WARNING: The following material relates events in a relationship between adult males. If the laws of your jurisdiction do not permit you to view such material, please leave here at once and go to where you can learn how to work to change the laws of your jurisdiction. If you are offended by such material, please seek psychiatric counseling to discuss why you are here in the first place.
On the other hand, if you simply don't care for the type of material indicated by the story codes, well, have a nice day.
SONG NOTE: "Some Enchanted Evening," lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein, music by Richard Rodgers.
I looked around the house and found it. That souvenir of a day eight years ago. One of many that remind me of the happy years that have since come and gone.
A little red bunny. Brown seed for a nose on his white face. Ruff of white fur around his neck. Red heart on his white belly, bearing white letters that spell "Love."
His letter, written in carefully crafted block letters, had come in early December. "Our love will last forever. When are you coming back to Thailand?"
I'd given up eagerly checking the mail by then, a month and a half after I returned from my post-retirement trip around the world. Then, with his letter in hand, and my reply in the nearest mailbox, I'd booked my flights and meticulously planned our honeymoon tour of Thailand. A few days at the beach, a few days in the north, prepaid hotel rooms. Nowadays I let him plan our tours. After all, it's his country.
I had met him my second night out in Bangkok. The first night, my Thai internet friends had taken me to dinner, and then given me a tour of the gay spots, including the most popular gay disco in the tourist district. Next evening, on my own, I fled in panic from the advances of one of the nearly naked gogo boys in the most notorious club in my guidebook, and sought refuge in familiar surroundings.
Pause now, and put on your old tape of South Pacific. Fast forward to where Rossano Brazzi is lip synching, while Ezio Pinza sings, "Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger, you may see a stranger, across a crowded room ..."
When I walked in, he caught my eye. Shirtless, slim, smooth brown skin, dancing with two Asian girls. I made my way to the bar and traded my entry ticket for a beer. Turning back toward the dance floor, I stood next to a couple of Australian lesbians. He was still out there, dancing with his two girl friends.
Distracted for a moment when a cute Thai boy groped me and flashed a brilliant smile as he moved away with his friends, I barely noticed when my Aussie neighbors moved away. I couldn't see my dancing boy, and wondered if he had left the club.
"Some enchanted evening, when you find your true love When you feel him call you across a crowded room Then fly to his side and make him your own Or all through your life you may dream all alone."
Then there he was, standing in front of me. Barely time for names to be exchanged before I felt a tap on my shoulder, and a thirty something Chinese man asked if I were from Los Angeles. Another internet friend, with whom I'd probably have spent the remainder of the evening if my dream dancer had arrived a few seconds later.
Alone together in the crowded disco, we talked above the loud music. He liked my beard and my smile. I liked everything about him. We danced, and sat on a bench outside in the warm evening air and talked some more, and then went to my hotel room.
Next day, we walked in the park, and sat on the grass and tossed bread crumbs to the ducks. Thai food for dinner - mild for me. My mate has ordered for me or prepared every meal I've had over there in the last eight years. More dancing, more lovemaking, and morning came, before my plane would leave.
Photographs in the hotel parking lot, and then I watched him ride away on the back of a motorcycle taxi. More than I had ever dreamed of when I set off around the world. But probably just a dream, I supposed.
"Who can explain it, who can tell you why? Fools give you reasons, wise men never try."
Four months later, we were at Pattaya Beach. We checked in to the gay hotel, and then walked on the beach and held hands as we strolled to the end of the pier. At night we toured the gogo boy bars. I felt only a few minutes of nervousness when we went to dance at the straight disco.
During the days we were tourists, watching the show at the crocodile farm, or riding an elephant through open country outside of town. A picture hangs on my wall, our elephant thigh deep in a river as we rocked in a howdah on its shoulders behind the mahout, me in my floppy hat that I can crumple and put in my back pocket, and my mate holding an umbrella to protect his skin from the sun.
We went to a mall to see an English movie with Thai subtitles. With time to spare, we browsed the shops. I saw a card shop, and told him I wanted to get a card for Valentine's Day. He went to another shop, and we met and sat in a Swenson's and exchanged cards over our banana splits. I hadn't had a Valentine card since high school, forty years before. And, oh yes, he gave me the little red bunny.
"Once you have found him, never let him go Once you have found him, never let him go."
May all of my readers treasure a memory of a Valentine's Day as happy as was mine.