Discover more from Dangerfield's Exaggerations.
Skagless and Bible Black
A teaser from my forthcoming novel
For the last six years I’ve been writing a novel, a true story of eight weeks I spent in Thailand withdrawing from heroin. This is the first time I’ve made any of it public, but I hope to have it finished and available by November. Let me know what you think in the comments....
Some context: Having been cooped-up in a cheap Thai guest house for about four weeks, hideously withdrawing cold-turkey from a rather impressive heroin habit, with only the occasional whore to keep me company and frequent visits from a former whore (who also happens to be one of the most significant romances of my life) to keep me embarrassed, humiliated, heartbroken and impotent, I managed a dead-man’s shuffle to a Lebanese café I liked, since I thought I might be able to stomach some much needed carbs in the form of pitta bread and humus. Having consumed nothing but about fifty x 60mg dihydrocodeine tablets and a few liters of cold-water extracted codeine juice since my arrival in Thailand, it seemed like a good idea. Yet, as soon as I attempted to eat the said carbs, I experienced an unpleasant and rapid series of head-shocks, each one more violent than the last and – if experience is anything to go by – a seizure is on the cards. I slide the plate away from me and order a mint tea. The excerpt from the novel thus begins…..
A man in a Manchester-City Football Club top walks into the café and I recognise him from the kickboxing I watched up at Bangla-Road stadium when I first arrived in Patong. He fought quite the fight and laid out the local day-fighter with a furious flurry of brutal kicks and crushing elbows. At a certain point the blows were keeping the Thai man standing even though his legs had given up, and the last few fizzling synapses in his swollen and bleeding head were begging for mercy. It was utterly human, all too human, and precisely what I was there for. When a combination of elbows to the left temple and uppercuts to the chin are keeping a man on his feet, you’ve got to respect the pure animal nature of the beast. The need to hurt, the need to hurt more.
Almost certainly trying to make it in the world of MMA, it’s likely he put six months training into this fight, unlike the Thai day-fighter who was probably drinking beer with lunch and essentially gets paid to get beaten up. In some small and painful way, it makes him more of a pugilist than the winner, although he is definitely more the loser. But win or lose he goes home with his four-thousand Thai Baht, and with three fights a week, that’s not a bad wage. But losing like this, to such ferocity, too many times, those Baht aren’t going to mean much when his mother is feeding him congee through a straw, and he shits himself. Again.
The thought of speaking is unfamiliar, but I’ve got to start sometime or else I might never speak again. Best not entertain that thought right now, seductive though it is. “Hey, I saw you at the kickboxing...at the Bangla Road stadium.” He’s unsurprisingly playing the humble guy, knowing he’s an animal, knowing he flew over six-thousand miles to show a load of strangers his ability to kick the shit out of someone who was probably thinking about collecting his kids from school as elbows rained down on his skull and hardened shin bones shattered his knees, tearing into his anterior cruciate ligaments. One day he’ll never walk again. And a crowd of snarling strangers dribble spit as they cheer on this demonstration of one-sided violence.
“You really kicked the shit out of him”, “Yeah, I go in there to hurt people.” And then he says something strange and beautiful in its honesty and pointlessness, “I’m a hurter of people.” And on that inglorious note we bump fists and he makes his way to a seat, sits down, and flicks through the menu, the huge muscles on his back moving around, symmetrical, slotting behind, over, and next to each other, all fully formed and pulsing with power, convincing me he is indeed a hurter of people.
The small mug for my mint tea is placed in front of me and I tear the little rectangle paper bag of sugar open and pour most of it into the mug. The waitress then puts down a friendly looking steel pot - something that’s from another, older, Thailand. It’s actually quite sexy, the steep angle of the spout, the proportions and curvature of the design. Naughty little teapot. It’s too hot to touch (too hot to handle), so I use a serviette to hold it, and pour tea into my mug, a few fragments of leaves and twigs making it through the steel filter at the base of the spout.
That’s when he sits down. A stranger who, having a wide selection of empty tables to choose from, has for some reason decided to sit with me, on mine. Not necessarily a bad thing. I like strangers. But it’s a lucky dip, a flip of a coin. And I don’t have the strength or the social chops to do what might be required if it lands heads-up and I need tails. The Thai waitress comes over and asks if my new friend wants any drinks. A beautiful, young thing she is, with a glorious smile that fills me with happiness as it belies her five quid a day situation; and that kind of courage is inspirational. In my current state, angles are inspirational, teapots are sexy, so it’s not saying much; but it’s pleasing anyway that she’s convincing in her cheerfulness and contentment.
And so, it begins…
“Hey fuck off, I’ve only just sat down. Do I look like a fucking ATM to you?” She walks off, her smile evaporating, or perhaps simply stolen by a fool who will never know what to do with it.
“They always want fucking money, these whores!”
I inhale - about to speak - but my brain decides to use the little energy I have left to somewhat lose my focus on reality and hope this encounter passes before I have a chance to interpret it - before I find myself raking through the vomit of chance looking for some semi-digested nuggets of meaning. Wishful thinking…
“You like to fuck them Thai girls in the ass?” It’s quite the opener. To a complete stranger as well. His accent is maybe Italian, perhaps Spanish. Fuck knows. Untimely ripped that I am from the noble truth of opiates, it’s hard to stabilize any references long enough to give them worth in such a setting. More vomit, more raking.
