The title of this post says it all if you don't want to read ahead...expect lots of misspellings and other errors as I'm still awake after 4 days in Bangkok.
I haven't slept more than 5 hours total in 4 days. When that usually happens, I sleepwalk and sleep eat. I often times do random things like fill my prescription bottles with BBQ sauce or write cryptic messages to myself in cake frosting on the walls with my fingers. Last night in Bangkok was my girls first time witnessing one of these events. It doesn't help matters that she is extremely afraid of ghosts and demonic possession...or understand somnambulism either.
We are in her new apartment in Suttisan, Bangkok. It's a new building, with 24 hour security, WiFi, cable, the works. I sprung for it to act as a speedball to the living in a refugee camp existence she had been suffering through lately in Sisaket, due to the recent border flare up with Cambodia.
I'm feeling like I'm part of some Navy sleep deprivation experiment, or a character in a Nightmare On Elmstreet flick. Only instead of stapling my eyelids to my forehead, and chugging redbull to stay awake, I'm popping bennadryl by the handful to knock me out. Nothing seems to work.
My girl, by contrast, sleeps 12 hours a day, and I am left awake all night to my own devices. Plotting and scheming the things I could be doing out on the town, other than listening to her breathe.
The Meds kick in and I'm finally out. Next thing I know, I hear my girl crying and screaming my name. I wake up, and I am standing in front of her TV, eating a 2 pound bag of M&M's. Half of them make it into my mouth, the other half fall around me on the floor. I also have taken her lipstick and written messages to myself on her mirror. No, not REDRUM...but in the same genre. It was the words MUSGO CARGEY.
Later I determined I was trying to convey that I was going out and taking her card key to the apartment.
Upon hearing her yelling my name, and waking up, I saw my girl with that 'what the fuck are you doing?' look on her face.
"I'm sorry baby, did I scare you?"
"why you eat my M and M?
"I must have been sleep walking. I do that sometimes. Sorry"
I flop back on the bed and try to sleep. She's awake now though.
"Why you write in my mirro? Oi! You break my lipstick. Why you do that? Oi! Now M and M on the floor. Going to have many ant come now."
I'm fading out again..."sorry honey. It's just something I do when I don't sleep for a long time.
"Maybe it why you so fat. You eat even when you sleep..."
Her voice sounds underwater. Like one of the teachers from Charlie Brown.
I'm dreaming about her beating my leg with a kids toy truck and yelling at me. I wake up and find she's beating my leg with a kids toy truck and yelling at me.
"Bpai! Bpai!" or Go! Go!
I shake off the cobwebs that have my brain swimming in a bennadryl marsh.
"You want me to leave? I'll buy you some more M and M's tomorrow."
"No. I'll tell Phi Dek to go away from you. I think Phi Dek inside you and he want to eat candy so he make you walk when you sleeping so he can taste candy more."
oh yeah, that thing.
Backtrack....hitting mental rewind.
Night before. I wanna go shopping and drink and see some Kitsche. Why not the shithole known as Patpong? I make my girl go, mainly because Im an asshole.
I'm sober as a judge. No way I'm getting into trouble this time out.
Patpong is even more decayed and cheesy than last time I was here. It's an overpriced tourist night market, surrounded by those ping pong ball shows you've probably heard off. Not exotic, not even erotic. Just a pathetic wasteland of cheap consumer goods of both pleather and flesh.
We end up at a stall looking for trinkets and other shit I've promised to buy for people.
I see a rather hideous bar girl who is buying kids toys.
"look at that honey, that woman is selling herself to buy toys for her kid. That's fucked up man."
"No, she not do. I see many times at market."
"Then who's she buying them for?"
"Many lady buy toy for Phi Dek. She ask Phi Dek to bring her customer. If he bring her customer, she have to buy toy for Phi Dek or he very angry."
I already know what a Phi Dek is from past experience in this field with my girl. It's the ghost of a child...usually killed by his or her mother. Sometimes they are stabbed or drowned, or simply die during childbirth.
"Are you sure that's why she's buying them?"
A brief exchange of words in Issan and my girl confirms what she told me.
"Yes, lady say she pray to Phi Dek for customer and she get customer, so now she buy toy for he."
"You have to pray to them?"
"Yes, some people have many many Phi to help them. Not just lady at bar. Many Thai people believe Phi Dek can help. Have temple in Bangkok, I take you tomorrow."
"it's a haunted temple? Fucking cool. Let's do that. I'm gonna check the Internet for haunted places in Bangkok, and we'll do a tour ok?"
"What haunded mean?"
"it's haun-ted, not ded"
My girl and I begin our impromptu English class amidst the stalls in Patpong...
"Not Ded. It's Ted. Haun-Ted.
"No. Ted. TED...'T-Ed."
"T--T--T" she repeats "haun-Ted."
"Very good honey, I'm getting you hooked on phonics next."
"Arai Na?"...basically, huh?
"Nevermind. Haunted is a house where ghost live."
"No, I not want to go. I scared. Why you want to go?"
"I don't know. It's cool. Maybe i'll write a book about all this shit we do together. Ghosts are always good stories."
"I not want to go."
"I can give your more money if I sell a book."
"OK, we go tomorrow."
Fast forward to me getting hit in the leg with kids toy as a form of exorcism.
"I'm not possessed by a kids ghost baby, chill out."
I spend the next 20 minutes explaining the science of sleepwalking in a mixture of English, Thai, and Issan. My girl nods her head slowly as if she understands. The nod also says "What the Fuck am I doing with this guy."
After finally assuring her I'm not possessed, she comes to bed.
I feel her get up a few minutes later. I open one eye and see she is hiding all the kitchen knives. Assured I can no longer harm her if I sleepwalk again, she lays down.
I can feel her watching me while I pretend to sleep. I reach out to hug her but feel something sharp and metal.
Hey, Whatever makes her sleep at night.