, difficult, stubborn people – and she’s all of these things – but I can’t help but to think that it can’t be the entire fucking country; it’s gotta be her. Well, it doesn’t matter either way, because she’ll do this thing regardless: be antagonistic as fuck. And then when I’m on the defensive, be even more antagonistic.

(We talked about this before: she gets like this when she’s nervous.)

The next few hours were difficult for the both of us. We tried drinking to get in the mood – or perhaps out of our mood – but it wasn’t happening. The alcohol didn’t take, it just amplified our bad moods. So at 10pm I walked her back to her hotel, because my mother would still want me to have manners. So I walked her back to her hotel and gave her a weak hug and no kiss and said goodbye and emailed her the next day on what she owed me for all the shit that I put on my credit card.

So Tall French was in Bangkok and I was in Bangkok but we both know better.

Goddamnit, that body.

Sex On The First Date Is A Really Good Idea

This girl, she knows how to make me thirsty. The fuck. It’s like someone told her the secret, showed her what’s behind the curtain of the Great and Powerful Oz: that little old man back there pulling the levers and pushing the buttons to control that giant, menacing, robotic head that’s been terrorizing the land of Oz and keeping everyone in check.

Someone told her: Ignore him. He’s just a little old man…

Jesus Christ, I wish that wasn’t all that it takes. (And it’s not: I’m clearly exaggerating. But it’s probably a substantial piece of the puzzle.

But here’s the thing about playing hard to get. Here’s the bad thing when a woman pulls that card and pulls it too frequently, or too often, without giving in a bit here and there – and Toronto women are downright notorious for this shit – they turn themselves into a game. You see? They strive so much to be a challenge to the guy, that that’s exactly what they become. That’s exactly only what they become.

But, man, you really need to reel that shit back because you don’t want to turn into his goal. Or that’s it, you’re just a goal. And the more you push back – the more you play hard to get – the more he’s convinced that he really, really, really fucking likes you. But once he gets you – achieves his challenge, climbs his Everest – then the inescapable truth sinks in and he bolts.

But you can’t exactly just sleep with a guy on the first date. The rumors are true: we will think you’re a whore and leave you.

Wait, no – scratch that. The older I get, the more I like women that sleep with me on the first date. Not because the sex is important to me but precisely because it’s the opposite: sex is not important; it should not be important. Sex should actually happen as quickly as possible to get it out of the fucking way, so we can focus on the good stuff, the foundational shit.

So it’s like, before sex, all either party thinks about is the sex. Everything his literally about fucking sex. Then after the sex, it’s, “Alright, let’s see if this thing has legs, let’s investigate if I really like him/her…” That’s always been the fun part, when you find something you have in common and the endorphins crackle.

So the bottom line is: play hard to get but not too much. Have sex on the first date – maybe. That’s it, that’s the secret to everything.)

Does she remind me of my mother? Why do I keep thinking that? Why am I four beers in on a Saturday night and thinking that she has the vibe of my fucking mom? Is this something? Is this really fucking something? Pull yourself together, man.

I have a date next weekend. To go on this date, I have to check out of my hotel, drop my bags into a storage locker, jump onto an airplane and fly for 1200kms – an hour? – then catch a taxi at the airport to bring me to a hotel that I haven’t booked yet. That’s the process for me to just go on the fucking date. And it feels normal, pedestrian, unremarkable. It doesn’t feel like I’m sacrificing or trying or doing anything out of the ordinary – because I don’t have a choice, do I? What’s my choice, to not go on the date? To not go down the path of uncertainty?

Fuck, fuck no.

Girly Girls

You know, I should just come to terms with the fact that I like girly girls. Womanly and precisely done up and made up.

I was at the local gym here in Seminyak, Bali. Hammerhead Fitness, where I was last year around this time, where I was showing off doing cable flyes to some girl, because although my chest is (relatively) small, it’s powerful enough to lift the entire stack per arm (if this doesn’t mean anything to you, just know that it is an impressive feat). I showed off and my left elbow popped and I was out of commission for about 7 months after.

So I was in the gym and in front of me was a girl on the squat rack, performing some serious weight for a girl, 135lbs. Then she started to deadlift that same bar. (Impressive that she would do squats and deadlifts on the same day; two monster, compound movements.) She wore a simple black tank top and spandex shorts that revealed her giant – but undefined – thighs, much like her entire body. Her hair was set into pigtails, but obviously more for function than fashion.

