Annals of the Flesh: Like Tucker Max, but Less Date-Rapey

“Trust, Cigarettes And How To Travel With Someone You Hate”
by Jessica Quick

I spent four months in Southeast Asia riding out the ending entrails of a five-year-long relationship. During this time with said mistake, I kept a travel blog by request of his curioso family. Now let me set something straight: blogs irk me. Especially the kind that is regularly perused by all my then-boyfriend’s relatives, who of course, were clueless as to how much deep hatred had culminated underneath our relationship over the years. After all-night arguments and dramatic (yet consistently disappointing) make-up sex, I was obliged to sit down and weed out all the unsavory details that punctuated nearly every travel experience for this blog. It was a self-delusional and strangely cathartic accent to my vacation. Post break-up, I contemplated writing an entirely real account of my time spent in Asia, outlined by all the bizarre situations I got myself into as a result of our arguments. Needless to say, that would have been a bit obsessive and weird. So, let me just tell you about one.

We were trekking through a small village three hours outside of Chiang Mai in Thailand, equipped with only our backpacks, a tent, and a friendly Thai trail guide named Kavi. We were finishing up an eight-hour long hike through moderately dense jungle and nearing our camp spot for the night. Extreme heat, self-loathing, and all-day physical exertion were the catalysts for an equally strenuous four-hour long argument we had launched into mid-hike.

“I just can’t (pant pant) trust a person that smokes,” he said.

“Alright, but it’s okay (pant pant) for you to smoke a few cigs (pant) after you’re sufficiently wasted,” I replied, shrugging up the weight of my backpack.

“I’m not a smoker.”

In my backpack, I brought one change of clothes, a flashlight, a bit of baht, my toothbrush, and absolutely no cigarettes for our four-day trip. I’ve been a smoker for about six years and during the last year of this relationship, I was mentally the furthest I’ve ever been from kicking my dirty little habit.

Our nimble guide, who had shimmied up uneven cliffs and dense foliage in flip-flops, turned to us with a big grin.

“Okay, we here!” he shouted, some 30 yards ahead of us.

We caught up and dumped our backpacks in the clearing where we would set up camp. Our guide was already circling the perimeter of the site and gathering branches for our fire. I sat beside my boyfriend drinking water, as he struggled (per usual) with pitching the tent. I knew not to ask him if he needed help during the onslaught of curse words muttered under his breath.

With the tent set up and Kavi working on the fire, we sat in silence a comfortable distance from each other on separate rocks.

“I think I’m going to ask Kavi if he knows where I can get some smokes after dinner,” I said to him.

“Whatever, it’s your funeral. Just know I think it’s disgusting,” he replied, idly smacking the ground with a stick.

“Wonderful. Duly noted.”

An hour later, Kavi prepared a green curry and we ate in silence with only the hum of the woods around us. The sun was still out, but the sky was darkening. We finished eating and Kavi left the fire to presumably gather more wood. I stared at my boyfriend, who had been successfully avoiding any direct eye contact or communication for the past two hours. He looked up and caught my gaze.

“I’m going to lay down. I’m fucking exhausted,” he said.

“Ok, I’m going to stay out here for a while.”

“To ask about your stupid cigarettes?”

“To ask about my stupid cigarettes.”

He said nothing and walked away from the fire. He shot me his best death gaze before attempting to slam the cloth door to the tent behind him. I walked up to Kavi, who had returned with more wood and was sitting by the fire.

“Hey Kavi, this may seem like a stupid question, but do you happen to know where I might find cigarettes around here?”

“For smoke? Oh yes! My sister house close. Not too far. We walk little way to get there and she sell cigarette. She always have for foreigner,” he replied with a big grin.

My heart was racing in anticipation as I fantasized dragging off a ten-foot cigarette after the argumentative shit show of a day.

“Really? Could we do that? It’s not far?”

“Not far. You want go now?” he said and stood up.

“Sure.”

“Okay, we go now.”

He hastily launched into the woods and after ten minutes, I realized I forgot my flashlight. I tried to follow as close as I could behind him. The setting sun was enough motivation to forget how tired I was and keep up pace. With hair whipping behind him and easily dodging rough patches I tripped over, I could only think of scenes from the Jungle Book while I followed my Thai companion. And how clumsily American I am in contrast to dexterous Mowgli. We wove through the darkness for about an hour until we came up to a dark clearing and a small bungalow.

“Is this your sister’s house?” I said, still huffing heavily from our brisk romp.

