This story goes back to the days when I first came to live in Thailand, some eleven years ago now. I lived in a large three bedroom condo in Silom paid for by the company. I was not married at the time.
Origami – the Japanese art of folding paper.
She spent a minute or so fiddling with a discarded Marlboro packet then set on the bar a little paper figure of two frogs….‘going at it’. The one on top would move up and down if you pressed gently on the head of the one underneath. Two frogs shagging. Sounds like the name of a Red Indian orphan.
But no, this was Dim’s party trick. When she was looking for a punter she would sit next to her intended client and fiddle about with a bit of paper then set the result down on the bar. It wasn’t always the shagging frogs. Dim had talent. Sometimes it was a little rabbit or a pig or a coiled snake that would rear its head, if you pressed its tale. Well, I think it was a snake.
I was sitting in a Country & Western Bar in Bangkok. I’m not a redneck, I’m not even American but I must admit I find some of those corny, cowboy tunes so excruciatingly bad, as to be actually quite entertaining. “All my exes live in Texis” and one of my all time favourites “Billy’s Got His Beer Goggles On”.
Anyway, there I was sitting there drinking my bottle of Carlsberg when this lady sitting next to me pushed a little paper figure of two frogs shagging onto the bar in front of me. Her ice-breaker worked like it always did and that was how I met Dim.
Dim was a bit younger than most of the girls I usually got involved with. She was quite legal of course, about twenty three at the time. This in itself was a bit of a novelty for me. She told me on that first evening that she didn’t like younger men so much because they weren’t polite, and wanted sex all the time. She also confided in me that older men were usually freer with their money.
I hoped she didn’t mean me.
This would explain why she was hanging about in a Country & Western bar and not shaking her stuff in Lucifer’s Disco (or whatever the equivalent was called back then) with all the other young things.
I felt the need to analyse the effect this information was having on my ego. On the one hand, I felt like telling her to sling her hook and go pick on someone her own age. But on the other hand, she was a sexy little thing and now that we had been introduced, ‘Little Billy’ was starting to pay attention.
Despite her tender years, Dim knew she had what men want and she was making the most of it. She wanted three thousand baht for an all nighter. She knew I wouldn’t say no but I did think this was a bit steep. Her earlier remark about older guys being easier to part from their money came to mind as I agreed to the outrage.
We left the bar together and thus began a relationship with the girl I will always remember as ‘Dim, by name’ mainly because she was anything but dim, by nature.
The following morning I woke up relieved to find myself in my own bed. I stretched out to find I was alone. It was Sunday so there was no work. The bedroom door was slightly ajar and there was the low sound of music coming from the TV in the living room. There was also the sound of a female voice singing softly.
Just then, as I lay there in that waking moment, through the crack in the doorway I saw Dim move across the living room. She was singing along with MTV and sweeping my living room floor!! Moreover, she was wearing a pair of white lacy knickers, nothing else. I closed my eyes convinced that I was either dead or dreaming. Then I smelt coffee. Do they have coffee in Heaven?
I got up, pulled on a pair of boxers and headed out to the living room.
On seeing me, Dim dropped the broom, skipped over to me and practically jumped into my arms. I was completely bewildered.
She planted a big wet kiss on my unshaven mug and squealed, “Coffee? I make coffee for you.”
Then she unwrapped herself from me and disappeared into the kitchen returning a moment later with a cup of coffee which she offered me with a little bow, still girded only in her knickers.
“I take shower now” she announced and scampered off to the bathroom.
I sat down at the dining table with my coffee. This was not normal behaviour for a Bangkok tart. Usually they grab the money and scarper as quick as you like. Dim seemed in no hurry to leave and I didn’t quite know what to make of it.
Some time later that day, Dim and I were in The Hard Rock Café having a late lunch. I knew she was a hooker and I also knew that I was not going to get into one of those farang-bargirl relationships. I would pay her for her time and services and she could leave anytime she liked. She sure was a looker though.
By Wednesday, Dim had her own key to my apartment and I had trouble finding my shaving foam and ‘Blue Stratos’ amongst the jars of whitening cream and Pantene conditioner on the bathroom shelf. Dim seemed to have moved in. We needed to talk.
Me : “Look Dim, I don’t want and I can’t afford, to give you three thousand baht a day to live with me”.
Dim: “OK. You give me two thousand a day. OK?”.
Me: “No, no. Not OK, you are a hooker. I don’t want a girlfriend who is a hooker.”
Dim : “OK. I not be your girlfriend. I carry on work like before but I stay here. You have big apartment.”
Anyway, you get the picture. Dim arranged for herself to stay at my apartment. She would sleep in the second bedroom. In the event this turned out to be mostly during the day. She worked nights, after all. She would pay no rent but she would clean the place and take care of my laundry. She would also climb into my bed on the occasional night that she didn’t pull a customer, gratis.
I only laid out a few simple house rules. No men, no drugs and girlfriends were allowed to visit only during the day.
This seemed to be quite a satisfactory arrangement for both of us and it continued for several months. We got used to each other’s company and on weekends we would do things together such as go swimming or shopping and especially eating. She was a bright, fun and sexy little thing to have around.
Gradually however, Dim started to abuse some of the house rules which eventually led to me terminating our arrangement.
I worked a five day week. I would leave the apartment at about seven thirty in the morning and return at about seven in the evening, Monday to Friday. This meant Dim had the run of the place during the week.
One day, I returned to the apartment in the afternoon to pick up a few things. I found Dim and a bunch of her girl friends sitting on the living room floor playing cards for what looked like a serious amount of money. I didn’t know if this was a regular thing or not and strictly speaking she hadn’t broken the house rules but I just didn’t approve.
Then, more and more when I got home after work there would be strange women wandering around the apartment. Sometimes they would be getting ready to go out, putting on their make-up and such. And sometimes they would just be lounging around watching the TV. I began to feel like an intruder in my own apartment so I pulled the plug on our little arrangement and told Dim that it was time for her to find somewhere else to live.
Making that decision and telling Dim was the easy part. Actually getting rid of her proved to be much more difficult. After all, she now had become used to living in a three bedroom condo with a swimming pool and I’m sure the thought of going back to sharing a single room with two other girls and a solitary fan for company was not that appealing.
She gave me back my keys but a few days after she had supposedly moved out I returned from work to find her in the lounge watching TV. She tried to bribe me with food and sex in a blatant attempt to get me to let her stay. I accepted the freebies but remained steadfast. She gave me my keys back on three or four different occasions. God knows how many copies she had had made.
Then, after she had apparently moved out for good she would phone me at three o’clock in the morning wanting to come round. Sometimes she would cry and tell me she loved me or that she didn’t have any money or that she had had a fight with her friends and had nowhere to sleep. On one occasion she claimed that one of her customers had beaten her up and stolen her money. Another time she claimed a taxi driver had tried to rape her. It seemed relentless but being the pragmatist that I am I refused to be manipulated and gradually the phone calls fizzled out until they eventually stopped completely.
I never saw her again. Sometimes I wonder what ever became of the girl I remember as, Dim by name.