The Thermae was busy... The Thermae was always busy... But tonight it seemed busier. I sat in a booth and ordered pie and mash. I got a chicken sandwich... Close enough. As long as there?s a drink it doesn?t really matter what the solids are.
I say the Thermae was busy... And it was. But it was definitely a seller?s market tonight. Busloads of Japanese and Taiwanese in their early twenties occupied most of the women. A few disgruntled farang sat looking disgruntled as what was left of the women dithered around them waiting to be grabbed.
No-one dithered around me. I guess I had the mark of Nam on me. Don?t go with him. He lives with a crazy woman.
?You mind if I sit here ??
I looked up and saw her. Yenetchka. She had a kind of superior knowing smile.
?No. Go ahead. Fancy a bit of my sandwich ??
?I heard about Nam moving in with you.?
?News really travels quick in these parts.?
?I like you Turk.?
?I like you too. You hungry ??
?Always... But I don?t much like the food here.?
?You don?t know what you?re missing. I?ll buy you a big bowl of chips. You can dip them in a little pool of ketchup like the locals do.?
?There?s a twenty four hour bistro in my apartment building. We can order anything off the menu.?
?Maybe later. Are you drinking or just looking for a date ??
I caught the eye of one of the waiters. We ordered more drinks. Yenetchka searched her purse. I thought she was looking for money but it was something else.
?You okay.? I said.
She gave me a picture of a little blonde girl and her even littler blonde boy.
?The girl is me. The boy was my brother.?
?I can see the resemblance.?
?I loved him very much... We used to look out for each other... Or I used to look out for him. But you know how things go. Boys never grow up right. Something happens.?
?He went wrong... Disappeared. Got caught up in the wrong kind of world.?
I handed the picture back to her. Drinks came... We drank.
?You have family Turk ??
?Yes. But...? A silence hung in the air for a moment too long.
?You don?t like to talk about it. It?s okay.?
?No... It?s not that... Well... It is that but it?s not just that.?
She smiled a wide smile. ?What is it then ??
?How did you find me here ??
?You?re not a difficult man to find.?
?Let me put it another way... Why were you looking for me ??
She shrugged a small shrug. ?I just thought we should get to know each other better.?
?I wanted to tell you a story...?
?Does it have a happy ending ??
?It?s not that kind of a story.? She smiled. ?I happen to know you have a fair bit of time on your hands. Nam won?t be back until tomorrow afternoon. This guy she?s with... He?s one of those guys who want to save her. Good for regular money but a real time waster. You know the kind. Probably try to drag her to church on Sunday to get her to confess to all her sins.?
?But apparently he has a very big dick.? She laughed.
?So this story...?
?Oh... You have to come back to my place. I can?t tell it here.?
?Where is your place ??
?We?ll take a taxi.?
I nodded. I?d go along. I figured I?d reached a stage in my life where I?d go along with just about anything. Yenetchka pushed her way through half a dozen part-time couples and grabbed us a taxi. I figured that between the two of us she was the man and followed her into the back seat.
She told the driver to take us to Soi 55 and then relaxed back in the seat taking my hand in hers and placing it on her leg sliding it gently along denim thigh and looking at me with an ironically raised eyebrow... Just like Nam. When the hand was close to her crotch she said ?How many ??
?How many what ??
?How many women have you sat in the backs of cabs with like this ? How many women have you felt your heart fucking before you ever got any where near to their beds ??
?One or two.?
She laughed again.
?You want to fuck me or are you thinking about Nam ??
?That?s the only way to be.?
?Hmmm. See ! I knew we were going to get along.?
I felt a definite rush of blood to the head.
The cab pulled up at her request... There were three apartment buildings here close to each other. Hers was the most expensive looking. An indoor pool behind darkened glass walls. A well tended garden area. Provision shops and a small restaurant that actually looked like a restaurant.
We stepped into the lift which seemed to move really slowly. She smiled, took my hand, and pressed her body against mine as if prompted by non-existent jerkiness in the lift.
Her body seemed hotter than hot and I could imagine us slipping into a velvety darkness stripped naked and uncaring of what might come.
The lift stopped and the doors opened with exactly the same ?shhh? sound of the doors in Star Trek.
?Tung laaw? she said in the exaggerated drawn out vowels of Issaan Thai.
