Cameron, the surprise
I awoke in a guesthouse in Chiang Mai with no passport and an angry note scrawled in lipstick on my mirror: “Sun of bitch,” it read. “Why you lie me? I kill you dead. Bye.”
Lighting up a joint I thought, well, shit. There goes another. Ever since I’d fled Naples on fear of death, I had been on the warpath, hiding out in Southeast Asia until things cooled down a bit. I missed Anjolie terribly and I felt this crushing guilt for her accident, though it wasn’t my fault, exactly. I knew there was no going back if I intended to live, so I instead decided to go around the bend in “the land of smile,” crashing through beds and bars, opium dens and back alley yahbah houses.
It was almost as if I could see myself from the outside, engaging in all of these stupid, amoral and dangerous affairs. And my better half, for whatever perverse reason, enjoyed watching it all unfold too much to step in. Even after spending two weeks in a Bangkok hospital (did I mention I had a gambling problem?), I didn’t slow down. I was determined to get myself killed.
One evening, after taking a couple of mystery pills, a beautiful Thai girl named “Cameron” (after Cameron Diaz) grabbed me by the scruff of the neck and led me to her bungalow. After getting further than I care to mention here, I realized this girl is no girl at all. Thais make eerily convincing crossdressers—lady boys, they call them.
I tried my best to be cool about the whole thing. I mean, transsexuals have feelings too. And besides, most women would kill to look like Cameron. Yet I still felt unhinged. After exiting as graciously as possible, I walked straight out into the ocean and stripped myself naked. I awoke in front of my hotel with a towel wrapped around me and about 150 mosquito bites.
A week later, I was coming down off ecstasy, sitting alone on a piece of drift wood, watching all the European tourists dancing to awful electronic music. In the daylight, we all really looked like shit. The terrible music just kept pumping, my glands were drained dry and it seemed everyone around me was a couple, a happy, loving couple, and I was dying slowly, completely alone.
Looking to the side, I noticed Cameron sitting next to me, wearing a “Choose Life” shirt. Fuck, I thought. Of all the people to be here now, it has to be the lady boy.
“You mad at me?” she asked. “You don’ call.”
“No—I’m not mad. I’m just sad. And afraid.”
“What you ‘fraid of?” she asked.
The sun kept rising and the people kept getting uglier and more in love and the terrible music just kept thumping and thumping. It was all so pathetic and sad.
“I just want to love somebody. I want someone to love me. And I’m afraid of being alone.”
“We all alone,” said Cameron.
In the daylight, looking closely, I could see the boy beneath the lady.
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