I've asked two different women, Poo and Poe, to marry me! They both said "Yes" and I am going to marry both of them. They both live in the same apartment building but on different floors so mechanically it is doable. It's just a matter of timing and scheduling. If they didn't live on different floors I would never think of marrying them both. I'd have to make a choice. I'm not stupid. But I don't foresee any problems. However, I've got to start making some heavy bread. I guess I'll finally have to bid adieu to my curb side business of Cornrows, Braids, and Extensions on Khao San Road. HANDS IN HAIR (the business name) just isn't going to meet my future financial needs. Two thousand baht a week is enough when you are single and living on refried beans, boiled-again catfish heads, and a once-a-week banana crepe treat; but these two honeys are both high maintenance women. Example: When we were courting I took Poe to Swenson's Ice Cream Parlor and she ordered a Banana Boat Float - size LARGE. Kinda makes you think. So I have applied for a position with the Bank of Thailand.
Not everything in your life is on your resume when you are applying to the Bank of Thailand Bangkok corporate office English Language Services Dept. for employment at the age of fifty-five. The older you get the more you have to slip and slide in the personal story that you tell. Especially me. My parents and the delivery doctor tell me that I was born normal but then things started to go wanky. Some stuff now I just can't itemize on a suit-and-tie job resume. To wit:
Years ago, before moving to Bangkok, I had a ten year career in the Chiang Rai region as a featured karaoke singer, club singer, and Barry White impressionist. Admittedly, there were not many venues for these talents in Chiang Rai years ago but in that small social-entertainment koy pond I was the big fish. Special outside bookings could be very profitable. I sang and performed at many Burmese warlord bar mitzvah receptions. Usually it was helicopter chauffeuring going to and from these gigs. But if my song stylings were considered sub-par my return to Chiang Rai was part of a pack train of dubious merchandise including me. I learned to sing like a meadowlark.
When I moved to Bangkok some of my fans followed me and started talking me up in the local clubs. Pretty soon I got a job offer. The club was in an area populated by Arabs and Blacks. The Arabs were the mice and the Blacks were the cats. The sandal-and-turban people made the area look as if there was always a goat, lamb, rice and shish kabab festival going on. If the US was in charge; everyone of these kneel and pray people would have been profiled as a terrorist. But these lovers of the Koran were not the main event. The main event was the Blacks.
And I don't mean the shrimpy little Horn of Africa Blacks, or the east African educated blacks, or the American GI blacks, or the West Indian blacks with British accents, or the Empire blacks with rugby T shirts, or the prissy little Parisian speaking Moroccan or Algerian or Tunisian blacks smoking French cigarettes hoping with their French accents and French clothes and French attitudes that people wouldn't notice that they were black, or the skinny natives of the savannahs of the eastern part of the continent from Kenya and Tanzania and Ethiopia and Somalia: running machines good for running down small gazelles but not good for much else: ten thousand years of history and nothing to show for it but survival; I mean the BIG HUGE MONSTER BLACKS. The big mothers from the Congo and Nigeria. Men so big they could squeeze your head like a grape. Men so huge they could pound in a tent peg with their dick. Men who from birth to death will never have to apologize to anyone. Big black men from the Congo and Nigeria and Cameroon and Zaire and Angola. The biggest men in the world who could have run the world if they hadn't been slowed by too much testosterone and too much equatorial heat.
For some reason, the gene pool for frightening bigness drained off on the equatorial side of west Africa. Blacks that reminded one of the silver backed gorillas in their beyond debate maleness. Most of men's lives are spent bluffing: bluffing others, and bluffing and lying to ourselves about what strong sexy guys we are. It's harmless and accepted socially as the inevitable preening and posturing that goes with being a man. Sometimes women even pretended to buy into the fantasy that was the average man's life and they married you. But around these west African equatorial blacks you just kept your stupid white boy mouth shut.
The men were huge and ponderous and big, and tall, and heavy, and mean looking with big bellies and hands the size of pie plates and lifeless predator eyes. And everything was a deal. They were deal makers. I once in an inattentive state made the mistake of getting in line behind one of these silverback couples in a Bangkok department store. The husband and the wife each had four new giant pieces of luggage (that is eight giant pieces of luggage in all) and nine carriages with over three hundred children's outfits on the hangers. They had bought the entire children's section of clothes. They paid cash, slammed the outfits into the new luggage, and then hailed a taxi. You know where they were going! They were going to the Post Office to mail the loot back to the home country where another three hundred pound confederate would sell them at a 300% mark up! Deal making! Only stupid little white boys with miniature penises have jobs. In the meantime, I am searching my pockets to see if I have enough money for a 45 baht gelato ice cream cup.
The early blacks in this section of Bangkok were deal makers. There was no such thing as having a job, or being involved in a career, or attending workshops on how to polish your resume, or buying books on how to dress for success, or hiring a consultant to drill you on social skills and interview techniques. These guys were not on vacation from a job. They took it all with them. Dealmakers. The art of the deal. Buying low and selling high. Networking. Shaving. Points. Grease. Bribes. And handshakes that could turn ball bearings into liquid metal. I'm a small man so I have spent my adult life having men bigger than me tell me, show me, bully me about how tough they are. But I have never seen one of these jackasses mouth off to one of these West African blacks. Every seen a drunk slam his hand on an ant in a bar? That is all the time it would take.
