Past the racks of bohemian dresses and layered skirts, vials of colored contact lenses, boxes of synthetic pumps and oxfords, golden buddha keychains and silver elephant bottle openers, Pepsi cans in an icebox, digital clocks that glow on the surface of wood, vintage quarter-sleeve tops for ninety-nine baht, signage of “Thai silk” and “Thai scarf,” smoked pork, smoked squid balls, smoked chicken wings–he stopped walking straight when he saw the sign to his left.
He went inside. The receptionist asked him to wait. Some three guests entered the glass door and looked for the price list. The receptionist was discussing packages when he was called to go upstairs with a beautiful escort.
He didn’t know what to do because it’s his first time there. But he was given instructions through hand signals. Please take your shower over there. Let me wrap this towel around your naked half. Please lie down here, face down.
Calloused hands touched his legs, with oil as warm as the dim lights. He ironed the covers of the king size bed with his palms, as his muscles were flexed and smoothed out. The hands reached his back where more cold spots were rubbed away.
Then there was the tongue. The mentholated, pink tongue cascaded from the nape to the shoulder blades, traced the shape of his areola; the teeth nipped his ears between licking. In this side of Silom, no kissing is allowed. Purely professional work of wonders, he thought.
His blood burst in mad rush as he was made to crouch. He looked at the ornamental walls, the dark ceiling, the golden side table and the golden lamp, the two pair of eyes looking back at them from the mirror on the wall, as an attempt was made to penetrate. A virgin in the house. Nobody but he knows. He thought about the temples he saw that day and how many of the tourists there also came to places such this; he thought about the pain and pleasure of a first time; he thought about true love and giving one’s virginity to that one true love; he thought about sexually transmitted diseases; he thought about other uses of condoms; he thought about his hopeless romanticism, he thought about his thoughts; he thought about the philosophy, the sociology, the economics, the art, the science, the universal Truth, the prima causa, the raison d’etre, the je ne sais quoi of Sex. Then he came.
The session lasted not more than an hour. How was it? Was it good? he was asked by thumb signs and smiles. He said, it’s good. He didn’t say it’s his first time.
He thanked him for his services.