Got another letter from Lane today – Lane, that great constant in my life: you can always count on him for consistency knowing that he’s not going to have a whole lot of updates living in a Zen center baking bread everyday. Somehow, though, he’s a lay monk that happens to be girl crazy. It’s a crazy oxymoronic situation trying to live a celibate life when you’re as horny as him, but what is Lane if not a paradox? I’m actually going to see him and the rest of the family, in addition to Emily, in just a month’s time. Yeah, I decided to head home during the semester break.
“What the hell are you doing that for?” everyone always exclaims more than asking. It's a line I often hear in my life. “Are you crazy? Is this about a girl? Don’t do it man, you’re all the way over here so you might as well travel as much as you can.”
But then there’s level-headed Alexis who offered some allegorical tale involving a little girl who buys three games of pool before quickly deciding she doesn’t even like pool in the least. The girl can either keep playing pool even though she hates it, or recognize that the money is already gone and move onto something else. In retrospect, the moral of the story is a bit hazy (being that I don’t hate traveling by any means), but it has something to do with people getting caught up in these notions of having to do something because that’s what they think they’re supposed to do. In actuality, people should really do what they want to do, and while I want to travel, at this point I would rather see my girlfriend more (along with my grandpa, mustn't forget Auntie, BJ Tucker, Tucker Carlson, and so on and so forth). There are some things I gotta iron out and make sense of, and no it’s not just a $1500 booty call, though I wonder if my girlfriend would be flattered thinking of it in such terms…she’d probably think she’s worth more. Plus, I’m stopping off in Japan for five days on the way back, so I am getting some traveling in, not to mention that I plan on geographically tramping all over the region next midterm break and once second semester ends. The ticket price wasn’t bad at all, especially since I’m getting a lump sum of over $1000 at the end of this semester for having taught a “special” class at the university (which is just a “special” way of saying that the kids were absolutely atrocious). Kind of funny that I’ll be seeing my parents in the States and then a week later they’re coming to Thailand, but considering they booked some frenetically paced tour that doesn’t really include me at all, hopefully it won’t be overkill.
Working the job that I do and living in Chiang Mai could really be the absolute high-life if only I had the people I really cared about over here (though sometimes that seems to change like a fickle Shakespearean mob). Still, in spite of the policeman that blows his whistle while pretending to direct traffic when there’s no need for him to be there in the first place; in spite of the semi-prevalent sneaks-up-on-you-when-you’re-not-expecting-it gloom that comes with monsoon season and the everyday rains; in spite of the fact that most Thai grow out their pinkie nail – especially the guys – so as to be more efficient pickers (use your imagination); in spite of the fact that I can’t catch a good night of shuteye here to save my life; in spite of the student who puts infinitely more work into complaining about her grade than doing the actual assignments; in spite of the fact that I can’t tell if I’m going mad or going mad thinking about going mad – in spite of all these things, life ain’t exactly awful.