Posted by Barbanne on February 06, 2003 at 21:41:07:
PART FIFTY SEVEN
Hot, wet, steamy. Klongs filled with crap and roads that flooded in rain and the mysterious fragrance of the east, namely the heady combination of shit and diesel.
I was working for "fuck'er dot com" a small outfit that sent out live streaming audio and video feeds of sex acts. As the only western girl amongst a bevy of Thais, and as I was willing to do anything, I was much in demand. Mostly I sucked a lot of dick and took it up the arse on any and every occasion. Subscribers could log on and after paying for a session they could watch the jerky action and interact sending through their requests just like a chat session.
"Tell 'er to take it up the arse and in the gob," was fairly typical.
'Hurt the fuckin' bitch," was another popular one.
One of the other girls manned the keyboard and passed on the customer's instructions and then I and the stud du jour would fake some ghastly orgasm. We did a lot of grunting and I would moan and pant and whimper a lot, but in truth the whole thing had nothing to do with sex and was nothing like the fantasy work I did at Playdead and so, even when in the throes of appearing to be being fucked, I had plenty of time to think.
"Fuck'er" was owned by Sergei, a Russian Australian guy and he had tried to sell me on drugs which was a sideline of his, or rather the web porn site was a sideline to the drugs. I wouldn't touch them but knew that he was working on it and I just knew that if I gave in, (and there were many times when I thought why not? why not just shoot happiness up your arm) but I knew that if I did it would only be a matter of time before my bare assed body floated face down in the klongs alongside the dead dogs and cats.
Thankfully he left me alone most of the time and my day to day boss was Prattiporn, a nice enough Thai guy whom I called Porney.
Porney was happy if I turned up when expected and did what I was asked.
So I grunted and sweated my way through a ten hour session seven days a week and hoped I could hold Sergei at bay long enough to get out before I was shived and dumped into the cold filthy water some dark moonless night.
I lived in a tiny room over a cafe in one of the main thoroughfares of Bangkok and sploshed my way home through crap littered stormwater on many occasions. Two of the Thai girls from "fuck'er" lived beside me and although their English was rudimentary and my Thai was sort of non existant we would often go out for a meal or just spend time stooging around doing the shops.
The rest of the time I spent sleeping fitfully or lying on my bed wondering how I had gotten here.
I still loved Alex and missed him desperately and I missed all of the other girls at Playdead and wished I were back there and felt lonely and homesick in this alien place and I cried a lot. A LOT!!!!
Why didn't I just go home you might ask?
Well for one thing, despite the web site making quite a lot of money we girls got paid sort of a pittance and the only way to improve that was to go into straight out prostitution, another Sergei sideline. I wasn't going to do that either. The other thing tying me down was me. See, when my parents fucked up my young mind not only did they screw up my ability to interact in any sort of sensible manner on a social plane, but they also gave me a totally unrealistic fear of dependency. Not only was I terrified of becoming dependent on someone and thus running the risk of being let down again but I was also equally terrified of having others depend on me. In my waitressing and retail jobs I had always been asked at some stage to move up to a position of management or some other responsibility or to take a management course with a view to being promoted and every time that happened I ran away, quitting and running. So when Alex told me I was being looked on by him and the others as something special I panicked and ran. Now I couldn't go back. I was doomed to be a failure and to the downward spiral to self destruction. The worst thing was I knew exactly what I was doing and that added to my own vicious self loathing and my feelings of self esteem and self worth were non existant.
I was a mess.
Thoughts of suicide filled my mind, both sleeping and waking. I know that's cowardly and it was my very cowardice that kept me from doing anything, that and my love for Alex. Somehow I dreamt that he would come like a fairytale prince and solve all of my shit and take me home to happiness and love.
Hah!, who was I kidding? if he hadn't forgotten me and got himself a real girlfriend there was something wrong with the guy.
So do we destroy ourselves.
Two of the girls, Sirikit and Songkol, told me we were going for a weekend in Chiang Mai, up in the highlands, away from the steamy heat of Bangkok.
"Hey girls I work here seven days a week," I told them.
"Barba-anne," lisped Songkol, "do you good get away for two day. Beside someone you should meet."
"Yeah well tell that to Porney."
"We did. He say okay."