“No, no. We go from here by moto,” he said.

It was perhaps not the wisest decision to trustingly hop on the back of Kavi’s precarious tuk-tuk, but it was definitely the most interesting at the time. Besides, it wasn’t like I was in a position to let out a plaintively white “Are we there yet?”

We drove along a bumpy dirt road for a few minutes in silence. It was completely dark at this point and with no headlights, we roamed ungainly through the narrow dirt road. I tried to remain as nonchalant as possible with unseen bushes periodically whipping me in the face.

“When you marry?!” Kavi shouted at me from the steering wheel.

“What?!” I wailed over the squealing engine.

“You boyfriend?! When you marry?!”

“Oh, I don’t know!”

“He handsome man!”  Kavi shouted with a wide grin.

“Yes, he’s got that.”

“I bet he make good bang-bang!
 he shouted back at me with a maniacal guffaw.

After a forty-minute jostle, we pulled up to a small clearing of shanty houses. There were three women standing outside, smoking and loudly laughing with one another. As we approached, two of women went inside one of the shanties and Kavi shouted something in Thai to the woman remaining.

“That my sister!” Kavi shouted back at me with a grin as we parked.

We stepped out of the truck and approached Kavi’s sister. She was wearing an outfit that seemed out of place for our rustic surroundings:  a short miniskirt and a sparkly pink shirt that read “True Princess” with a large pair of lips smacked on the side.

“Hi, my English name Jenny. Kylie sister,” she said and put two hands in the customary Thai greeting in front of her face.

Kavi introduced me and Jenny nonsensically giggled in response. They talked in Thai for a few minutes and I stood there not trying to feel awkward. They switched back to English and Jenny told me that she lived in Chiang Mai, although she was spending a few weeks in the jungle where they have relatives. She pulled out a rolled cigarette from her purse and handed it to me.

“This one special,” she said with a wink.

I looked down at the roll in my hand, disappointed that in my quest I would be met with a crappy rolled cigarette. However, I wasn’t about to complain. I lit the end and took a long drag. My exhalation ended in an unexpected bout of coughing as I realized this was a familiar brand of skunk. Still hacking, I passed the joint back to Jenny and she giggled before taking a drag.

“So, where you from?” Jenny asked me, passing the joint to Kavi.

“The U.S., California.”

“Ah, California girl! I have some California boyfriend in Chiang Mai. They good honey.”

I didn’t quite know what she meant by “boyfriends” or “honey,” but I laughed and nodded in feigned agreement.

“They pay good money for Thai princess,” Kavi said with a secretive smile and handed me back the joint.

“They give me more money dan you ever, Kylie. I pretty. He not when he girl,” Jenny shouted and laughed toward Kavi.

It might have been the darkness, or perhaps my exhaustion, but there were features of Jenny that I hadn’t noticed before she said this. Her largish calves. Her oversized pink flip-flops around oversized feet. Then it dawned on me.

“He tell you? Kylie used to be girl like me!” she said with a giggle and rushed at Kavi, struggling to tear at his shirt. Kavi laughed in response, playfully fending her off.

“He take pill. He has nice nom! Show!” Jenny said, still wrestling Kavi.

Kavi smiled wide and took off his shirt to reveal two fleshy gobs of loose skin on his chest.

“Dey were big, but I stop take pill when I come back man,” Kavi said, shirtless and smiling.

“I take same pill, but my nom not big. My kuai verrrry small though. Almost like woman! See!” Jenny said, and to my horror, lifted up her skirt to reveal the not-so-king cobra show underneath.

So there I was, in the middle of the jungle in Thailand, gazing stoned at a pair of hormone-induced man-boobs to my left and a shrunken penis to my right. I had gotten myself into situations en route to cigarettes in the past, but this one really took the awkward cake. I smirked and turned my head.

“Wow,” was the only thing I could muster in response to the impromptu peep show.

Jenny thankfully pulled down her skirt, still wearing a mischievously defiant grin. Kavi, still shirtless, giggled and took out his flip cell phone to find pictures to show me of when he was the “Thai princess” of Chiang Mai.

“Foreigner love me. Dey really love Kylie,” he laughed and waved pictures of a garishly made-up Kavi, decked out in loud tube tops and a long wig.

Jenny rolled her eyes and seemed to lose interest after the sixth or seventh photo of Kylie/Kavi.

