Saturday, October 23, 2010

Muddied Waters

Friday morning just past rush hour, I arrived in Bangkok after a bad's night sleep in coach class. Many people standing in the arrivals immigration queue arrive in not only their destination hub, but their destination. For  me and others like me, it is the place we arrive in, to make believe it is home away from home, to buy our sims cards, to check-in to our guest houses and boutique hotels, to settle down for a night or two, collect our wits, and relax. However. All of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and tactile experiences we experience after awhile make too much sense there. 

That's why the first and what may be the last good decision we make for some time is to hitch a ride away from there. 

Some might say, "But it's Bangkok, man. Fucking Bangkok! What more could you want?" 

That's a good question and I am not sure if I have an answer. It's not just that I and others like me don't know how to dance for the simple pleasure of dancing; it's that we've never learned how to. Maybe at one time there was some lesson, a word in our ears, a tip or bit of wisdom passed on to us, but by our natures the lesson seemed to have had at the time no foreseeable application for us, so we didn't take notes, and later, when put to the test, we didn't make the grade.

Wherever I’ve been, in each place I come and go with seasonal changing reliability, some sort of nonsense must be there waiting for me. I go to join mobs that come and go en masse, attracted by distraction.

Even on the odd quest for a definitive reality and search for  things inspirational, I and others like me need a break from sound decision making and predictable outcomes. At home, where despair and ecstasy are heads and tails of the same coin, we feel locked into routine, we're servants of punctuality and conscientiousness, which is, if not a good thing, a necessary thing. Reasons and rational thinking must reign for us for if they didn’t, we would not only drown in our regrets, we would survive to some measure subsisting on muddy water and sleeping in hollow logs. 

We get our bang for the buck in places where nonsense rests layer upon layer, and we must always--without giving it too much thought--be a part of it. We expect more from the unfamiliar than what we get from our real shamefully naked lives. Far more memorable than the reputation of say, the Taj Mahal or Angkor Wat, is the nonsense of the mobs and events on the roads leading to them. Wherever we go, everything from the front desk staff to the four theft proof coat hanger rings that hold our rented wooden hangers serve as unforgiving witnesses to every one of our erratic ties to rash acts brought about by virtual sanity. We do not endanger others, so what's the big deal?

I want it to be said of me before I break camp and head for home "Thank God, we hardly knew him". Shit. I want me to be able to say the same thing about myself! I'm most good with that, at least while most of my vital body parts are still functional.


Anonymous Kelley said...

Are you OK?

8:12 PM  
Blogger Mimi's Pa said...

Hey Dr. Cuz. OK? in what way? This is just more decoding of notes scrawled in book margins, backs of menus and on cocktail napkins, reminiscences of last summer's implausible and frequent displays of roguish and puerile behavior. I had in ...mind a book, a goal of tracking down some good SE Asian blues players with a "where to find the best of. . ." type travelogue in mind. For all intents and purposes, I succeeded, and gigged with dozens of players in Cambodia and Thailand. Problem is I always choose to self medicate in the summer and instead of linear memories, I have a patchy surrealistic montage of events I have to work through to get to the heart of the matter.

How's the Lazarelle coming along? I really love that stage name our great grandmother had. It means, I believe, the little woman who rose from the dead.

8:13 PM  

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