Her room was tasteful. It looked as though she?d had some professional designer in to make her room look good but had never actually lived here. Her liquor cabinet was so well stocked I half imagined to see a mini-bar price list on the inside of the front door.
?Sit down. Lie down. Make yourself comfortable.? She said while pouring me a measure of a Scotch I?d never heard of. I sat on the bed and she smiled. The whisky was excellent.
?There must be money in following people.? I said.
?Well... I like to keep my finger in a number of pies. It?s always beneficial to have an income you don?t have to earn in addition to the one you do. But then you?d know about that !?
She sat on the other side of the bed to me and rested her blonde head on my shoulder for a beat or two. Her hair seemed almost like gold lightly scented with frankincense and myrrh.
?When I was a little girl there was a great old castle on a hill. It was supposed to belong to a family who had fought off the tartars. Of course it was deserted. All such places were deserted. My father used to tell me stories about how the people who lived there used to kidnap children from surrounding villages and torture them to death because such people could only sleep well if they could hear the screams of children. My father was a very stupid man.?
She topped up my whisky.
?As I was growing up the place became more and more fascinating to me. Me and my brother decided that we would see for ourselves. See what kind of ghosts really lay in the place. I think I was eleven at the time. My brother would have been about eight. We woke up while it was still night and I stole my father?s truck... Of course we didn?t get half way there. My father came after us as soon as he realised the truck was missing. But we saw these two children standing on the hillside staring back at us. At the time I thought they were ghosts because they looked so strange. Their eyes seemed so blue that they looked as if they had been drowned.
?Of course my father caught up with us. He caught up with us and took us back home. When he got us home he beat me with his belt. I mean he really beat me.?
?When everything fell apart we went to America. We had family already there and our family had money. We lived for a while in Boston and then moved to San Francisco. I didn?t want to go because I was scared of the earthquakes but when I got there I loved it. You could go anywhere in San Francisco and nobody asked you who you were or where you came from. It was like being invisible. And then there were the fogs. It could be the hottest day of the year but then one of those fogs would just creep across the city and hold you right in the chill of winter. It was in the middle of one of these fogs that I saw Irina.?
?I was Fifteen. I should have been in school but I?d crept away using the fog as cover. When I saw her I thought she was one of the children I?d seen standing on the hillside back home. Her eyes were that same blue. She was sitting on a bench in the park just staring out like she was possessed. She was a little older than me. Maybe a lot older than me. I couldn?t tell. Her hair was black as the cruellest night and her skin was as pale as her eyes. But her body... Her body looked like it was fire... She saw me staring at her and just smiled... She knew things about me that I didn?t know myself. The fog was like ice around us but she didn?t seem touched by it.?
?I walked away. Just went and hung out in the coffee shop to read. But I couldn?t get her out of my head... Or out of my cunt. From that night on I couldn?t sleep unless I fucked myself. And I always thought of her. I was what you might call an easy lay. I let boys fuck me and every time I?d close my eyes and imagine it was her... This woman I?d seen one time. Then I discovered women, San Francisco is an easy place to find dykes, and I let them fuck me too and every time I?d be thinking of her.?
?I saw her the second time when I was about seventeen. It was in the fog... In the park. In that exact same place in fact. And she knew me. She knew me. I was braver by now... I went and sat down beside her. I asked her if she remembered me. She nodded and smiled as if I was always hers. I bumbled like an awkward kid and told her that ever since the first time I saw her I hadn?t been able to get her out of my mind. She smiled and without saying a thing she just kissed me on the lips... In the middle of that freezing fog she led me off to some bushes and told me that this was where gay men went to fuck... She told me to undress completely and I did it without even thinking. The blood was pumping so much I didn?t even feel the cold. Then she told me to lie down and spread my legs. So I did. And I lay back there completely open and completely exposed to her. She opened her blouse and lowered herself on top of me kissing every inch of me... Then kissing me between the legs... Kissing my cunt... Biting and chewing on me...Getting rougher and rougher with me... And the rougher she became with her biting the more I wanted her to completely devour me... I never thought about someone coming or the cold or anything. I just wanted to be food for her. Then she moved over me and kissed my breasts, my neck, my lips and worked her fingers deep inside me and fucked me like a man... With that same urgency that a man has as if her fingers were aching to come inside me. When I came she smiled and told me that she had to go. And then she just went leaving me lying there naked in the fog. I tried to go after her picking up my clothes but she was gone as if she?d never been there in the first place.?
