by Paul Salvette
Copyright 2011 Paul Salvette
I’ve got a good feeling about tonight. The small baggies of coke tied up with rubber bands jingle in my pocket as I work my way down the street. Vendors are hawking their crappy wares for the tourists, but they pay no attention to me. Since I’m one of their own, they know I don’t have any money. I chuck my menthol into the gutter and walk toward the mouth of Soi 5.
The usual gaggle of working girls are hanging out on the sidewalk, tits and ass hanging out for all of Bangkok to see. Two motorcycle taxi drivers are sitting on the ground playing checkers with bottle caps. They look up at me and grunt in disgust. It’s not my fault they have to bust their ass for crummy pay in this rotten city.
The old woman that’s always here with the fruit stall is cutting up a sour mango for a fat, middle-aged tourist. His hairy fingers are rifling through his fanny pack looking for small bills. She spots me and says, “Here comes the drug dealer. Always bringing trouble to my business. What does your mother think of what you do for a living?” The man turns around and stares at me, pissed that I interrupted this little transaction, but completely clueless of what she just said.
“Shut up,” I say as I chuck my empty Red Bull bottle into the plastic trashcan by her feet. That bitch is always on my ass about something.
A pair of legs in heels and black fishnets steps out from the 7-Eleven and recognizes me. It’s my cousin Lek, who usually spends her time upcountry. She must be working the go-go bars again, because she probably lost all her money playing cards.
“Oh, it’s you. You shouldn’t be here, ya know. The Nigerians are all over Soi 5 today. Be careful.” She slaps the butt of the gross man waiting on the fruit and puts her arm around him. Changing to her bargirl English she says, “We go now, honey.”
I hang a left into the soi, and I can barely walk past the throngs of slow-moving gawkers. They stare up in wonder at the blazing neon hovering above the street, beckoning them to join the carnival of flesh. The girls in short skirts inside the bars are either playing pool or hustling in new customers. Bald white heads reflect the light from the multi-colored chaos engulfing the thin road. These old bastards are going to need some coke to get their dicks hard tonight, and I’m going to be the guy to sell it to ‘em.