I always said I wanted a girl who squats and deadlifts, and here she was, right in front of me.

Okay, okay – that was a huge mistake. Because I kept looking over at the girl in the stretching area, the lithe, bendy local girl wearing neon-pink yoga pants and a sports bra, with her long conditioned hair flailing in the wind of the high-powered fans affixed to the ceiling. The cardio bunny who treated the gym as her own fashion show – and I fell for it, fell right into her fucking trap. I would’ve bought her presents and fed her grapes.

Sometimes I’ll date a manly girl, a tomboy. Or a woman who doesn’t get manicures, who has her original eyebrows, who values camping over a day at the spa. In this day and age, we’re sort of taught that we should like these kinds of girls more. The low maintenance guy’s girl. Princesses are no longer cool, we want girls who can fix cars! Who can eat raw meat and sit with her legs splayed wide open!

Nah, I don’t want that. I like girly girls. Not girly in their personality – because Jesus fucking fuck, women are fucking nuts – but a girl that’s a girl. A girl that sits up straight and cares about her shoes and if she wears Converse Chucks, it’s going to be in some super-fashionable way.

One girl I dated used to get an elaborate manicure every few weeks. Like actual pieces of plastic and die-cast metal were glued to her nails, depending on what holiday was coming up next. Huge waste of time and money and resources for something that delivers absolutely no value to anyone – but I fucking loved it.

The dainty, precise princesses who line up their toiletries on the sink of the hotel by height or by color. The girls who buy shoes with fake bows affixed to them. The girls who buy a million pairs of shoes and never wears them. Girls who selfie. Girls who like jewelry and tiaras and bracelets and anklets. Girls with flavored lip balm. You know the stereotype. That’s exactly what I dig: girls being girls.

I’m over the others. I would try to like them despite the fact that they weren’t girly. I’d tell myself, “This is what you really want, that girl over there unclogging your toilet.”

Jesus fuck, I’m drunk.


Dating Is Dead. Long Live Dating

Back in Toronto, I always concocted these weird, memorable dates. Ostensibly because I wanted to stick out and become a unique experience to the girl, but factually because I was bored of ordinary dates (if I was ever into them in the first place) – and I was always very consciously aware that dating was first and foremost to entertain myself.

Movies? You can’t talk. Dinner at a fancyish restaurant? My last first-date restaurant choices was a shitty Italian buffet, Frankie Tomatto’s, and a shitty Canadian chain, Pickle Barrel (actually, they make a killer best chicken parm).

Ice skating, comedy shows, Marineland, shitty 24-hour diners, heavy metal shows, The Comedy Roast of The Iron Sheik – but you see, the point is that these have to be authentically spontaneous. Like we were just in the area and the timing was right. You plan shit like this and it’s automatically emo and tacky. Girls can smell effort and they hate it (until you’re in a relationship – then that’s all they want).

Anyway, I’m getting off topic –

(Fucking Ritalin, I swear to fucking god. It’s doing the opposite of what I need it to do. Do you know how much I’m taking? I started with half a pill, and then increased the dosage to a full pill – and now I’m at a whopping quarter pill. A fucking quarter pill. I’m fingering Ritalin crumbs in my Ritalin ziplock baggie in my Ritalin sidebag.

The good news is that all of these dosage levels feel relatively similar, which means I’m a cheap prescription-drug-abuser at a mere quarter pill. The bad news is, it’s still a tad – a smidgen – too distracting.)

Alright, so I have a date this weekend. Well, I’m calling it a date; she’s not calling it anything. Or she’s calling it Meeting Up With A Platonic Friend, and then I’m going to dive in there headfirst and ruin the fuck out of the friendship, because I am fucking amazing at that.

So I thought, a date in Bali. We’re going to run around this island paradise and hold hands and eat weird foods and swim in blue waters and watch the sun set over the cliffs that overlook the ocean. That’s going to be our fucking date – this stupid, casual, lackadaisical, hey-let’s-meet-up date that will rival most people’s dream honeymoons.

(Though in this bizarre life that I live, I’ve had the pleasure of dating two other women on this magical island – one that already lived out in Southeast Asia; the other I brought from Toronto – five years apart. So that’s a decade I’ve been dating girls on Bali. Who am I? Who the fuck do I think I am? How am I achieving any of this?)