?I went back day after day. All I wanted was to find her. All I wanted was to feel her lips on my body again. She was never there.?
?I ended up with men of course. I had an advantage with men. It was easy for me to get money. If I wanted to start some business I could always find a man who, for a fuck or two, would bankroll me. You get a lot more money this way than simply being honest about it and being a hooker. Most men are pretty stupid. I conned a lot of them using my cunt as collateral. And the funny thing is that when I led them to believe my little schemes had gone belly up most of them were willing to lend me more money to start again.?
?I was with one of my boyfriend-stroke-investors when I saw her again. It was in a small restaurant in the Mission District. A trendy little place in the middle of the shit. It was made out to look like a bar with structural problems. Great dark wood beams everywhere. Dark wood and dark corners filled with laughing rich people. I saw her staring at me in one of the dark corners. A man was talking to her and not noticing that he didn?t have her. He just kept talking and talking while she didn?t take her eyes off me. I could almost feel her hands on me. Feel her lips on my cunt. Then the man she was with noticed. He noticed he didn?t have her and he looked at me too. He smiled at me. Something about him was wrong. I couldn?t say what exactly but it was really wrong. My boyfriend hadn?t spotted any of this... He was eating but I must have looked shaken because he asked me if I was all right. I said I was okay. I was just tired. He went back to eating. But this man with Irina... He just kept staring at me. Irina saw I was upset and looked at her companion... Suddenly there was something terrible in her eyes. Complete horror. Complete dread. In my head I suddenly heard the screams of children and I felt sure that this man was the man who owned the castle where children were tortured to death.?
Yenetchka almost laughed at herself. She saw my drink was almost empty and refilled my glass.
?They left the restaurant. I didn?t see them leave. They were just gone. While my boyfriend was fucking me I just kept seeing the face of the man with Irina and I lost it. I started screaming at him to get off me and leave me alone. The poor fucker was terrified. I think he thought I was going to accuse him of rape or something. I didn?t want him or any other man to fuck me but I was suddenly terrified at the idea of being alone.?
?The next day Irina called me up at home. I didn?t know how she knew my number at the time. Now that kind of thing is less of a mystery. Anyone can find anyone if they set their mind to it. She said that I had to meet her, that she had to see me. I wanted her more than I?d wanted anything in my life so I went... To the same seat in Golden Gate Park. I waited for over an hour before she came. The sky was a bit overcast but there wasn?t any fog. We sat there and kissed for a long time. She told me that she had been watching me since the first time she saw me. She told me that she loved me more than she had ever loved anyone and that there was nothing she wanted more than to be with me. But her life was not her own. Just as she watched me the man she was with always watched her. She belonged to him and had no choice in her life. I she?d left him or betrayed him in any way her family would be made to suffer. She told me that when she made love to him she always imagined she was touching me. That spying on me had kept her alive.?
Yenetchka was silent for a long time. Orange light was starting to filter into her room and she got up and drew the curtains across the window. Then she came back to the bed and undressed.
Yenetchka?s skin was flawless and beautiful. She looked like an angel as the curtain filtered dawn light spread across her slender curves. Naked she sat next to me on the bed, placed a slim arm around my shoulder and kissed my neck. A shiver spread through me. She moved away from me and lay back on the bed.
?The man... The man who owned her... When he saw me in the restaurant he told Irina that he wanted me. Actually, what he told her was, that he was going to take me. She was supposed to tell me to come to his big house for a little party... What she actually told me was to leave San Francisco forever. That she?d sooner never see me again than think of him touching me. I told her she was being ridiculous. But in the end she convinced me that when a man like that wants something it makes no difference if he was in Russia or Cambodia or San Francisco. He could get it. I went back to live in Boston for a while. I told myself it wasn?t connected but it was. I had nightmares but I kept them at bay by not sleeping alone. I wasn?t particular about who was in my bed just as long as it was someone. And in my mind it was always her. It was always Irina who fucked me.?
?Of course he killed her. Or she killed herself... No... He probably killed her. She?d have endured it all for a lifetime just to keep her family safe... I didn?t know anything about her other than that her name was Irina. Sometimes I read a story in the paper about a body found here or there and I?d think maybe that?s her. How would I know ? Neither of them ever seemed to belong to this world...? Suddenly she smiled... ?You want to fuck me ??
I finished the whisky... To be honest I needed a moment.