It was not supposed to turn out like this. I was simply walking home after a shopping trip, anticipating an evening of pool at a local bar I’d come to like. You know, the kind where everybody knows your name. Suddenly, I heard that name being called.

“Monte! Monte!” It seemed to be coming from somewhere…above me? Yes indeed. Waving from the top floor balcony of the hotel above the corner restaurant was my old drinking foe Lawt. I knew the girls from the bar where she worked had rooms there, but did not expect to run into any of them. Least of all her.

A quick glance around confirmed there was no place I could easily hide. The large tree next to the road did not afford enough cover. Same with the parked motorbike. There was a sewer grate that had partially slid off its foundation, but I did not like the symbolism. So I had to face the music. Turning up towards Lawt, I forced a smile, resisting the impulse to raise both arms in surrender. Yet she was happy to see me, a smile of her own breaking out on a dark face framed with that flowing black hair I like so much in women.

It is hard to make conversation with someone perched three floors above you. We swapped greetings, to which I added that I would stop by her bar that night. Just being friendly. It would be foolhardy to upset a woman whose balcony I have to walk under half a dozen times a day.

I showed up that evening later than usual, hoping that my admirer might already have a customer to keep her occupied. But of course not (and just where was the Viagra Brigade when I needed them?). Oh well, there are worse ways to spend an evening than having drinks with a Thai lady. In fact, when Lawt began complaining about the exhausting hours she was having to work (and the conditions are not that pleasant), I found myself actually feeling sorry for her. Almost impulsively, I made an offer.

“How about coming back to my apartment, and I’ll give you a massage?” Just a massage. I was a bit tired myself and in no mood for any special gymnastics.

“OK, but no boom-boom.” Meaning no sex. Looked like we were on the same page.

“No boom-boom,” I agreed, making it official.

It figured to be a normal evening featuring my trademark smoothness. I’d make sure she had a relatively clean towel — sans perfume from my last date — for her shower. Then maybe a slow dance or two before I put her out for the night with my magic hands. If all went well, I’d be fast asleep myself by 11:30.

But this woman confounded me. The shower, the music, and the rubdown all went like clockwork. Lawt seemed to be well on the way to slumberland. I got into my side of the bed, laid back, and congratulated myself on being such a fine person. But when I glanced over, Lawt was lifting the covers, beckoning me closer. One thing led to another and before I knew it, sleep was the last thing on either of our minds.

Afterwards, however, I was annoyed. I had paid this lady to not have sex with me and dammit, should have gotten my money’s worth. The women over here do not appear to understand that when a horny, middle-aged man gets into bed with them and says “no”, he means it. Well, sort of.

At least I am not going to take this abuse lying down. From this day onward I will draw a line in the sheets, beyond which they will never again pass. And I highly resolve that my bruised self-image shall see new birth of confidence, and that this fine Thai city, of the dirty old men, by the dirty old men and for the dirty old men, shall not perish from the earth.

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