“You want smoke, right?” Jenny said, searching through her purse. She took out a pack of L&M’s with the obligatory image of lung cancer that dons every cigarette pack in Thailand. It’s possible to start salivating when you’re standing inches away from discovering the cancer-wrapped Holy Grail of addiction. I reached into my pocket and practically hurled all the baht I took with me for the trip at Jenny. She took it and winked at me, placing the cash neatly inside her sparkly wallet.
Kavi snapped his phone shut.

“Ok, we go back now. Fall is far. We go early,” Kavi said, while putting his shirt back on.

We were scheduled to leave at five in the morning the next day to trek for eight hours to a waterfall. I might have been a bit stoned, but I was pretty sure that we had spent at least three hours on this journey for cigarettes, which put us at about four hours from our ambitious departure time.

Kavi spoke in Thai for a few minutes with Jenny, as I contemplated silently about whether they were actually related and not “sisters” through a former profession. They laughed loud and Jenny patted me on the shoulder.

“You go marry boyfriend, ok?” she said.

“I will. Thank you for the cigarettes. It was nice meeting you.”

“Yes! Nice meeting beautiful woman! Bring baby with you next time!”

We stepped back into Kavi’s truck and I prepared myself to make the trek back to the site completely high and paranoid. We drove away from the shanty houses and I gazed back at Jenny, the red dot of her freshly lit cigarette barely visible in the growing distance. I took out my first cigarette in two days and deeply inhaled. A lightheaded rush zipped to my head and I thought about trust, cigarettes, and lady-boys in a way that could only be described as very high.

I’m not much of a talker when stoned and conversation with Kavi on the way back was minimal. The route on foot was obviously slower than the venture out and I stopped several times because I thought I saw or heard fantastic delusions in my blazed glory. The weed thankfully slowed Kavi’s gait as well and he patiently waited for me each time I abruptly halted and never asked why the hell I was laughing so much.

We neared a familiar clearing of trees and I knew we were finally close.

“Ok, we here, honey. Go sleep now. No boom-boom tonight!” Kavi laughed and went to relieve himself in a neighboring stream.

“Good night, Kavi. Thank you,” I said.

I fumbled my way into the tent, still a bit stoned and bewildered by my outing. I stepped over my sleeping boyfriend towards my backpack and flashlight. According to my watch-less estimation, it had to have been at least five hours since I left our site to go cigarette scouting.

“Where were you?” he groaned from under his sleeping bag.

“I went to get cigarettes,” I replied, pulling out a cigarette and clicking on my light.

“Can you do that outside the tent? I don’t know where the fuck you were, but your flashlight is annoying and I’m trying to sleep.” he moaned.

“No,” I answered, striking and lifting the match to my lips.

I pulled out my notebook, on which I kept track of our censored relationship. As much as I tried to forget, the image of Kavi’s tits swam around in my brain.

Had an eight-hour strenuous hike today in the jungles near Chiang Mai. We’re having a blast taking in the outdoors and really getting to know our helpful and informative guide.

I stopped writing and looked over at my boyfriend, who dramatically tossed in his sleeping bag. I exhaled.

 

“To Whom It May Concern”
by Mike Jackson

Dear Whores,

Thank you
for all that you’ve done.  The hand-jobs, the booty calls, the pancake make-up.  Thank you for the lotions; they were weird, smelled funny sometimes and occasionally took multiple washings to remove, but they were appreciated.  The pole dances, the threesomes and the glitter shall all be missed.  Well, maybe not the glitter.  My co-workers are still perplexed as to why my face was shiny every morning.  At any rate, I’ve decided it’s time to grow up.  So one less walk of shame for you every week (just kidding, I know you’ll have to replace me quickly).  But like I said, big ups for the hand-jobs.  I’ll miss you all almost as much as you’ll all miss my wallet.

Sincerely,
Bob “Pokey” Richards

Dear Mom,

Hey Ma, guess what?  No more whores!  You read that right; I’m giving them up.  You may feel free to use the key
for my apartment again.  Candii still feels embarrassed you caught us in that sex swing.  Only you could embarrass a working girl.  You’re the best Ma.  Anywho, I’ve decided to go find a “good girl.”  And you know what that means.  Grandkids are back on the table.  And no, not the table you caught me on with the Preston twins (Mindy and Mandy), I gave that table to Goodwill.