Anyway, they would constantly be on the hotel room phone, or the hotel lobby phones, or using the phones of other businesses. It didn't matter what country they were in they were experts at using the phone. If you had a phone they would ask to use it (cutting expenses). If you had a business they would be on your business phone. If you left your table in a restaurant to go to the restroom and you left your phone behind they would be dialing. I've been traveling to Thailand for years and I still can't use the phone. I have to go to South Pattaya and have Anna the tour booking agent at the AA hotel make calls for me. At 50 baht a call I figure it's a deal. Now there is almost no regular phone action. It is all cell phones. You see these big giant men holding cell phones so small they can hardly be seen. It looks like they are talking into their big meaty hands.
And you don't hear words like 'munitions' or 'France' anymore. Now the word du jour is diamonds! Hang around Siam Leather Goods in the River City Shopping Mall on the Chao Praya river halfway between the Oriental hotel and the Shangri La hotel and you will hear them asking the clerk to have the custom made crocodile briefcase made with special hidden compartments. And to send the bill to the hotel. And their custom made ostrich shoes size 14DDDD - could you please make the shoes with hollow heels and use screws instead of nails. And send the bill to the hotel. And since I am not bargaining too hard (the poor Thai clerk has sweat dripping off the tip of his nose): when my wife Sharyce comes tomorrow, give here anything she wants and give her a 70% discount; and send the bill to the hotel.
The other thing that was intimidating about these black behemoths was their different lives. If you were the standard issue white boy farang in Thailand to ride an elephant, and to visit a temple, and to meet a nice girl: followed inevitably by the thinly veiled bragging postcards sent back home to your envious (loser) friends; coming into contact with these men rubbed your face in the ordinariness of your life. You didn't know shit about the world, or about how the world really worked. You were a pretender. You couldn't compete with these guys on any level and their wife's clitoris was probably as big as your penis. No wonder their women were so pushy, and so rude, and so haughty, and so contemptuous, and so superior acting. They wouldn't use you to wipe their ass.
If you thought these big boys were intimidating you should have seen the wives! Imagine almost the same physique as the men only with a vagina. Block one of these honeys in an aisle at Foodland and you would get batted around like a shuttlecock at summer camp. Heads the size of rubber horse buckets, hands that could rip windshield wipers off cars to use as dental picks, and feet that could walk across newly split pea gravel like a Persian rug. No wonder the husbands thought the first Russian prostitutes to arrive were something. If the tired ass Russian whore had white skin, dyed blond hair, and could get her feet up to her ears; the guy from Nigeria or Angola thought he had gone to silverback heaven. Additionally, the wives were carrying mountains of roiling moving fat, humungous breasts, and thighs and asses that would scare off a Komodo dragon. They would try to hide these super sized examples of femininity by wearing neck to floor loose flowing caftans. But it never worked. Moving towards you on a narrow soi there was so much moving, and heaving, and jumping under the caftans they always looked as if they were shoplifting TV's. Their bodies betrayed them. On all levels that a farang man could possibly think of these were the last women on the planet that he would want to or be qualified to associate with sexually. You won't believe what comes next. Be afraid. Be very afraid.
Well, when you are young and foolish and full of piss and vinegar you sometimes agree to do stupid things. I agreed to do Tuesday night shows at one of the clubs in this Black Arab quarter. The club was the Sanuk Sanuk club and my act was in the Boom Boom room. I did Barry White impressions and song stylings. Well, what the Sanuk Sanuk club didn't tell me when I signed the contract was that Tuesday night was Ladies Night. Not a man in sight. Just a sea of huge, sweating, Nigerian and Congolese and Cameroonian and Zairian and Angolan women liquored up and horny! Well, I would start in on my club act of Barry White impressions and if I do say so: I was pretty good. Damned good. The only thing sexier and more sexually exciting than me singing Barry White: is the man himself.
Well, the results were predictable and always bad. After about twenty minutes of my man power; the big, horny, drunk, black mammies would rush the stage. My singing had made them wild with jungle lust. They would pick me up and start rubbing me all over their bodies like a giant loofah bath sponge. I had to wear ear plugs to protect myself from the moaning, and the screaming, and the grunting. Then some damn fool drunk silverback mommy would throw me into the crowd. My band would just keep playing.
Management rarely stepped in and now I am being thrown around the Boom Boom room like a nerf football. Sometimes cooler heads would prevail and I would be taken back up on stage and allowed to finish my set. But on nights when the police had been made happy and the Sanuk Sanuk club had scored some discount gin and vodka down near the Flower market; things would go down hill. I would be hauled up on stage, stripped naked, and forced to have sex with some of these monsters.
That's when I first heard the saying "Are You In White boy?" It may sound funny to you now; but believe me, it was not funny at the time. No amount of Phom Mai Ow would make them stop. I looked like a soi dog crawling up on a Volkswagen. Needless to say, every Tuesday night the Boom Boom room was packed. The club made a fortune and I was making dough too. So I was torn. I was getting lots of attention, and I was having young men's adventures, and I was dragging down serious baht; but I couldn't help feeling that there was something demeaning about being a Congo woman's loofah sponge. Plus it occurred to me that in spite of numerous sexual experiences, I never actually felt anything. These women were so big it was like riding a bicycle into a tunnel.
So I quit. At the time I was living two floors up in a small hotel off Soi 4. But I had to move. The women found out where I lived and started stalking me. Jungle Lust. What with them climbing up the trellises, and the balconies, and the drain pipes; a lot of stuff got pulled off the building. So I had to move. I ended up in Hat Yai for a couple of years managing a Muslim dyke bar. But that is another story.
© Dana. All rights reserved by the author.