It’s 4:30 am and I live in Thailand. My computer is about to die. It’s raining here, which it doesn’t do all that often, and I’ve had a few drinks. I have a balcony in an alley that has been plagued by construction for the past two days, which makes sleepin-in impossible. On normal days, there’s a woman that has a little stall that sells various meat products on a home-made barbecue that the locals seem to flock to; drinking their problems away until around 11, sometimes later.
I look out at the wet pavement. I see the vehicles pass by on the main road which my balcony seems to give an affordable front to, most of the time my gaze is occupied by two dogs which are white that have black splotches on them, which we’ve named Spot and Dot accordingly. With the construction, the entire lane-way seems barren, empty, quiet, un-populated. It makes for good writing until you have nothing more to write about. Good writing until you need that mental breather and then you’re forced to go back to your life, the life you didn’t want to pay attention to, which is why you started writing in the first place.
I pour myself another drink, which is why I started writing this in the first place. So meta, I muse to myself. I drink too much. I smoke too much. That’s what others tell me. I can’t help but feel they’re right. It’s funny how if you’re beaten over the head enough, you start to believe everything too. Drinking I’ve left alone for awhile, so I can’t say they’re correct on that. Smoking on the other hand…
I’m told that ex-pats, ex patriots, which I refuse to believe means the definition of the word, are entirely happy here. The blog posts, the journals, the whathaveyou’s make it sound like it’s paradise on Earth. It’s nice, don’t get me wrong, but I wouldn’t call it paradise. It’s a different place that doesn’t seem that far away from me when I think it’s only a day long flight to make it back home. I start thinking that I might get sick, I think to myself I can last a day, so I’m going to be alright.
Sometimes I want to talk to my friends, but I have to wait 11 hours until they wake up, and then try to get their attention electronically. They have their own lives, they’re doing their own things, just like I am. I can’t talk to them about the crazy person we met at the bar, or the crazy thing we encountered at work that night because I gave all that up. I chose to leave that behind, and I have to accept the consequences that come with it – a disconnect from the people I care about.
I talk to my parents about every two weeks on Skype. They have my dog. He’s a little Boston Terrier named Jackson, and honestly he’s the one I miss the most. He stays with my dad (parents are divorced but are still very good friends, I’m lucky), and I see the doggy door he made for him and how spoiled he is, and I get jealous. I’ve always been a little jealous of my dad, how he’s able to think of something and just be able to make it with his hands. I could measure something three times and still not be able to cut a straight line. Just the way it goes I guess. Something’s come easy for others, and some things don’t. And now I’m jealous of the time he gets to spend with my little buddy.
So I stare out from my balcony, down the lane-way, and I see the orange hue of the street lights reflected off the wet pavement. It reminds me of home. It reminds me of Toronto and the things I thought about Toronto at the time. It reminds me of my experiences there, but it also reminds me of the experiences I thought I could have had. Those experiences I’m not quite sure of. Maybe the experiences that I felt would happen, never quite able to materialize in my brain other than the chance of happenstance – the idea of something.
So i take another drink, another wash down the throat of the things I left behind, perhaps to gain something I never could have there. The things I left behind, which become increasingly hard to swallow. Even to this day, months and months later, I think to myself I should get to bed before a certain time so I can wake up and do all the things I need to do before I get to my job. Then I remember where I am and the life I’m living. I remember it’s not easy to contact with people. I remember I’m a world away.
Paradise isn’t always what you think it will be. I’m in Thailand, trying to achieve my dreams of becoming a writer, giving it everything I got, but I still miss the comforts of home. I miss my friends. I miss my parents. I miss my dog. A LOT . I miss taking him to the dog park and having a few drinks while watching him play with the other dogs; that was my favorite. I miss ordering pizza, being able to walk down the street and getting poutine or a hamburger. I miss having people I get along with every day. I miss hearing things first hand rather than hear about them through social media. I miss watching football games and turning to another game when a commercial is on to catch another.
The rain has stopped but lightning still flashes. The storm is doing enough to make sure you’re still aware of it’s presence without making itself entirely known. I can’t help but notice the beauty in that as I try to decide what this writer’s blog should be about. Or this blog entry for that matter.
Back home, when lightning flashed, I was rest assured that everyone I knew was sure to see it too. The reality is setting in that the storm here is different than the storm settling in at home. I’m facing a whole new set of circumstances that remain unaware by the people at home. But, everyone has to face their own storms.