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Monday, March 19, 2012

Just for Tonight...

Maybe time to begin posting a couple more excerpts of Mount Royal. Christ, the thing's been cooking in the back shed long enough. Really, publishing is like watching grass grow. 
just for tonight
But, hey, it took so long and was backed up by enough talented friends and associates that it might turn out okay... So here's an excerpt that includes a dire approximation of my old colleague in the photos...

...The moment I hang up somebody starts riding the door buzzer, going crazy on the thing. I run down ready to flip out. It’s Hennessy. His usually crafty features are sweaty and distressed. He skips around me and heads upstairs, starts to rattle on about some government yenta who wants to be double-teamed. The Hen says he’s haggled her up to a hundred and fifty bucks over the phone, but she gets right of first refusal upon seeing the merchandise in person. With almost zero endorphins in my blood, the idea of performing three-way sexual calisthenics with some extra feisty stranger holds about as much appeal as a steak knife colonoscopy.
“She’ll slam the door in our faces,” I tell him. “You look like stepped-on cat shit. Christ, your skin’s not even brown. It’s gray.”
Hennessy adjusts his oversized bowler and brushes off the ragged black suit. “You aren’t exactly appetizing either, you know. I wouldn’t vomit on you if I was paid.”
“Well, that would depend on how much, wouldn’t it?”
“If you have any bright ideas, Johnny, I’m listening.”
“Okay, okay. So where is this hot-to-trot character?”
“Outremont. She’s a doctor, part of the inner sanctum at the Ministry of Culture.”
“Inner sanctum of my ass. Will she write for us?”
“She’s not that kind of doctor.”
“What the fuck? I’ve never understood this pretentious academic bullshit. What good is having Doctor in front of your name if you can’t write a goddamn narcotics prescription? It shouldn’t be allowed. It’s phony advertising.”
Hennessy sighs at my kvetching. “Can we go now?”

When we get to Outremont the deal seems like it might be okay. Nice Modernist box house with mellow Nordic box furniture. The quasi-doctor bureaucrat doesn’t gack at the sight of us. She wears a black cat-suit, which isn’t the best outfit for her short, wide physique, but what the hell, the woman’s pleasant enough as we sit in some sort of ante-room, chatting. Who knows, maybe she’ll do most of the work. But then we find out what she really wants is to have us double-team her husband across his home-office desk while she plays audience and jerks off with some adult toys. I glare at Hennessy. He gives me a weak shrug. Oops.
Hubby’s a snarky, cavey chested middle-aged guy. He’s already down to nothing but a pair of blue and white Y-fronts and has patches of gray hair on his shoulder blades. “Where did you find these two specimens? They look like refugees from a palliative ward.”
“You wanted something street,” his wife bitches at him. “So I found you something street.”
“Yes, Montreal street. Not pox-infested Calcuttan gutter!”
He turns up his nose, looks away and points at the door. The doctor lady walks us out. She gripes under her breath, offers a few mumbled apologies and fifty bucks as compensation. After we score from Benny the Bike Thief, Hennessy runs off to a sociology class at Concordia. The Housebroken Dog As Consumerist Metaphor in Late 20th Century Western Society.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

In a word - no

It’s been smoky in Chiang Mai lately. The slash ‘n’ burn crowd going at it with gusto. The practice had been discredited ages ago, some claim. Others shrug and cough and wear old-fashioned surgical masks in public and at home. Me, I don’t care about the smoke all that much. Too bad you can’t see the mountains to our west on many days during slash ‘n’ burn season but it’s hot and sunny and my little Kawi is still tons ‘o’ fun to ride, smoke or no smoke, so ask me if I care.

Anyyyyway, I was out at breakfast a couple afternoons ago, eating in one of the countless great little places in this great little city – an establishment called Good Morning Chiang Mai. Despite being in the tourist zone, the place attracts a trade that’s about half Thai and half white foreigners – ‘farangs’ as we’re known – pronounced ‘falang’ by Thais.
Like most cafĂ©/guest houses here, it’s built in an open and airy style with high ceilings and a beautiful courtyard, feng shuied to within an inch of its life, every roofline with a pleasing gentle slope. Kind of reminds me of that famous Frank Lloyd Wright house.

So I’m sitting in this little slice of paradise eating my ginger/clove/cinnamon/nutmeg/pineapple pancakes (yeah, they taste even better than they sound) and all’s pretty goddamn groovy. I notice a white couple, male and female, and these two looked seasoned shall we say, both with a smattering of tattoos but not the sudden mass of homogeneous markings a lot of squares get done here all at once cuz it’s cheap and Thailand has a solid population of skilled tattoo artists. I’ve actually seen some big white galoots laid out on a tattoo table like a beached beluga, three fastidious Thai artists buzzing away on the ape, using spray-on anesthetic to allow the galoot to withstand the pain of several consecutive hours of tattoos that invariably include all the requisite flaming skulls, battle axes, big-boobed Vampirellas, arbitrary old testament quotes, Celtic crosses, Buddhist aphorisms and other quasi-arcane symbols. Six, seven hours later the galoot’s ready to return to his Whiteland buddies and show them he too merits having a gallon of ink pecked into his pasty white hide for a quarter of what he’d pay back home.