This, I realized, is the state of present-day dating in my life. The last two years of dating, since moving out of Toronto, have all been like this: completely, absolutely unique and different and stimulating and exciting and unlike anything I could ever recreate. They’re the furthest from a dinner-and-a-movie dating can be.

Good-Girl Local Girl and I went to a market to buy live worms for her monkey to eat.

Psychotic UN Girl and I went to visit the shrine of a ghost who killed her husband and was praised for it, then to a Transsexual Laser show, then got smashed at an Izakaya in Japantown, then back to my apartment where I thought she was going to stab me in the face with a fork (hence the “Psychotic”).

Blonde Yakuza Receptionist and I went to a Northeast Thai restaurant and then to a Japanese speakeasy until 4am where we drunkenly snipped at each other, then made up by making out.

Tall French and I, shit – we basically had a mini honeymoon on Crete, on Santorini, and then divorced in Athens.

The Singaporean and I met for the second time (ever) in a villa in Phuket and kicked off a short-lived but fierce — and lingering — romance.

That girl in LA and I ran the Santa Monica steps and then ate cheeseburgers.

That other girl in LA and I bar-hopped Melrose and Sunset, guzzled wine in Venice, and then I trailed her to Taipei and then to Tokyo.

That one girl had a penis.

Everything is overstimulating, that my brain no longer registers anything as stimulating. Every girl is special that my brain no longer registers anyone as special. Is this going to end badly? Am I even capable of an ordinary relationship anymore? Am I even capable of living in the same city for a lengthy amount of time, for longer than three months, without needing to not only travel, but to live somewhere else, to adopt another country for a short time?

Well, let’s see.

Listen, Random German Woman, I’m Not The Guy

“Are you writing a book?”

I’m on a flight from Bangkok to Bali, and the German woman next to me won’t stop asking questions. I’m in 1A and she’s in 1C; we both upgraded to the best seats in the house but it’s an AirAsia flight: the best seats are a $12 upgrade. We were taking off so all electronic devices had to be stowed. So in went the iPad and out came the notebook to scribble into.

“Yeah,” I said, forcing my Happy Stranger face, which is 75% happy and 25% wincing in pain to try to get her to sttttooooopppp. “Trying to, ha ha.”     “Are you a journalist?”

“No, just a magazine writer. I feel that journalists are of a higher breed. Like people go to university and procure degrees for it. I just fell into it. Sometimes I interview celebrities, but mostly I review products.” I didn’t really use the word procure but I wish I was the type to. “Ah. Well I’m a journalist!”

“Ah. You’re the higher breed, ha ha ha!” I upped my face to 40% wincing.

“I’m a journalist for television.”

“Doesn’t that make you a producer?” From what I know – because of Hot Indian Girl back in Toronto – if you do research and write up stories for TV, you’re a producer. A journalist is the same thing, but on paper.

“No, because you see…” I couldn’t hear her over the engine noise. But not once did I ask her to repeat herself. I wanted to get back to writing. I was writing important, crucial things, about how I only just realized that people think that I’m conceited and that I place a high value on my looks, even though I’ve always always always highly regarded intellect instead. Well not intellect, maybe sharpness? Wit? The ability to think and to process and to execute swiftly. So I was deliriously scrawling these histrionics into my Moleskine Notebook (I hate her! I hate him!!!) when she interrupted me, for some reason not thinking she was interrupting me, and the entire time I spoke to her with my wet pen still in my hand, hovering in the air just millimeters above the page, eager to slap down some fucking ink. She didn’t see it, or she didn’t care.

“This is a very funny book,” she said, showing me the novella in her hand with a German title but American author name. “This man is on a trip alone. By himself. He finds a café and goes inside for breakfast. But on the menu are just three questions: Why are you here?” She looked at me, not blinking, mouth half open, eyes wide-eyed, waiting for my reaction. I was waiting to hear the two other questions.

Did she mean three words on the menu? She’s paused for too long, that’s what she must’ve meant, I should respond, I thought. I let out a noise that I thought indicated joyfully-surprised-turned-into-realized-laugh, like OOHHHHHHHHHHHAHAHAHAHA.

“The second question was, Where are you going?” Ugh, she wasn’t finished after all. “The third question was. Was. Was. Oh, I can’t remember,” she said, as she mindlessly flipped through the pages pretending to look for it. “Very funny book. He just wanted breakfast and now the world will change!”

I just wanted a quiet flight to Bali, but now my world has changed.