"Not bloody alright Barbanne," Porney shouted from in back, "but these two insisted and so I say hokay get 'em off my back, but you work double shifts next week."
"Thanks Porney you're a sweetheart."
"You like it Chiang Mai Barba-anne. You like man we in-tro-doos you."
"A man, just what I need," I muttered.
"Barba-anne you funny," they both tittered. Even a little chick like me is considered a great clumsy oaf by these exquisitely delicate people and they spent a lot of time giggling good naturedly at my (what they considered) galumphing.
Saturday morning we roared off in an ancient Nissan Pulsar.
I was driving.
When I turned up the girls solemnly presented me with the keys.
"You a drive Barba-anne."
"Me, no way."
They looked at me crest fallen.
Here Songkol, Sirikit, at least you'll know the way. I can't drive in Bangkok, it terrifies me. Bloody kamikaze cabs and tuk tuks and all that. No way."
"We no drive mo-tor car," said Sirikit with a worried frown."
Lots of tittering and giggling politely behind raised hands and repetition of "A Chit" and I got to drive.
Actually once we cleared the horrendous traffic of the city it wasn't too bad. Our conversation was just about exhausted in the first hour because of our language difficulties and from then on we drove in relative silence. Well I did the other two sat in the back and chatted away together in Thai which is sort of like having two love birds, the feathered sort, behind you.
Chiang Mai when we arrived was very pretty and the girls directed me to Auntie someone's house and we dumped the car in the front yard where it immediately became a chook roost and Sirikit introduced me with much gravity to her relatives and they received me with a warmth of hospitality that could have been accorded one of their own. I was given my own room out on the back verandah or whatever they called it and told I would be called to dinner soon.
I freshened up and changed my tee shirt and shorts for a cool cotton frock.
Like all Thai meals dinner was spicy, that's SPICEEEEEEE!!! but very tasty and I found I was quite hungry and ate enthusiastically, but trying at all times to appear polite. I washed it down with local lemonade and spent a lot of time nodding and smiling and not really sure what was being said.
Chiang Mai people are hill tribes and their local costumes are truly spectacular and in my Target cheapie I felt like the awkward and clumsy dill they were too polite to say I was.
Dinner over I was collected by Sirikit and Songkol.
"Come Barba-anne. Now there is man you must meet."
"Oh yes. This you need."
They insisted we take a cab. I said I'd drive us all in the old Nissan but they were quietly insistent that we needed a Tacksi. That was an even older diesel Nissan when it arrived and we all piled in and drove through the crowded streets past the awakening tourist traps and out into the quiet leafy parts of town and finally into the back blocks where the cab pulled up in front of a strange half house attached to a steep rock cliff. What there was of the house had those winkie dinkie Thai curlicues carved onto its gables and a big verandah out front. We climbed out of the cab and no-one paid the driver which didn't seem to worry him and he just smiled and waved away my fistful of baht and turned his engine off and settled into his seat as though he meant to wait.
Sirikit and Songkol led me up a wide wooden stair onto the verandah and then into a large open, teak lined room which was sort of empty of all furnishings and through that and behind it into a smaller room that opened in turn into a cave cut out of the rock face behind the house. Inside that the bed rock had been roughly squared into a rectangular room which was carpeted and draped and had a very big, full length mirror on one wall and lounge dais's and a throne like chair on which sat a very odd man. He was a Thai and looked quite young with the smooth hairless skin of these people and yet as soon as I set eyes on him I felt as though I was in the presence of someone very old and very wise. Songkol and Sirikit made obeisance and I gracelessly bowed and he said, "Come to me Barba-anne."
His voice was soft and quiet and yet flowed like honey and warmed me in a strange and peaceful way I had never experienced before. I walked over head bent forward.
"You are an unhappy woman Barba-anne."
It was a statement pure and simple neither question nor comment.
"I am er...................................."
"Take off your clothes Barba-anne."
Here we go I thought and I muttered, "And I thought this was something else."
"Please Barba-anne, now."
I pulled my dress up and Songkol and Sirikit were there to help me. Within moments I stood nude before him.
"Look in the mirror Barba-anne."
"What do you see?"
"Are you kidding? I see the same sad sack I always do, lousy tits, big bum, boring face."
