E@L has been in two, three, any number of minds of late - and going out of his own. Should he do this, should he do that, what's to happen if, how can he help here, how can he limit the damage there... a lot of this is family, in fact most, but there are other issues as well, as you might have gathered from earlier posts, that are occupying large parts of his tiny mind.
[Pre-reading: Tolstoy, 'Anna Karenina' - at least the first paragraph. T.S Eliot, 'The Waste Land'. Marcel Proust, Swann's Way (Vol1 of 'In Search of Lost Time'). Richard Mason, 'The World Of Suzie Wong'. Richard Bernstein, 'The East, The West and Sex']
Hollow man, lost man.
E@L has been single and loving it for many years now. He has been in Asia over 13 years. It's usually terrific, you all know that. But swings and dips and high and lows and near-misses and bullets dodged and living alone and sharing apartments and never having even been *offered* a blow-job, let alone a pity-fuck, from our ex-SPG (E@L did get a massage, pajama type, no happy ending) in over three years... all of this demands some contemplation, some life-examination, every so often, as the cleaner's schedule in a public toilet needs a tick bi-hourly. And the question of whether or not the toilet has actually been cleaned corresponds nicely with whether E@L's soul-searching provides a good psychological service and cleans anything at all.
As you are aware, recently E@L had fallen somewhat into a lustful, nauseating monomania and watched himself develop a ridiculous attachment to someone who couldn't, literally, give a fuck (must be a family trait), and came to the point of turning himself into the sort of fool he so regularly lampoons. He'll call her Odette. Previously, he has been a bastion of common-sense, warning others and himself of what can happen when the blood flows south. He has tried to make his blog a vaccination centre against such feverish idiocy...
Ah, Odette, moans E@L, light of my life, fire of my loins, little brown fuck machine of my dreams.
The mystique of the Asian, the strange and foreign Orient, the exotic East (sorry, that's tautological - exotic means foreign and orient means East): The girls that the expat man finds are inevitably so cute, so sweet, so quiet, so acquiescent. And for these females, the expat is so rich and so clean (according to some survey or other E@L read about [in the Bernstein book] many Asian women said that they preferred foreign men because they had better hygiene than their countrymen!!!).
Sure, such selfish superficiality is a part of it, but it's also because the expat man in Asia is, well, in Asia. He is going to met many Asian girls, single ones, pretty one, some on the prowl (on the internet of course as well as the clubs and bars) and their ineluctable charm (specious though it may be - women remain women wherever they find us) will draw him in.
Is it the same for expat women? E@L hates to be controversial [cough, cough, hack, spit] but expat women tend, or have tended in the past, to be expats by default, arriving off the boat in their long frocks and holding hats and parasols, as partners in a relationship - wives, E@L means. The majority of expat women E@L has met in Asia are trailing on the steps of their husbands' career paths. Sure there are many single females who have come over as expats. Talented, determined and gorgeous they may be, but E@L does not apologize for considering them the minority.
And when the married man runs off with the LBFM of his dreams, he leaves the 50ft Zombie Divorcee with gin-blanked eyes, sun-leathered skin, mind emptied of all except the need for affirmation that can only be assuaged by fucking yet another opportunistic male (any race will do) who cares nothing for the encounter.
E@L doesn't want to go into to this Yellow Fever thing too much here, but he needs to provide a little explanation as to why the object of his affliction, oops, affection, is an Asian girl.
But is it because of E@L's long-term single-man, bachelor, man-alone lifestyle that there has been an arguably inevitable hollowing out of his emotion core, that those superficial, ephemeral and economic relationships seem to encourage, that the shell that remains can be so quickly and easily filled with such a stupid and futile set of obsessions?
It happened so suddenly, so unexpectedly - he has only known Odette slightly, but for years - that E@L wonders why it happened at all. Mere proximity? Merely seeing the evidence that she was bi-sexual and she liked to fuck?
And it was strange to see how it affected his perception of her. At first they were merely traveling companions and then becoming more friendly and closer, the girls and E@L telling jokes and secrets, laughing hysterically as they knocked off the last of the Maker's Mark. (That night of laughter was brilliant fun now E@L thinks back on it. It was that night, after they were tucked up in their separate beds in the lounge room, before his face disappeared into the mesh of his CPAP, that E@L told her, in confused circumlocutions, that he wanted to fuck her. She looked at him, said "Oh, that's nice," and turned her head away and went to sleep. He is still not certain that she understood at all what he had been mumbling so drunkenly.)
But then (no, it was well before the night of the laughter) over the days of sun-lounging and partying that suddenly Odette became to E@L, as did Proust's original Odette to M. Swann, someone to be both desired and loathed, a thing of love and of pain. She was someone else all of a sudden, or she was two people - the friendly niece to his nice-guy avuncular persona getting and giving buddy cuddles and platonic kisses, and then, somehow, a distant creature, untouchable, an unknown mind. Was she torturing him, teasing him on purpose, or was the knife churning in his guts all in his head? Did she know what she was doing to him, or did she think it was still as it was that night of drinking Makers Mark, that the situation hadn't somehow, mysteriously, morphed into a monster - a green-eyed giant of inexplicable possessiveness and crazy jealousy.
As he watches her attention flit elsewhere throughout a long night and morning (from OT to Clarke Quay, a curious inverse of the usual direction, but that is what happens when you run with females) from a Baron de Charlus or two here, to another girl or two there, he feels absent, he feels nauseous, he feels peripheral. Lust unrequited.
At least E@L is not married to the bitch.
- Dude, you don't know Brittany Spears!
- Yes I do!
- Well, she's never heard of you!
- Really? Well who's signature is that on the bottom of this restraining order?!
And it doesn't help as E@L watches as his friends, one by one, disappear into so called 'healthy' relationships. Not all are happy (at least they are unhappy in their own way), but in his social life recently, E@L has become a third or fifth wheel as these couples do weird couplish things like feed sushi to each other across tables while their dusty toes grope underneath same for sweaty, palpitating crotches. And then they go home and have sex. With each other, or so one gathers from the FB videos and photos.
It has been a long long long long long time but once again, a spark has shot off where a flint has cracked across his stony heart. E@L really has no expectation of anything except being ever more cock-teased interminably here, but at least this game won't damage him any further, won't burn him as have the flames from previous flinty times have done (we are talking decades of non-healing wounds here) as he doesn't take it seriously enough. He has retained a modicum of sense and reality, and the fire of this one-sided attachment to Odette has essentially expired.
But it is a symptom.
E@L wonders if he might start to fall in love much too easily, that the vacuum in his (for want of a less value-laden word) soul is sucking furiously. Unlike the girls in his life.
Ends with a whimper. Not a bang in sight.
The tick-box must be checked - is it cathartic to write about this or not?
(hat tip to Scott in HK for that brilliant photo - been hanging on to it for ages to get a suitable opportunity)
New Books and ARCs, 12/2/16 - Whoa. It’s December, folks. How did that happen? (Yes, I know. Go to November and keep heading on through.) Here’s this week’s new books and ARCs. Anything...
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