“I’d be pretty pissed if I walked into a café for eggs and the menu and waiter started asking me all of these existential questions. It’s too early for that. Change my world with bacon.” She didn’t understand, but politely nodded. I abruptly went back to writing.

She’s a nice, mid-40’s woman. Probably in a mid-life crisis. That’s what Bali’s for, ever since Eat Pray Love. I mean, good for them, for trying to find their Javier Bardem, but sorry – I am so sorry – but it’s not me. I’m not the one. I’m the guy that’s flying further away from civilization, not towards it.

These days, I’m probably a shy introvert’s worst nightmare. Their fears and insecurities lie in, “What if I’m not accepted? What if I’m snubbed? What if I’m ignored and feel stupid?” I have those exact same thoughts and fears. Usually we’d be wrong: everyone will accept everyone. That’s how it goes, the world is full of nice people. But then you run into me, the guy who just wants to not speak for 60 straight days, who just wants to do deadlifts and surf and write and work and lose his lovehandles. The guy who makes a fake-happy face but obviously wincing in pain, and then notes the percentage of happy-to-wincing so he can write about it later. I’m now that guy.

Just for a month, okay? Then I’ll go back to people pleasing.

From Ginger to Posh, Jupiter to Mars, and Back Again.

Lashes and (sweeping) bangs and defined, square jaws and a bit cross-eyed.

I used to like voluptuous body types. I was a kid that was always drawing, dogs and houses and cars and shit. And then when I hit puberty I graduated to studying the human body, ie: drawing naked women. It was always these really hippy, curvy women with mammoth breasts and big asses. Spice Girls hit the scene and I was all about Geri Halliwell and her big red hair, big face, big boobs, big thighs, big personality – big everything.

By the time the Spice Girls fizzled out, I was all about Posh Spice and her clean, aerodynamic, thin look.

You know what I think what happened? This is what I think what happened:

The Spice Girls debut coincided with my entry into high school. Coming-of-age. Up until then, I liked white girls. No, wait, not that I liked white girls but I liked any girl; all girls. I didn’t have a preference because I was a young and horny 14-year old who hadn’t yet kissed a girl – who the fuck was I to have a preference? But I saw white girls the most.

During those years, my days were replete with consuming as much media as possible. I grew up on a steady diet of Baywatch, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, etc., as well as First Choice (Canada’s HBO) Friday Night “Blue Movies” – basically soft-core porn that served as masturbation fodder to young men, thirsty as fuck for the free, easy Internet porn that we were a few years too early for.

(Though those days of hunting for bare breasts in this slow and deliberate manner yielded some superb, accidental discoveries, namely, the buxom Shannon Tweed and the husky-voiced Tanya Roberts, both who are still ingrained into my Neanderthal head as the most beautiful fucking women, ever.)

All of this early-to-mid-nineties content had one thing in common that was fairly new but became commonplace fairly quickly: breast implants. Breast implants on not-so-thin women (yet); women with a bit of meat, like Pamela Anderson or Yasmine Bleeth or Shannon Doherty or Monica Geller (before she went gaunt) or that chunky girl in Boy Meets World. They were adults with their baby fat; that was in.

(The supporting characters were allowed to be thin, though – the Jennie Garths and Gena Lee Nolins and Jesse from Saved By The Bell. But they were always evil, or had an anorexia/stimulants plotline.)

So it’s easy to see why I liked Geri Halliwell the most of all The Spice Girls.

Fast-forward a mere few years, to the end of highschool, and my favorite Spice Girl switched to Victoria Beckham. You know why? This is why:

Because I was now into Asian girls. Because I had discovered and now loved the fuck out of Asian girls. I liked that they were mostly figureless beings with pointy tits and small asses. I liked their sharp chins and angular cheekbones and pale, vampire skin, amplified further by their dark, straight, featureless hair (or bright orange hair). I liked their all-black clothing – that made them look even more scrawny – and I liked that they looked mean. Bitchy and uncouth and snippy and always smoking a Marlboro Red and cackling loudly to compensate for their self-consciousness that their legs didn’t look thin enough in their black flare pants from Jacob. I liked that they frightened the fuck out of me, that they looked unpredictable, that they looked psychotic, that they could go from laughing to crying to laughing to crying and their eye-makeup wouldn’t even motherfucking budge.

And out of all The Spice Girls, Posh would be the closest to being an Asian woman.