"No Barba-anne. Really look into the mirror."
I stared at my reflection.
I saw the thin shoulders, small breasts and flat almost anorexic tummy and the big hips and bum and my knobbly knees and too thin legs. I saw the quizzical face surrounded by wild frizty hair and the lost look in the flat eyes and then as the man kept talking quietly to me saying, "Look Barba-anne, really look," over and over I saw past the flesh and bones and saw the small child hurt and confused by being hated so unreasonably. I saw the lippy, loose moralled teenager and the excited, artless and unsophisticated student. I saw the proud and breathless graduate and I saw the slowly declining young woman, her dreams and hopes gradually eroding, ground down by insecurity and despair and self doubt and self loathing.
"Others have tried to destroy you Barba-anne."
"No, its me, I'm useless."
"Don't be a fool Barba-anne, recognise yourself for what you are. Don't let ghosts from the past destroy you."
"Hah I don't need any help to destroy myself."
"Barba-anne do you love Alex?"
A flip response formed itself and then I said, "Yes, yes, I do, I truly do."
"Do you enjoy your work with him?"
"Do you take pride in what you conceive?"
"Do you love to work with those who look up to you?"
"Yes, oh yes I do."
I felt half hypnotised, as though I were here in this wierd situation and yet not here at all. Floating, floating somewhere outside myself.
"Do you revel in your fantasies?"
"I love them."
"Barba-anne you are a lucky woman, you have everything you need, just learn to accept it and accept yourself. You are you and that is enough."
I stood in front of the mirror rocking slightly on my bare feet and the man said, "Drink this Barba-anne."
Songkol passed me a glass of something that looked like milk and I drank it down leaving a little white moustache on my upper lip.
"Now Barba-anne, what do you see?"
"I see..........................," I saw happiness. I saw myself back at Playdead, accepting, just being me and being in love and I knew then that if I was true to me it would be enough.
Tears ran down my cheeks.
"You may dress Barba-anne."
I turned and felt awfully giddy and then Songkol and Sirikit were there and they supported me and pulled on my underpants and helped with my bra and I struggled to slip into my dress and sandals. I turned to thank the man but he was gone.
"Was that man really here?" I asked.
"Oh yes indeed Barba-anne," said Sirikit.
"What was in that drink?"
"But I saw..................................."
"You saw what you wanted to see Barba-anne."
"I don't feel very well," I said and slumped limply and Songkol and Sirikit caught me and lifted me off my feet.
I was vaguely aware of Songkol and Sirikit carrying my limp and helpless body back out through the rooms and down the porch steps and getting me into the back seat of the cab and then I must have passed out cold.
I woke up in my bed back in my little room in Bangkok and I felt washed clean and whole and unworried for the first time in years and I ached for Alex, thinking about him, horny for him, touching myself, finding my response alive and aware and willing and relieving the tension and then wanting to be back at Playdead.
I wanted to go home.
Back to Playdead and Alex and back to the life I had run from and now knew I needed to save me from myself.
Problem was Sergei had other plans.
Songkol and Sirikit came to me and told me that Sergei was planning to drug me and then keep me drugged and dependent and working for him at one of his many brothels. I started to cry and Songkol took my hand and said, "Do not fear Barba-anne, your destiny is not determined by a man such as Sergei."
Well that was comforting but I still reckoned that in a contest Sergei would go one up over Barbanne very quickly.
I turned up for work the following day determined to have it out with Porney. I would simply tell him I quit and demand what money I was owed. I got there a half hour early and told Porney I was finished.
"Hokay Barba-anne, just do this one sesion today hokay?"
"Oh alright," I agreed.
I got naked and got to doing faked anal sex with today's studley and was bored out of my mind and planning what to say and do when I got home when the door burst open and all hell broke loose. The joint was filled with Thai cops and they were closing down everything and arresting everyone.
One guy a good looking young guy with a crisp brown uniform threw my clothes at me and said, "You are Barbanne, Australian girl?"
"Yep, you got me."
"You under arrest, get dressed."
"What for?" I moaned climbing into shorts and tee shirt.
"Don't worry about that you come with us."
"What about me money?"
He hustled me outside and into a cop car and there in the back were Songkol and Sirikit both wearing the uniform of Royal Thai Police officers.
