Today is my first day of sobriety.
Yes, I did pick up again last night.
For some reason, I feel in a better state of mind today, and I think I might make it.
I will stay at home all day and this evening I may pop out briefly to eat and do a bit of shopping.
Then I will come back home, put on a movie and try to sweat it out in my condo. If I succeed then tomorrow it should be a bit easier.
I certainly hope so.
MOBI’S STORY – (PART 33)
THE RETIREMENT YEARS (CONTINUED)
“It’s time for wife number 5”
There were two people who were very happy at the departure of Dang.
The first was Jai, my maid, (although I didn’t realise it at the time), and the second was my ‘good’ Thai friend – Chat. He who was ripping me off in connection with the Mei house ‘recovery affair and he who had been introduced to me by my Englsih friend Dave, as a Thai I could trust with my money and my life.
It was at this very time – when I was having trouble with Dang and was obliged to move home – that Chat was busy getting his claws into me. He had recently persuaded me to set up and invest in the project for the building of expat retirement homes in Ayudhaya.
Chat was happy because he didn’t like Dang, and in his opinion she was a bad influence on me. Certainly from his point of view, he wanted no outside influences interfering with his various schemes to relieve me of large amounts of my money.
As for Jai, well she had known Dang for a number of years, and was Dang’s maid in an earlier life, so I assumed she would take Dang’s side on the trouble that had occurred between us. Maybe she wouldn’t even want to work for me any more.
Nothing could have been further from the truth. Jai went out of her way to assure me of her sympathy and sorrow for all the trouble and hurt I had suffered from Dang, and I started to detect a slight but discernible change in her attitude. She became much more friendly, smiled at me frequently, and even started to dress more ‘tidily’. She was quite a pretty thing, of around 30 years of age, but although the idea was tempting, I kept away from it. Jai had two young children and a wife-beating husband. I wanted no part of that mess – I had enough of my own.
Before Dang and I had our major bust up, we had been talking about marriage. We had even been to one of these “wedding Shops”, and had visited a Wat where an monk gave us a list of propitious dates on which to hold our wedding festivities.
A date had been provisionally chosen for mid January and Dang’s family had been informed. But after I threw Dang out, all these plans were canceled, and the wedding called off.
Dang must have been gone a couple of weeks or so when I decided to pay a visit to the Office Bar to see if she had started work yet. She wasn’t there, and possibly never would be. Maybe I was really rid of her for good.
With the help of Chat, I moved into a house in a nearby sub-soi, and set up my home and office there. Plans were also in an advanced stage for Chat to move into the second, vacant bedroom.
Then one day, I went to the Office Bar, and there she was. She had just started work again. I had almost forgotten how beautiful she was, especially when she ‘tarted herself up’ with make up and classy, figure -hugging clothes. She was sitting with a customer who had his arms around her. I felt a massive stab of jealousy.
I ordered a drink and tried to ignore her, but could not. The customer was in no hurry to go, and as the evening wore on he bought her more and more drinks. Dang had seen me, sitting along the bar, but made no effort to even acknowledge my existence. and I proceeded to get very drunk, in a hapless, gut wrenching fit of jealousy.
It was closing time, and the guy was still there, and I had this feeling of foreboding that he would take her home with him. I finally managed to talk to Dang when the guy went to take a leak, and asked her if she was going with him. She asked me why I wanted to know. I didn’t answer directly, but told her that I didn’t want her to go with him. She was non committal, and in a fit of utter desperation, I told her that I wanted her to go home with me. She smiled at me and said she would think about it.
The guy came back, and took Dang into a quite corner and spoke to her for what seemed like an age – presumably trying to persuade her to go with him. I feared the worst, and was feeling utterly miserable, when at long last, the guy kissed her goodbye and left the bar by himself.
Dang then disappeared into the staff area, and I waited and waited and waited to find out if she would come with me. I knew I was being stupid, but I couldn’t help myself. I was totally consumed with infatuation and jealousy.
Of course you know what happened. She eventually appeared in her ‘street clothes” and took my arm and led me out of the bar, into my car, and back into my life.
She didn’t move back in that night. In fact it was a while before she came back ‘full time’ as it were, and I had to pay through my teeth. I agreed to pay the rent on the apartment she had leased,(incluidng the forfeited security deposit for breaking the lease), along with a fridge, stereo and other stuff she had bought to fit it out. Then I had to pay a large sum to the Office bar, which she had previously paid over to get her job back. In the event, she continued to work for a few more days, and had me in paroxysms of jealousy every time I went to see her and take her home as she was invariably entwined with customers, plying them for drinks.
She was the living proof that the best looking hostesses can more than survive on drinks and tips and have no need to sleep with customers to get a decent income. At the end of each evening she would a mountain of drink chits, but that paled into insignificance compared to the large sums she picked up in tips. Remember the customers were high rollers, and they all succumbed to Dangs beauty and charms. Tips of more two thousand Baht per customer, were not at all unusual. More than I would usually pay for an “all nighter”.
Jai and Chat were not at all impressed by the return of the prodigal. The look on Chat’s face was one of devastation when he saw Dang come downstairs one morning just after he had arrived at my office. They barely spoke to each other, and it goes without staying Chat immediately canceled his plans to move in with me.
Then a few days later Dang informed me that something was the matter with our maid. She told me that Jai was always so miserable and that she hardly spoke to her. On top of that, her work was getting slip shod.
Dang eventually discovered from overhearing some idle chit chat imparted by Jai to a friend, that Jai had set her hat at me and was convinced I would respond favorably and take her as my live-in lover. Her dreams were shattered when Dang returned, but of course this despair had little to do with love, but everything to do with money and security.
In those early weeks back together, life was pretty good and we both resolved to turn over a new leaf, cut back on our drinking and see if we couldn’t really make a go of our relationship. Things seemed to be going so well, that it wasn’t long before a new date was announced for our wedding, a couple of months hence, in mid March.
But in reality, it was the “calm before the storm”.