He’s not settled, neither mind nor body, and I’m starting to become quite concerned that his twisting, always uncomfortable body and darting eyes are making some kind of move on me that I’m totally unprepared for. Unwishful thinking…
“They love it in the ass.” There is a moment of calm, as if saying ‘ass’ again and leaving it hanging in the air has provided him with some sort of comfort. I take his ‘ass’ and raise him one “in the dirt-box?”, “What is dirt-box?”, “ass”, “Yeah, I fuck them hard in the ass. Do you like fucking them Thai ass-holes?”
He does the universal sign-language of intercourse, pushing his stumpy index finger in and out of the hole made between the thumb and index finger of his other hand.
“Yes, fucking beautiful man, that tight fucking ass”
I pour more mint tea into my mug, the pot now slightly cooler, then pour in some more sugar, and stir it.
“Try fucking your fat cock into some ten-year-old boy’s ear, that’s how fucking tight Thai ass is.” He does the universal sign-language for intercourse again, but this time spits on his finger first which I assume is ten-year-old boy’s ear lube. He shakes his head side to side like there’s some urgency at play here, maybe some reluctance, like all this ass-fucking is something he must do, like it’s his calling, or like some charity work.
“Do you ever think people are looking at you?”
“You know, they look at you, like they think they’re better than you and you just want to fuck them up. Watch their brains fall out of their fucking heads. Like you’re thinking what the fuck are you looking at? I’ll smash your fucking face on the road until your fucking mother doesn’t know who you are”
“I find them on Tinder” he says, reaching into his trouser pocket and pulling out his phone. “Do you use Tinder? You can find that fucking Thai ass on Tinder”
“Yes, it’s them fucking ladyboy’s asses I want the most, they are so fucking tight, like a cat’s ass. You’ve got to get them young though, otherwise they’ve been fucked loose, you know, like they need to wear diapers. But you can’t tell until you’re fucking it. On Tinder you can ask them, I just say “Hey baby, is your fucking ass-pussy tight or am I going to have to fuck you with your legs closed?”
He’s flicking through photos on his phone. Loads, and loads. Without looking up he starts talking again.
“What do you do if someone’s looking at you and you know they want a fight with you. Like him over there (where? no idea) ugly fucking dog-face.” He lifts the phone up close to my face and I have to pull back to focus. And when the blurry image becomes crisp enough for my photophobic eyes to see something I can recognize, it’s him performing what seems to be the Boston Crab on some semi-conscious ladyboy, his dick pointing south and disappearing into what I assume is one of the aforementioned ass-pussies.
“I had a Thai ladyboy as a girlfriend, stupid bitch couldn’t speak a word of English. The first words I taught her were ‘Yes master’, the fucking bitch said it too, all the time. Man, she had a fucking tight ass, I had to really break her in slowly. That dog-faced cunt keeps looking at me. I’m going to fucking go and ask him what he thinks he’s fucking looking at.”
I turn around to see a man of about forty, reading a newspaper, occasionally looking over the top of it to see the world go past. He doesn’t even know my new friend exists.
“He doesn’t even do the fuck on himself. Fucking dog-face. He doesn’t know what fucking is. Hey, do you like fucking those Thai ladyboy’s tight asses?’
He’s still totally unsettled. Looking left and right, and moving back and forth in his chair. Initially, I think it might be meth, but no – this is worse – this is more organic and coming from the confused and self-hating interior. This is trauma dancing on the brink of his sanity. He’s probably a virgin, or at least a virgin of the ass-pussy type, living out his obsession talking about it to strangers in cafés, whist in another room in the haunted house of his unconscious the paranoia that the world knows he’s gay plays out with the delusion that people are looking at him – or perhaps the desire that they just might be.
I finish off my tea. With my internal humidifier up the opiateless spout, hot tea was probably a bad decision, and I can feel the sweat pouring down my back. I stand up and bid him farewell, but he’s too busy trying to get uncomfortable and swiping Tinder to really notice I’ve left – which is almost certainly intentional. Any abandonment in such a creature cannot be acknowledged, less so tolerated.
Just before I walk away, I turn back to him, “Do you like football?”, “Yes, English football very good”, “Right, you see that bloke over there in the Manchester City top, I swear he’s been looking at you since you arrived”, “Really?” I leave 200 Baht on the table and nod to the waitress who has put a small part of the world right by smiling again, and I return the favour. “Yes, I wouldn’t put up with that if I were you, he probably thinks you’re gay”, and I leave, a mere dozen or so steps later hearing the kind of commotion you’d expect when a paranoid anal menace decides to accuse a kickboxer of having an ass-pussy.
Thanks for reading
There you go. There’s about another 300 pages of that coming soon.
Please leave a comment and tell me what you think.
Also – I was interviewed on the very interesting Substack about addiction and recovery called Thanks for Letting Me share - You can listen to that HERE.