If not in front of Buddha…

I found a Thai guide. Male, of course, and sexy, obviously, and volunteer. And an artist and speaks 3 languages and has a degree and an international portfolio, but is he really hot enough?

Injuries are honesty avoided, but found before it’s too late.The left foots’ been out of commision and slow to return since August or so. We walk 3 miles across the city and my boots are clomping happily as he says to me in the fish market next to the river, “Boy, you like to walk!” And I do.

The Night Bazaar is a dilapidated circus overrun with vendors Jesus threw out of Jerusalem. Under the Bazaar (which I say, “NAYT baZAAR” and AJ The Artist Guide has been calling “NAI-bzer” and I only figured it out when I saw it written in crazy script on a street banner) is a wonderland of undiscovered talent, a kind of graveyard where talented artists have laid down for the almight bhat. Every style of Buddha lined up in graduated size like a forced perspective shot of the Terracotta Army of peace. Enlightenment mosaics so lovely they are like a warm light across the heart in a dark Irish winter.

A little more beer and a lot more heat off the river Ping than I’m used to.

Stopping at a dirt lot marked “Paking” in spraypaint. Guide’s voice, “Used to be gay bar. Very big. Gone now.”

Sitting in the incense waft of the Three Kings monument on a bench. An exquisite kiss under the tamarind tree. Centered as a martial artist, AJ says, “Good kiss, but this not San Francsisco, you know.”

Memory: Larry pulls my arm from around his waist in San Francisco, “It’s not safe,” I don’t know if he said it or I just remember it in his eyes beyond his I-please-everyone boy expression.

I find AJ leading me into the tourist area, and lovely white people abound.

In the shadow of the golden pagoda, underlit dramatically, a monk waggles his eyebrows and points at the two of us, and laughs. “Maybe not in monastery we should hold hands,” says AJ.

Where, then?



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