Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Soi 4

Even in the seedy surrounds of Soi 4, it was wildly out of place.

She was beautiful. I had noticed her weeks before while waiting for my order at MacDonalds one night. Her tasteful, modest dress was incongruous with the world weary feast of smooth brown skin filling Bangkok's Nana district after dark. She had been talking to strangers; a touch too friendly, a bit too familiar. Her face was gentle and in the warm bloom of womanhood. I thought that in another world she would have made a lovely wife.

Now there she was, raw naked in the open street except for white runners and cute ankle socks, gazing up in awe at a store's neon signage, masturbating. People walked around her in the smudged semi-light of dusk, apparently without noticing. One tall pot-bellied tourist passed between her and the store, looking down at her busy hands with a letcherous grin mishaping his mouth.

Days earlier I had glanced up while crossing the street on the way back to my dim little room, and directly into her guileless eyes. I averted my view quickly and casually, but it was too late.

"Come home with you." She fell into step next to me and linked her arm in mine with a beatific smile. It wasn't a question, more of a hopeful command. "No, I go home alone," I replied smiling back cautiously. "Why not?" She was genuinely puzzled. "I don't do that, but you are beautiful." The last was to ease the slap of rejection. Her stunning face softened like a child's, and I saw the edge of dementia in her uncertainty.

She released my arm and left reluctantly, looking back over her shoulder in case I changed my mind.

"She do drug." The waitress at the bar and grill across the road where I breakfasted each afternoon motioned toward the girl still held in erotic thrall by the neon sign. "She have white husband and baby, but he break she heart."

I sat at the open bench facing onto the street, trying not to watch her bare back subtly shuddering. A thought to take a photo as evidence was banished with censure as soon as it crossed my mind.

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