kuala lumpar. the automatic doors of the airport open to release me into a new whole world...the weight and dampness of the hot malaysian night hits me like a wall. i can still feel the thickness of that first breathe heavy inside my lungs. i point to an address in my guide book. the taxi takes me downtown. i felt rejuvenated by the ice cold water in the hostel shower. the dirt and tears and hell roll from my sweaty skin onto the small cracked blue and white tiles below...the hurt pooling around my feet and finally slipping away into the drain. canada is gone. australia is gone. i'm alone here. it doesn't feel real. i dont feel anything. i'm tired and want my bed.
my 7$ buys me a bottom bunk in a small shared room. that amazing clean feeling of being right out of the shower and into soft sleets pulls me quickly into exhaustion. but its so hot i cant sleep. its 3am....i'm restless. usually dependent on alcohol to aid me into slumber this sober new environment has me wired. careful not to wake anyone i wander up a few flights of stairs onto the roof where there is an open air terrace with old foutons and couches. i stand there underneath the enormous sky. can you see me now? an old empty birdhouse hangs off a wall. some fake plants. the city lights are incredible. endless and soft. pink and red. small dirty windows peeking out over hundreds of clothes lines attached between buildings. malaysia is sleeping and its dark quiet lull calms me.
i wake up inside my mind feeling heavy and alone. i remember who i am. sad. i suddenly feel very stupid and exposed. strangers applying deodorant, belt buckles clinking, door's closing. laughing. music. i wait till the room empties and quickly get dressed. although i have no plans i feel pretty damn cool once i get outside. i'm in malaysia. this beats canmore's ass any day. i light a smoke and walk into the city, into the heat, away from my fears of being a nobody. animals in tiny cages hang from outside people's balconies. music. yelling. chanting. incense. oils. smoke. gasoline. dirt. plucked chickens hung from their feet. other's alive in small pens waiting for the grill. fish in bucket's. fresh. moped's and rickshaw's hauling garbage/animals/people. traffic traffic traffic. sitting down at the street cafe's, the cars literally brush past your shoulder's nudging you half out of your seat. the tables are spilling out onto the road. the people form a fluid human river. its 36 degree's... which is like being baked alive if you can't find air conditioning/shade. the toilets are large holes dug into dirt with an old piece of wood on either side to balance while you squat. a bucket of water, no toilet paper. this was my first culture shock. the 15lbs foot long rat that ran past my feet was the second. normal in kitchens. keeps the bugs out.
heavyhearted children without arms/legs, wrapped in soggy stained bandages, infectious boils/rashes flipping their huge eyelashes up and down while intermittently starring down at their bare feet. begging for the uneaten rice off your plate. if you watch them long enough you'll see they all go back to a big man lurking by the sidelines to hand him their coins.
at night people crowd around at outside bars with tub's of iced beer in the middle of crappy little plastic tables. other backpacker's. people like me who are stuck in a place between forever and not nearly long enough. australians/canadians/a few americans. we fade into the nights together. weeks pass amongst the street vendor's with their fake watches, bags, sunglasses. the vegetable/fruit markets. the sizzling meat. the shops with gold chains/jewellery. shop keeper's lighting incense outside doorways in bundles leaving piles of ashes for prayer. prosperity. school kids flood by in uniforms laughing. men working. women shopping. i watch them all.
small plates wrapped in plastic bags. when your done eating... your bag thrown away and a new bag slides on for next customer. no water. no dishes. juice comes in a small bag with an elastic band holding a straw into the top. men grab your ass and disappear. again and again. vanishing into the heaving bustling crowds. so many people in such a small space. another face. another...another. fast hands. then a whisper in your ear...but when you turn no one there. small sweat drops trickle down my face. its 11pm and still 28 degree's. no wind at all.
i head back to hostel...the rooftop terrace cooler in the night. a few people at the woven straw table with the big round glass top are playing cards. beers and cigarette's. a swedish guy with very blue eyes. we smoke my marlboro's. he doesn't speak english so we don't say much. he sews my ripped dress. one thing leads to another. it always come to this. more like business i've always found it. what do you have for me? what do you want in return? he was buying beers. i had to get rid of him. i was tired. blah blah blah i hope he has a big dick.
one man becomes many different men. giving yourself away is exactly that, the more you give the less you have. at 20 i lost track. i felt nothing but a conquest and it became a game. who can i attract? who can i win? i didn't feel him inside me. i didn't see the dark city around us. i didn't smell the warm hibiscus flower in the breeze. i didn't taste the tears on my cheek. i sure as hell didn't hear the universe screaming at me. STOP. booze. sex. throwing up. passing out. blacking out. falling down. falling in/out/onto. finally a 20 hour bus ride up into the mountains. cameron highlands. breathtaking. my visa almost up, my money almost gone. my liver as tired as my vagina.
returning from nepal a letter comes from S. 'meet me in mexico... i still love you'