I saw the sun rise. Last month was just hellacious on my body. You see, I saw the break of day at least 15 times—had to stay up with the crazy fans because I was looking after a bar. What a stupid thing to agree to at the time. There were times where I was so tired I just couldn’t sleep. I fell asleep in every other taxi ride. Red Bull made me feel like Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock. When I was able focus on nothingness, and finally get a wink, I was quickly woken by that drilling noise we’re all so familiar with. It seemed like Satan’s rotating metal was just inches from my drums—and in my ears did it drum. Then there were the mosquitoes. This year I thought I would be in the clear because I bought this great natural spray in Thailand. While there, it just did wonders. How could it not work here? We’ve got nasty ones, but the bloodsuckers down south pull more than the needles at the health inspection center, which reminds me that my visa is almost up again and as usual, my idiot self has put its renewal off till the last minute—back to the spray. I did prepare my A/C by having the repairman in to clean it, and replace the Freon back in May. Then on around the 13th, it sprung a leak. I was cool, but woke up in a huge pool of water. That was only after sleeping for an hour or so. Then I turned it off. I began to sweat. I turned it on, got soaked, and that wasn’t too bad, but the dripping sound drove me a hair from insanity. Absolutely exhausted, I ripped everything off me and the bed but the last sheet. No one told me the spray wasn’t alcohol sweat proof; I didn’t drink in Thailand. The demons devoured me. After escaping, the shower and tea helped, but I was still just a zombie. A few days later, I made a discovery. This month I warn you that help is sometimes just a stumble next door.
At eight o’clock one morning, I could hardly walk and my eyes were dryer than a sauna in the Sahara. So what, the guest house next door was nasty. I would get a room and sleep there because I was sure the taxi driver wouldn’t be able to wake me up this time. I closed my eyes and four hours later, I woke up a new man. The room was quiet, the air-con was good, and the sheets were dry. Who knew? The round trip taxi would have cost me 30RMB, and it would have taken me over thirty minutes to get into bed, not to mention the return time. This little place I had never thought of entering cost me 70. It was more than fine. A little foot massage place just a few houses down the road let me sleep there one afternoon for no extra charge. They actually gave me a neighbor’s discount. Then the car wash guy around the other corner started helping me take in the chairs after the insomnia-tic fans left every day. While tying to fix a candle, I jabbed a sharp knife into the webbing between my thumb and pointer one night last month. I would have gone across town to a modern place to fix it, but a friend suggested one just down the road. 110RMB and an hour was all it took. I had no time to do anything, and no energy to fart, but most everything got done. I’m pretty sure my neighbors won’t read this, but I’ll do it anyway. Thanks. Being able to depend is precious.
By Tim Hoerle