So this white couple I noticed, they had a whiff of weed and X about them, a passing acquaintance with blow maybe  – they’d done some hard partying in their time but nothing too nasty. They were way in the back of the courtyard, sitting at a fairly secluded table behind some midget palms and making no secret of their affections; holding hands across the table, legs entwined beneath, gently stroking the inside of one another’s forearms. They stared dreamily into each other’s eyes with little grins, as if they’d just done some awesome fucking – that whole nicely sated vibe. But I guess they had more where that came from cuz the woman scooted round to sit on the same side as her guy and they got into a fairly sweet grope, nothing wild but since everyone wears pretty loose clothing here due to the heat, there’s lots of bodily access. It was hard to tell exactly from my angle but I think the woman was wearing a shirt that had these discreet zippers down the ribs. The guy slowly got one zipper down and slipped his hand inside onto the small of her back – and soon he was up to his elbow. Like I said, it was difficult to see that much but I could see enough to know he had his hand far down her ass. It made me smile to myself and shake my head. Well, not for nothing do they do call Chiang Mai Asia’s most romantic city. But that’s only up to a point.

A trio of Thai girls, who were watching the couple from a table on the other side of the courtyard, were fascinated beyond staring. They were squinting at the lovebirds, who were oblivious and only doing what many couples do in the West and where few people notice, let alone study their methods.
The couple were having a great time, giggling and laughing and rubbing against one another. I thought: Fuck, yeah, go for it. Screw right on the table. We won’t watch – at least not too much and not in a gross way. Gwan awready, give us voyeurs and pervs a nice healthy thrill.

But they didn’t screw on the table. Instead they got up, gathered their belongings and went to the entrance to pay. Since Good Morning Chiang Mai is so open-aired and with tons of windows, I could see the couple loitering out front afterwards. The young Thai women who’d been giving them the x-ray eyes were also carefully watching the action. The couple got into a long good-bye, hands on asses and tongues going, eyes beautifully closed. I dug out my prescription specs to see better. Yeah, they looked really good and really horny together, a nice match. Or maybe they’d just met the night before and were simply enthralled. Travel can be lucky that way.
As a final flourish, the guy leaned down and bit the woman’s breast through her shirt. Not a big chomp but a slow sexy bite, as if it gave them both shivers. Her head fell back, eyes closed and her lips parted slightly as she gently reached between his legs. And this is out on the street during a nice, sunny C.M. afternoon. Talk about your hugely erotic dry-hump. Sheee-ite.

The three Thai girls were now agog, no doubt soaking their undies – eyes practically popping out of their heads, jaws on the table, nearly drooling - all decorum ditched. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they suddenly began screwing on the table. When the couple finally parted and the girl went south, away from the resto and the guy came past the place toward his scooter, the Thai girls gawped at him like hungry dogs. Steam practically rose off them. When he noticed their stares, he scowled at first- clearly a Westerner accustomed to the idea that staring people are giving you an ‘attitude.’ But he recovered a moment later upon realizing it was something else altogether and I think he actually got a little flustered. But as he averted his gaze, he smiled to himself. Hell, wouldn’t you?

That sort of highly public affection is just not done in ol’ straight-laced Chiang Mai. Sure, it’s ‘romantic’ in the traditional sense but couples here do not even hold hands in public and white ex-pats or visitors generally emulate that sadly old-fashioned public modesty. Which is a bit ironic considering Thailand is famous for its full-bore sex industry and for sex toys being seriously illegal here (no kidding - and that subject will be a blawg post all on its own one of these days).
In light of all that, the idea of Chiang Mai’s good burghers holding up a 1950’s style public morality code is a kind of hilarious. Foreigners who live and work here as teachers or with various NGOs and other orgs say such open displays of sexual intent will ruin one’s reputation and career because like any small town, they all talk – and talk and talk and can’t shut up about everyone else’s business – and the less it has to do with them personally, the more they talk.

I guess the couple we were watching aren’t teachers and don’t work for some org with a highly attuned sensitivity for ‘respecting local customs.’ Hey, I too get the whole we-are-guests-in-their-country thing but would that stop me from seriously mauling a favored lover in the bright sun in a very public place if we felt as turned-on as those two looked? In a word – no.

Picasso's Lovers In The Street, 1900