Love,
Your soon-to-be-disease-free-son

Dear Dr. Flinders,

Good news.   I’m giving up whores.  As such, I would like to cancel my standing 4:00 Monday swab time.  Obviously, we’ll need to keep the monthly, 5:00 Friday session for a while.  Who knew the Clap was still around?  Well, besides you anyway.  I’ve never met anyone who could diagnose so many varieties of herpes so quickly.  Oh, by the way, on account of the whore purge, I’ll be in the market for some nice, quiet, Friday night library type girls.  Does that describe Jen, your assistant, to a tee or what?  Please put in a good word for me Doc.

Sincerely,
Customer of the Year
Bob Richards

P.s.  Could you order me some more of the Chlamydia meds?  I’ve only got 1 bottle left.

Dear Friends,

This is the big one guys.  The day you’ve been fearing would come.  I’m quitting whores.  No more stories from me.  All you fine, married, family men are going to have to subscribe to Penthouse like everyone else.  But, since you’ve all been such good friends over the years, I’m going to leave you with one last story.  This happened last week and was/is the main reason for the ’09 purging of the whores.  So here goes fellas, and as always, DON’T tell your wives (I still enjoy the home-cooked meals they send to this poor bachelor).

So, last week I met this gorgeous 20 year old at Scatters, the hot new college bar.  We had a few drinks, chatted, felt each other out for the craziness test (we both were) and exchanged phone numbers and fake names.  The usual drill it was, you are obviously familiar with it.  So, a few days later she rings me up and invites me over to her dorm for drinks that night.  I got there, we said hello, she made me a 7 & 7, blah, blah, blah.
And then she opened her closet.  Hello Dolly!  Dominatrix gear everywhere.  As you know, I’m no stranger to S & M,
but not really my thing.  But hey, she was cute and, let’s not kid ourselves, 20.  We had a couple drinks and worked out the details.  Chaps, face gear, cuffs, etc.  The usual.  We also picked our safety word for the evening, bananas.
We got all dressed and were going to town, sweatin it out and then something started to go wrong.  I don’t know if the collar was getting too tight or what but my breathing fell off.  So I dropped the safety word, bananas.  But she didn’t hear me.  So I said it again, bananas.  But she (I think her name was Michelle) didn’t hear me, again.  Now I’m starting to get a little worried.
Then I realized, duh, she’s got the hood on and the rubber on those things is tight enough she probably has trouble hearing.  So I screamed, “Bananas!”  Nothing.  Now I’ve got a real problem because she’s facing the other way and lip reading is out of the question.  And I can’t grab her because I’m cuffed to the bed.  So I start bucking like a stallion trying to get her off, but she thinks I’m still into it and keeps whipping me.  I was really freaking at that point and between the tears I just kept screaming over and over:

BANANAS!!!!
BANANAS!!!!
BANANAS!!!!
BANANAS!!!!
BANANAS!!!!

I’m losing my damn mind for what has to be 10 minutes, just belting out bananas when all of a sudden the door flies open.  In the doorway was a highly irritated RA throwing a bunch of bananas at me while simultaneously telling me to shut the fuck up and realizing what she is seeing and letting out a blood curdling scream that brings half the girls on the floor down to this chick’s room to investigate.
Anyway, we made the campus police report, the local paper and the News of the Weird.  I had always wanted to be BMOC but I don’t think this is what I had in mind.  Hope this tides you over guys.  The whore purge has officially begun.  I’ve included one-year subscriptions to Penthouse for all of you.

Sincerely,
Your Friend
Bob “Bananas” Richards

Dear________,

Hello Ladies!  As you’ve by now heard I, Bob Richards, have cut the whores loose.  I am now in the market for you; good-natured, well-read, domestic goddesses.  FYI, I enjoy cooking, romantic comedies and giving foot rubs.  I have sworn off S & M for good (long story) and will be disease free in 6 months.  Please respond only if you are interested in
a respectful, committed relationship.  I can be found at Eharmony, Cupid.com, Match.com and Yahoo! Personals.

Sincerely,
Unattached and ready to cuddle Bob

Dear Bob,

We don’t remember you.

Sincerely,
The Whores

Dear Bob,

I have a weak heart, thanks to you.  Do not fuck with me.  If I see you with one more whore, I will slash your tires.

Love,
Mom

P.s.  Easter dinner will be served at 4:00

Dear Bob,

You accidentally sent this to our wives.  We are no longer allowed to invite you over.

Sincerely,
Your Friends

P.s.  we’ll miss you crazy like bananas buddy (we poured a 40)

Dear Bob,

Jen?  I don’t think so (meds are on there way).

Sincerely,
Dr. Flinders

Dear Bob,

Please leave our dating site immediately.

Sincerely,
The Internet

Comments

comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *