One down, three to go on my Thai bloggers meet list.
I met with Steve Suphan–I mean, Stephen Cleary–last night just a block from my house. We had some beer and chat and listened to the house band. Fuckin’ impeccable Free Bird from a band that started out covering some cheesy 80s stuff. I was amazed.
It was good to get out of the house, talked to someone frankly about my mom for a change.
Thai culture is superstitious. You know how I have been talking about the impending death of my mother here? If my family or the aunties read this, they’d kill me. It seems everyone has already accepted the fact but no one wants to talk about it because by talking about it is a jinx.
Death is just not an option to be discussed around here. Except for Aunty Sida who will bring it up in order to “prepare” me. She gave me a guilt trip yesterday for not returning to mom after the meeting at dad’s office. Well, shit. How was I to know my dad had 3 meetings in a row?
“You need to be with her right now, you know?”
Yes. I know. Seriously, time lapses when you return. People still see you as if you were the teenage girl who left yesterday and still treat you like you’re that age.
What do you expect out me? To burst into tears when you mention that my mom is dying, that she’s probably been waiting for me? Come on. Give me a little credit. I may not have been here to watch mom gets worse or do the whole dutiful daughter stuff, but I suffer in my own way too. Just not the way you think I would do it.
Besides, I’m too fucking frustrated and angry to be crying.
Like I always said, I like anger better.
Anyways. So I couldn’t tell anybody how frustrated I am with everyone not discussing the very near future and this and that. It was good to be able to spill that to Steve yesterday over a few beer. Seriously. That is some major relief. 3 small glasses of Heineken…just over 2 pints I think…were all I could get as a far as beer therapy is concern. I still dream of Guinness, but hey, I’ll take what I can get.
Oh, and there was that whole passive aggressive discussion between my dad and my brother about the pub I went to meet Steve last night. I came in from freshening up into the middle of the conversation along the line of who go to the joint.
“Mostly foreigners. And later in the evening, the ‘darker ones’ start to show up to pick up the drunken guys.”
Hint hint. Oakley, you are walking into a place where everyone will assume you are hooker…are you sure you want to venture out there? It was like a backhanded hint and warning.
Well, shit, dudes! Find me ONE hooker in Bangkok who wears glasses on the job. I dare you. Seriously. I haven’t seen any.
Anyways. I still have to meet KorBua, the twin sister from another life, and the fabulous Gnarly Kitty while I’m here. I’m arranging that now, probably will give the girls a call later today.
One thing I have taken for granted this whole time is the freedom to live my life in the US. I don’t have to watch for anything. No family reputation to uphold. No image to put up. And most importantly, nobody to tell me what to do.
It seems I probably won’t be writing again until tomorrow morning. We’re off to get my new passport in a few minutes and then I’ll be at the hospital all day.
Once again, the Thai/Indian parallels strike.
Except I was born here with my longing-to-Westernize parents. So here I live, with my mom and dad who sometimes accept the daughter who floats around having ditched her stable teaching career to chase a life as an artist and photographer and writer supported only by a hostessing and art modeling job as well as Justin’s medical school loans. It’s all good for a whlie, until suddenly a joke I make or a comment to check Mom’s underlying/non-existent maybe just ignorant homophobia (which she denies, of course)explodes and throws us into a whirlwind of culture wars. “You should respect your elders, I never spoke to my parents that way, in India… I didn’t even have parents; you are so lucky.”
And all of this I know. Their sacrifices, their love, their hopes and dreams and all that they didn’t become and did become.
At once, I am the daughter that lives up to their dreams and disappoints their standards.
Oakley, we’re multicultral hybrids born of parents who want more and exactly what they have and less at once. It’s us, the children, who have to find the balance, I think because they can never understand what it is to be these kind of children of cross-wired dreams. We can do no wrong and no right. I suppose we have to learn to live with it. And because they are our parents and our elders (the Aunties especially. Oy!), I suppose we should find a way to placate their minds and souls, because when they are dead (and they all will be sooner than later), I don’t want to live with the regret that I made them feel bad for all they were and all they were not at once. I can’t deal with that for the rest of my life.
But long live being Americans! We are the champions! (Not so much The Americans, but you and me, girl. You and Me.)
And yes, I blogged here because if they read it over there… death to the ingrates that we are.
Love ya! Hang in there!
PS and don’t forget, if I hadn’t blogged about Toni’s time remaining, Justin would have had to tell Mark in person. This way, Mark got to read about it (probably cry alone) and then soften the experience for Justin and himself when we were in the skilled nursing facility.
Gotta run… the vacation proceeds. I don’t think I’ll have wireless access for a couple of days, FYI. Hang in there. One day, we should all go to Thailand and India together. But not in the same trip–or maybe in the same trip. Can you imagine!
Unfortunately however, the only ‘darker one’ who wanted to pick me after going out with Oakley was some shady looking taxi driver offering to take me for a Turkish Bath.
Hope to see you again soo Oakley!