Friday, December 26, 2008

Some Things Never Change


Vientiane, Laos – I’m up here sitting in my room, fourth floor, talking to this machine and wireless modem hookup to dialup connection, shouting, “Gimmie some SIGNAL STRENGTH, now!” like a guy at a crap table calling for his numbers and his luck.

Just trying to get a message out, y’know. You can achieve just about anything if you’ve got the right tools. That’s one of the real pleasures of living on the reservation. It doesn’t happen frequently, but sometimes when you’re in a dire-need situation, which is often, or maybe just into a project, and you need a certain tool, like, a jack, to change a tire, and somebody hasn’t stolen it, and there it is, right when you need it, ‘the right tool for the job’, to accomplish the mission of the moment, man, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

This isn’t about tools. It’s about the title. You may believe that change is the nature of the universe, and as Carl would say, ‘everything stays the same…until it changes,’ but some things never change. I’ve heard you say it before.

And it’s this beach volleyball, women’s beach volleyball on the tube, lemme see, broadcast from…it’s over now…Singapore or California or somewhere…who cares where it was broadcast from…one of the teams was Asian girls…women...and yes, you can imagine, or if you can’t, then use your imagination.

Yeah, I still like looking at ass. If it didn’t get ratings, it wouldn’t be on the air, so there must be a lot of guys out there who can appreciate the value in the show, not just me.

But anyway, we can write about a lot of things, anything, and looking at ass is one of the realities in life for guys like me, ass men, or ‘Ass Man’, like a guy is a ‘Beef & Potatoes’ man, the guy who’ll have the bumper-sticker, ‘If God didn’t want us to eat animals, he wouldn’t have made them out of meat.’ If they made an Ass Man t-shirt, I’d buy it.

You get the point. Sometimes you get love stories, sometimes you get war stories, sometimes I go off into some hazy philosophical shit, sometimes some funny stuff, and sometimes I’m in the locker room, talking with the guys. Like, around the fire at sweat lodge.

So it’s not meant as an offense to you women, just so you know. You could look at it like 'sneaking a peek', or listening in on what the guys are saying, and today, they’re talking about ass.

I think even Father Paul could come to terms with me on that. One time after the sun dance, we were sitting around in one of the tipis in main camp, and a pair of white legs appeared at the door, and everybody in there hushed up. You know how a tipi door is, right? You can’t see the upper body.

In walked Roy, a dancer from Alaska. “We thought you were Father Paul, with those white legs,” I said, and everybody laughed. Then right behind him came, wouldn't ya know it, Father Paul, and everybody reeeally laughed, and he wondered what was up. Somebody explained the white legs, and we all laughed together.

Roy is the only person in that whole camp who turned his nose up at the Salmon at the feast at the end of the four-day dance. I had to ask him why, but I knew it was because he was particular about his Salmon, being from Alaska.

“I only eat the white,” he said, like the Duke of Windsor would've said it. And then something else, like it had to be such and such.

Three or four hundred people in camp for the last day feast, and he’s the only one who refused the Salmon.

Damn. Here I was talking about ass, and ended up talking about Roy and Father Paul, tipi doors and Pink Salmon.

Had to back up there, partner. Gotta scroll through every once in a while and check out your theme, your thread, your connection to the overall…you know what I’m saying. That’s what they say you should do, anyway.

But if you don’t, then that’s okay, too. Pink Salmon has absolutely nothing to do with looking at ass, wouldn’t you agree, Jack?

I think Jack was an ass man. He’s the same Jack who jacked himself up in the high wire story, one which I probably will keep referring to from time to time because I want you to read Geppetto’s fall again. Right smack on his chest. From sixty feet.

I mean, after doing a few butterfly strokes in the air, what the fuck else could he do?

You couldn’t really even describe it as ‘a fall’, though in the technical sense, it was. It was more like a…like a…like…art form.

Really. No shit. Tito, too. If you’ve ever see that footage of Wallenda in Puerto Rico, sad that it is, for art, it was pretty pathetic. The old man shouldn’t have been on the wire at his age. He was trying to prove something, that a 73-year old man has still got what it takes, but God and a 25 mph crosswind had different ideas.

That’s the nice thing about looking at ass. You don’t have to prove a damn thing to anyone, and as far as I can see, you can look at ass well into your sixties, seventies, who knows?

Geeez, Bev, I sure hope that made you crack a smile. I know it made Laura laugh.

They say people don’t make you do anything. You’re in control of your own thoughts and feelings, not other people. Psych 101. Last blog, I started to say you made me lose my train of thought, blaming you. Well, sometimes people do make you cry. Sometimes they do make you laugh.

Anyway, I came up here to Vientiane to write, and to do some research, and to…you know…sort of kick back and get away from it all…not just to look at ass, but I have to say, if you’re an ass man, Laos probably has more nice-ass-per-capita than anywhere in the world, hands down.

Europe, the States, ha, can’t hold a candle to Thai, Myanmar, or Lao women’s asses. If you’ve been here, you’re saying, “He’s telling the truth, dude.” If you’ve never been here to see for yourself, like, daily, all over the place, then your next best bet is Thai or Chinese tv programming, which isn’t for shit, compared to ours, but the ass is nice.

Sitting just today at the sidewalk coffee café, Frenchman on my left, a Canadian at the table to my right. Five Lao chickadees walk by, on their way into the mini-mart, and the Frenchman looks up at them, then at me and says, “Don’t you just love this place? You’re sitting here, minding your own business, having a cup of coffee, and…” he just laughs.

They’ve installed a couple more traffic lights in the city. Four now, I think. One of the major arteries, Samsenthai Rd., has a couple now, allowing for cross traffic. 600,000 people, one tenth that of the entire country. Up till now, the world has pretty much left them, the Lao, alone.

Well, the French came in here and fucked with them, then the Americans, and the Russians and the Chinese, too, but for the most part, they have little to offer the world in terms of export, other than precious hardwoods.

What they have to offer, you have to come here to see. There's a lot more than just the ass.

I like to go into remote areas where they don’t see foreigners, and the children look at you in stunned disbelief.