I had an AWESOME time. (A month in Thailand.)
Sitting in the Chiang Mai airport drinking a hot Americano coffee after scarfing down breakfast of toast, butter, fried eggs, pork, cilantro — the cilantro, in fact, is now placed between my teeth as I’m reminiscing quietly to myself typing away at this cafe, thinking about my month in Thailand…
First of all, the last few weeks I’ve been listening repeatedly to Save The Day’s first record Can’t Slow Down. (I’m noticing the international departures line to get through security is again filling up so I’ll be sitting here awhile talking to you.) The record encapsulates perfectly how I’ve been feeling. Those wild New Jersey boys! I felt that reemergence … it had been built up inside of me for years, just working to be some kind of nobody writer — another face in the crowd. I’d wanted to blend in!
I think I got that idea from Ginsberg’s journals. Just get a regular job and become a regular person. I’d been looking for some solid advice and I never found that anywhere in my life other than books. Books gave me direction even if it meant that everybody else around me wondered: What the fuck is he doing? Who does this kid think he is? Etc.
Well, traveling these last two months has taught me a lot about myself, how crazy I am and can be. And the wilting of the weeping willows throughout my daytime hours where I’m grazing in the field like a silent sheep, hurtling throughout space on a twirling rock made of ice and molecules and debris from hundreds of millions of years ago. But that’s beside the point.
I’d landed in Krabi, Thailand — from Stockholm, Sweden. Before that, I’d spent about three weeks in Italy along the southwestern coast where the Tyrrhenian Sea waves goodbye and says hello each night and morning. It was a peaceful trip. I drank just about every night. And I wrote a short book of some kind, a manuscript as they say. Those fuckers. They’re always saying something. Haven’t you noticed? They always have something to say…
If there was anything of the wild New Jersey boy unleashed back in Italy, I guess it came out in the writing or when I was alone in the top floor of my AirBnb house, room, what have you.
I kept my heart to myself, in other words.
But when I was looking to book the ticket to Thailand, I immediately thought that I’d be flying into Bangkok. Then about a month beforehand, I found a cheaper flight to Krabi. I had never heard of Krabi. Hmm. I drank at my Italian beer and wine in both hands while juggling the basic and dull knowledge of being the world’s greatest living writing hiding throughout the world in secret. Hmm, maybe I’ll grow a mustache.
The flight to Krabi said that it was about 150 Euro. I waited a day. The price jumped up to about 220 Euro. Sonofabitch. Well, I thought, I guess I’m going to Krabi.
So I booked the flight and then the day came to leave Italy. I got into a cab at about five in the morning, five thirty to be exact. The cab ride was much more peaceful going out (and cheaper) than it had been on arrival.
Krabi! The flight was 10 hours long. (Haven’t I wrote about this before?) I didn’t leave my seat once. Had a Snickers bar. Okay.
The first week was something like a hangover of my American self. If you’re reading this, all three of you, and you’re wondering that means. Just hang in there. Because I’m going to tell you.
I learned that not everybody in the world is constantly working. In fact, I hardly saw my AirBnb hosts in Italy (near Rome) do any work. They got up whenever they felt like it. Went to things where their attendance was required (usually they went late and without a shower, eating first — that was most important!), took trips to the gym, strummed guitars after a fight as a couple is wont to do, and they took it easy — that’s what I’m getting at. I don’t even know if they even showered. But that didn’t mean they smelled, no.
In fact, they were kind people. And that’s what I came across when arriving in Thailand. I was jet lagged. Had my three bottles of beer in my arms like a cherished child. I worked for most of the week when I was in Krabi. Then I saw some stuff the last two days I was there … I finally got out of my shell. Or I was at least making that attempt. Isn’t there some kinda bullshit they say about that? With butterflies. Yeah. The butterfly was tired of smelling his own dried anus. So he was like, dude, I gotta get away from myself. Or at least shower. I don’t know, something other than this fucking cocoon.
And then, wham. A butterfly is born.
(I’m not yet finished with my cup of coffee. So let’s keep shooting the shit. Whaddya say?)
The flight to Chiang Mai was simple and easy and the Christmas music on the plane made me want to jump out of it. I then proceeded to thoroughly enjoy my first few days in Chiang Mai. The weather was ideal. The people were friendly everywhere. Food was inexpensive. And I started slowly feeling as if I could live like a King. It wouldn’t cost me too much.
Then I met a girl. She charmed my stupid, smelly ass. No more cocoons, dude. I gave her roses. She was dressed in a white bikini and we swam together in a pool underneath palm trees, the sun shining brightly like nothing else mattered. And that was how I felt.
She pulled me away from my American working self. It felt good.
And it stayed me. I stopped worrying about getting work done and felt like I was letting loose that Jersey boy inside of me that was only unleashed when I got really drunk back home. Instead, I felt drunk when I woke up. And I felt that way during the afternoon. Reveries. Dreaming while wide awake. Shit like that.
She left, my lovely Chinese companion. And I ran amok. Got a motorbike. Rode it like a maniac all around the city where a square of traffic hugged Chiang Mai and had done so since the 13th or 14th century. I rode, drank, rode, drank, rode, drank, drank, rode, met some girls from Taiwan. Drank, rode, crashed. Then I took a cold shower. Limped around for a few days.
Saw some good music, they like that here. I told one of the girls, the other girl actually … wait, what? … that they liked their nineties style here.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean like, you know. The nineties in America.”
“Yeah, like baggy pants. Or earrings on dudes. And their band t-shirts, their lackadaisical braggadocio with ear loops and tongue piercings, their Nirvana t-shirts, they were dropping out of the system, man, and that’s like. What I wanna do.”
She shook her head.
“Just stop talking for a few minutes.”
“Okay. You’re right. Let’s get a balloon ride to the clouds.”
My coffee’s about finished. The line at the security is almost non-existent. So I guess I’ll stop here. Maybe I’ll get a beer or something on the other side. We’ll talk again soon.
*** *** ***
Okay. Now I’m sitting with a TIGER LAGER BEER at the gates for international departures. I said goodbye on the cell phone to the girl who stole my heart. (And last night I sent a little paper airplane to a girl in Taiwan. VROOOOM.)
So what comes next? Probably this beer. Some voiding of urine. I know these words aren’t very much but I’ve been writing elsewhere and I finally edited the next script I’ll be self-publishing called Angels and Spirits which is the third book in a trilogy I wrote when I was traveling across America.
I finished a few scripts earlier this year: The Worst Feminist In The World, My Father and I Climb The Caribbean, Norah, Satori In Rome. And I’m really digging the script I started writing about the girl I met in Chiang Mai. Hoping to have that and the A+S script done before the end of the year. I doubt any American writer wrote more than me this year but who the fuck cares about that?
Cheers to a month in Thailand!
I’m tan. I’m from New Jersey. I stopped shaving. Finally washed my hair yesterday. No. Wait. That was this morning.
I guess it’s time to move on. Yes. It is.
I’ll drink to that.