Last evening Stan Waits and Ralf Tupay were drinking at the local German beer hall on Fulton Street. The Cuban waitress had long black hair and her divine back was revealed through the horizontal tears in her shirt. We clinked glasses and Ralf said, "I'll never have a girl like that again."
"Maybe not in this city." Younger women mated with their own kind in New York. Men my age were doomed to sleep with old turtles, but this was a big world and I said, "You could have two women like her in Thailand and a different one every evening."
"That's prostitution." Ralf was one of those men who thought that they had never paid for sex. Earlier the 54 year-old had confessed that he had never done drugs. Ralf was a pure soul.
"I like to think of it as young people having fun with older people." I was quoting a top police officer from Bangkok.
"How much would it cost?" Ralf asked with interest.
"$1400 for the flight and then $2000 for a memorable week of wickedness." Worth every baht too.
"You owe it to yourself." Stan Waits had been to Thailand in the 80s. Back then wicked was really wicked, now wicked was only wicked to those who had never been wicked in the past.
"You said you wanted to do drugs and the best thing is to go on a crystal meth binge to two ladyboys. Of course you'll need Cialis to wake up your cock, because meth like coke tends to give you softies."
"I couldn't do that." Ralf was horrified by my suggestion.
"It wouldn't be you doing it. It would be your wicked twin." I sold the idea like a travel agent to Hell.
"And is crystal meth good?"
"No, it's pure evil, but it's the ritual that makes it so interesting." I stayed away from most drugs these days. The chemists constructed them from toxic waste. "This afternoon I read about a white racist who teamed up with a black gang-banger in St. Louis. East St. Louis is almost as evil as North Phillie. some wit called them Ebony and Ivory after that stupid Michael Jackson / Paul McCartney hit from the 70s.
"Nazis meth dealers united with crackheads. Only in St. Louis." Stan had been to the Gateway to the West earlier this year to meet with a window maker. He had stayed in the hotel at night. I couldn't blame him. St. Louis was a ghost town filled with drug zombies.
"They sent out their associates to buy Sudafed in bulk."
"Sudafed?" Ralf knew nothing.
"Over the counter decongestants are the main source for meth in America. Salt and Peppa had about 150 buyers traveling all over Illinois and Missouri buying up cough medicine. 20 to thirty boxes at a time according to the Press. The governor tried to pass a prescription-only status for pseudoephedrine. The drug companies paid their supporters in the state senate to quash the bill."
"So you want me to go to Thailand to do what I could do in St. Louis." Ralf was thinking cheap and heaven on earth didn't come cheap.
"There are no ladyboys in St. Louis. Just Ebony and Ivory and they ain't too good-looking."
The Cuban waitress asked if we wanted another round.
It was my round.
She was no ladyboy, but I didn't hold that against her.
She was merely doing her job.Just like two ladyboys in Bangkok.