(I also liked Sailor Jupiter the most because she was tall and masculine, and then switched to Sailor Mars because she was svelte and had bangs. But I wasn’t a fan at all of this stupid shit.)

Anyway, the point is: I feel like I’m veering back to voluptuous. Back to soft, squishy thighs. I had a decade chasing women with abdominals and veins rippling across their quadriceps (couldn’t get any of them). Women with defined shoulders and rippling backs and sinewy calves. But I’m beginning to like the folds of fabric at the upper thigh of a woman when she sits on a barstool and crosses her legs. I’m starting to once again appreciate the pendular swing of large hips when a woman sashays across the room, the swing that slender women don’t have.

But lashes and (sweeping) bangs, I’ll always like. Lashes and (sweeping) bangs and defined, square jaws and a bit cross-eyed.

The Girl With No Hobbies

There was that one girlfriend who had absolutely no hobbies. She was just incredibly studious through her University years, then hit the ground running when she graduated. She did this and that and now she’s a successful adult with a family, which I suppose are her new hobbies.

I felt bad for her, but not because I had any sort of opinion about a person without hobbies. I felt bad for her because she felt bad for herself. And she tried so hard to initialize a hobby outside of work.

I only had an opinion when she would usurp my hobbies. Usurp being the most appropriate word. I’m the polar opposite of her: my entire life is made up of hobbies. I happen to get paid for some of them, though that doesn’t stop me from spending an inordinate amount of time on the ones that I do for the joy of it.

(Well, not exactly joy, but to fulfill my compulsion to do them. See, that’s why when people accuse me of being a “commitment-phobe” I vehemently disagree; I’m damn good at commitment. So good that I need to be vigilant about what I commit to, because I’ll do them automatically, without thinking, for the rest of my fucking life. Wait – is this commitment or is this addiction? Fuck. There goes my decade-old monologue on why I’m not a commitment-phobe.)

So she would usurp my hobbies and do them with me. It’s no secret that I need an excessive amount of alone time. It’s mandatory. Even moreso with girlfriends, since I spend more time with them than the average person. I had to tell her, “You need your own hobbies, man. I mean, you can’t just follow me around and do what I do.”

You know what, now that I think of it, I actually think she was looking for an “identity” rather than a “hobby.”

What she did next was weird. She decided that the children’s book The Little Prince would be a significant artifact in her life. She consciously decided that it is a book that’s affected her deeply and she follows the morals and lessons in it and applies it to her life, to all facets of her life from dealing with family to selling real estate to raising children.

From that moment on, whenever she would pass a used bookstore, she decided she would saunter inside and purchase a copy and add it to her collection at home. She wanted a shelf full of The Little Prince copies, all in mixed states of disrepair, and this would be her hobby. Her identity.

What fucking movie did she get this bullshit from? Serendipity?

Or did she get it from John Lennon’s assassin, Mark David Chapman, who had multiple copies of Catcher in the Rye at home? Or from Mel Gibson’s character in Conspiracy Theory? (Shit – now I have to watch Conspiracy Theory again.)

That’s the bullshit I had to put up with. Anyway, I’m eating a club sandwich.

Ritalin Makes Me Write Boring Bullshit

I’m still trying to gauge Ritalin. It’s definitely giving me energy, or rather, it’s obliterated that mental fogginess I’d get in the early afternoon. That by itself justifies its usage.

Also, I seem to want to work. It’s not a magic pill in that I’ll sit at the computer with stern focus on whatever task is at hand. Like I’ll still take a break every hour or so, jump on my couch and hit up Instagram or Imgur. But the difference is that that break will last five or ten minutes instead of the usual hour or so it takes me to get myself back to my desk and back to work.

It’s like I can’t wait to get back to work, even though I’ve interrupted my concentration. I can’t wait to get back to concentrating.

I was told: don’t masturbate while on Ritalin. You’ll emerge 7 hours later from your darkened bedroom with a sore arm and a penis in need of a skin graft. I take heed of this warning, for I almost do that on a typical Tuesday night, anyway.

(On that note, I still haven’t yet stuck anything up my ass. This is a weird suspension of logic, isn’t it? Like there’s a wealth of evidence suggesting that sticking something into my ass and stimulating my prostate would bring me to an orgasmic pinnacle that I’ve never reached in my life thus far. So why haven’t I? Why would I, with this reward on the table?