"Hey Barba-anne, we spring you OK?"
"What's going on?"
"You going on plane to Sidnee tonight and Sergei going to gaol for a long time," said Sirikit, "we been watching him and we got the, how you say, goods on him."
"Remember what the man told you Barba-anne and we don't want to see you here in Bangkok again unless on honeymoon with Alex."
I started to giggle and it turned to hysteria and then I was crying and hugging these two cop saviours.
We swung past my digs and I collected my few miserable possessions and then they took me to the airport.
I had my passport and my ticket and my little carry all with my clothes and stuff and a handbag and that was it.
Songkol and Sirikit hugged me and kissed me and told me to take care of myself.
"Hey," I asked, "why me? When you were planning to take down Sergei why not let me go down along with the other girls and why did you take me to see the man? Oh and thank him for me too please."
"He know you thankful Barba-anne."
"But why did you save me and not the other girls?"
"The other girls not going to gaol Barba-anne. They get talking to and then they get let off, we only want bad men who run these things."
"But why me?"
"Barba-anne you stand out like statue of liberty, wearing your misery like she carry torch. We see vereee unhappy Aussie girl and we decide got to do something to help. Not let you destroy yourself."
"Well thank you both. You have woken me up to my own stupidity."
"Good..................man fix your head hokay?"
"Sure did. Hokay alright."
We hugged and kissed again and then they were calling my flight.
I sat in a window seat and didn't move until they announced passengers had to retake their seats and strap themselves in for landing. I hadn't even loosened my seat belt in eight hours. The head stewardess made a further announcement about passengers leaving the flight in Sydney and that those with onward flights to other ports would have to rebook their seat allocations in the transit lounge as this plane was terminating at Kingsford Smith.
I had been away for only six weeks.
I knew where I wanted to go.
At last I was home.
I had spent my last coin on a cab ride from the airport and had no idea what I was going to do if they turned me away.
My tummy felt quite sick as I opened the door and crept into the foyer. Sarah was behind the desk doing something. Without looking up she said, "Yes, can I help you?"
She looked up puzzled, her face had cleared up completely and she wafted something nice, Calvin Klein I thought, and her hair was shorter and styled. She looked great.
I looked like what the cat dragged in.
"Barb," she said with a gasp and her hand flew to her mouth. "Barb, where have you been?"
Then she was out from behind the desk and hugging me and saying, "Everyone missed you, where did you go, Alex has been frantic." She stopped and stepped back and then Whack! she let one go slapping me hard across the face. Tears stung in my eyes and leaked down my face.
"What am I doing being nice to you, you little bitch, do you know what you have put us through, looking for you everywhere, not knowing where you went," then she was hugging me again and saying, "I'm sorry Barb, I'm sorry but you had us all so worried."
"I'm sorry Sarah, I'm sorry, you're right I was being a self indulgent useless bitch but its over now, over for good. I just want to come back, work here, be friends, do whatever you want, do you think Alex will forgive me."
"I don't know Barb, he has been very upset."
"Has he missed me?" Fishing for clues.
"Yes he missed you and he has been worried sick and really annoyed. You've done this before."
"I know, I know, I'm a fuck up but this time I've seen the light, this time I want to really try if he'll give me the chance."
That voice, oh that voice, my darling, my beloved. I looked up through tear stained eyes and he was standing there.
"Alex," my confidence faded.
"We've been worried about you. Where did you go?"
"Away Alex, I went away, I was confused and upset and I needed time but its all alright now and it will never happen again. Can you ever forgive me?"
"Oh please, please, please," I was grovelling.
"Bring your stuff in and we'll see how it goes."
"This is it."
"That's all you have?"
"OK. Sarah will you help Barb settle in?"
"Alex," my heart stood still and my tummy flip flopped, "I promise it's over and I beg you to forgive me and let me have another chance."
"Barb excuse me for being sceptical but its happened so often, (pause) but damn it I love you and so I guess I will keep giving you chances."
I came to him and we held each other and kissed and I knew it had to be alright. This time I had to make it work.
"Oh Barb," said Alex.
"Hey,"said Sarah, "lets hear about your travels."
I smiled at her and felt as if my heart would break and Alex's fingers caressed my cheek and I knew I was home to the only home I would ever need.