My only, honest answer: I just don’t feel like it. I’m too lazy to. It feels like it would require equipment and lubrication. Masturbation is just a pastime; if I have to leave my apartment and go to a store for masturbation supplies, I don’t know, it crosses the line of leisurely pursuit and into, like, orgasms are so important.)

One concern about this whole Ritalin thing is that I’m not sure how I’m taking to creative tasks. Like my writing’s gone to shit (this is all boring shit right here), though I’m not convinced yet that that’s from the Ritalin, or just a general malaise I have about life these days (every March/April, actually). I’m well rested and unstimulated. That’s bad for writing, you know.

I’m flying through the other work, the packaging designs, the branding, the 20-page layouts. That shit, I’m a fucking virtuoso at. I never needed Ritalin to design; that’s just in my blood. So although I don’t need illegally procured prescription drugs for design, it’s at least making me faster at it.

(I am insanely busy these days. Revenue is back up to what it was in the Good Ole Days in Toronto, but this time in motherfucking US Dollars. Record-breaking profits, too, since my expenses are a third of what they were in Toronto. But you know what? I never notice money. Some years I made $150K, other years it plummeted to $70K. It had no affect on my life. I live relatively cheaply, though, with no desire for expensive goods. Alcohol (and alcohol-related events) is my largest bill of the month, probably hovering around the $1000 mark. So once I hit, say, $60K, my life is taken care of and the rest go right into the stock market (I don’t have savings, I only have high-risk investments). I remember when I bought a car in Toronto and I worried about adjusting to the payments – about $1000/month including insurance, gas, parking, etc. Didn’t affect me. Then I got rid of the car and was elated that I’d have an extra $1000/month. Didn’t affect me.)

So what’s going on now. I’m writing boring shit, but it’s fascinating as fuck to me, so I’m digging into the details, writing more. It’s not bad, but usually I’ll write at least what I think other people are interested in reading – not about the fucking car payments I had half a decade ago.

Which means Ritalin may be improving the speed of my work, but not the strategy of it. I’ll write write write – but not the right thing, not what I need to, now what my non-Ritalin-addled brain would’ve chose to spent time on.

So what do I do? Write outlines while sober, then do the grunt work on Ritalin? And then what, edit when sober again? I might as well write drunk, then.

Yeah, fuck this. Maybe. Maybe fuck this.

Cool Girl is Out-Cooling Cool Guy (aka Me)

So why do I suddenly like her?

Here’s the thing (and I say this often, to the disbelief and rolling eyes of others): I can only like – really, really like – one girl at a time. So when I first ran into this girl a few months ago, I couldn’t dive it. I had someone else to think about. Doesn’t matter if I ran into Jessica Alba or Rachel Leigh Cook or Alicia Silverstone (I need to watch more recent movies) – if I have a girl in my head, there’s no room for another.

But the second that girl was out, I immediately went to her. Now’s my chance to like her, I thought. Now’s my chance to like the fuck out of her!

Well, no, it’s not so simple. Well, wait – it might’ve been.

Look: I knew she was beautiful. That was never a concern. I also knew she was cool as shit. Not an issue. But beautiful and cool women are everywhere. They’re supposedly unicorns, but in reality, nah, I meet them all the fucking time. The amount of really hot women out there who are also really cool is infinite. They’re everywhere; it’s almost annoying. There’s no shortage and I’ve never sulked about it, never cried into my pillow, wailing, “There’s just no good women out there!”

So who cares. Beauty and brains and fun and personable and and and and and and. It’s not enough on its own. She needs that certain – I can’t believe I’m going to type this – I seriously can’t fucking believe it – like I want to vomit but I can’t think of another phrase – je ne sais quoi.

She has that. Or she created it between us. (Oh, oh I see – this could be what they call a connection.) Sometimes a girl will say or do a series of somethings to flick that switch inside of my head and then that’s it, I’m in. I’m fucking in, whether I like it or not. Doesn’t even matter if she’s not beautiful or cool, actually – I’m done.

The something she did was – and I can pinpoint the exact fucking moment – is when she told me how she worried how sometimes she can’t verbalize in English what she’s thinking in her head.

“Like I’ll say something, then follow up with, ‘Do you know what I mean?’ and I can clearly see that my boss doesn’t know what I mean,” she said.

“Like, you think in your native language? And translate it to English before you speak?”

“Yeah,” she said. “I’m going to get my ass fired.”

That’s it, that’s all it was: her struggle with English. I just thought that was the most honest, vulnerable thing to say. It probably isn’t, there’s probably more honest and vulnerable things like, “I shook a baby to death once,” or “I like to stick carrots up my ass.” But in that moment, it was just so fucking sincere. Especially because we were at a busy club, sitting on the empty patio outside, holding fancy cocktails and just talking. Like what kind of topic of conversation is this for a place like that? It was lovely.

Oh, she also wanted to be in another occupation and I told her she should go for it and she said had she failed the test to get into the program to study it. Just straightforward, no excuses, no reasoning, just – “I failed, so now I’m doing this instead.”

Maybe that’s it: she’s calm in these situations where other people might’ve cracked. That could definitely be it, because the one word I’d use to describe her would be “cool,” so that trait has obviously been ingrained into my head.

Second word to describe her: hot as fucking holy fuck.

So she’s really cool and chill and can’t be ruffled. You can’t tousle this chick. But man, she’s savage over messages. No social graces, no niceties. She’ll talk to me exactly until the point where she doesn’t feel like it anymore. And then she’ll disappear. And then she’ll come back when she feels like it again. Do you know what I’m saying? It’s excruciatingly obvious that she won’t send filler messages. This is something I’ll appreciate – and do myself – in the future, but now?! In the early stages? When I’m all giddy and expectant and eager? Give me something! Give me everyythhinnnnnng.

Holy fuck, it’s heartbreaking. She’ll let the two checkmarks light up blue to indicate she’s read my message, and then she’ll go away for four fucking days and not blink an eye. She won’t try to pre-read my message from the notification window, she’ll just open the app and read the fuckers, let me know she read them, then walk the fuck away. Fucking savage. And cool. And hot as fucking holy fuck.

Did I Lose It? I Might Have Lost It. Skip This.

I met up with an old friend of mine in Bangkok. She was an administrator at the Thai language school I attended for most of last year.

I enrolled into Thai school for three reasons: to secure an Education Visa that would let me stay in the country for 6 months at a time (in contrast to the one-month tourist visa); to meet friends, both foreign students and local staff; and to meet girls. It went exactly as planned.

So Feifei – not her real name – was an administrator who worked the front desk along with a few other girls. I slowly made my way to that desk day after day, coming up with questions or comments or just any excuse to sit up there and shoot the shit with The Girls. Eventually, I was in the circle, attending staff birthday parties in the back room and drinking free water from a jug hidden under their desk. I’d chat with them before classes started, on breaks between classes, and then after class.

(Did I mention that I’m the nice guy in Bangkok? What the fucking fuck. I’m the patient, nice, civilized, innocent guy that’s always smiling, always up for a good time. The disparity between my character in Bangkok versus in Toronto is incredible. Also because I’m up to more no fucking good in Bangkok than I ever, ever, ever, ever, ever fucking was in Toronto. I mean, do I even have a soul, anymore?)

There was one teacher that was hot. But I’m not sure if she was hot hot or hot merely because she was the best out of the bunch, most of who were just average. I’m sure, looks-wise, it’s the latter – she was just the best out of the group, and my brain compensated from a lack of hot teachers by lowering its standards.

She was hot in other ways, namely, she was a hard-ass bitch. I’m sure she’s dated foreigners – she knew how to talk to us, talk to me, in that, she would shut me down every chance she got. Most Thais would blush and sit back and let the loud be loud – but not her. She would verbally slap me down, argue. “The fuck you talking about, curry’s good, man!” in her Thai accented English.

The fuck am I talking about? This Ritalin sucks!!!! THE FUCK AM I TALKING ABOUT?

Anyway, so I met up with Feifei last weekend. Went for ramen and then Guinness. I always liked her the most because she was the oldest, in her mid-30s, so I could actually talk to her like a human being. We could actually have conversations that don’t have to end in giggling, you know?

I asked why she’s still single. She’s pretty, she’s smart, she comes from a good family. “70% of the population in Bangkok are women; 30% are men,” she said. “Out of that 30%, 10% are gay. Out of the remaining 20%, half are losers. So that leaves 10%. Do you know how hard it is to find that 10%?”

Seems like the same story all over the world.

“Look on the street,” she continued. “It’s all girls! Look at our school. All the teachers, all girls, all single!” She was right. I just thought teaching English was a woman’s profession.

Jesus fuck, this is boring. Fuck you, Ritalin.