October 11, 2019

Matthew,

When I was ten or eleven years old, I was at a church camp.  I had been picked on all week by this fat kid named Perry Parker, and on our final day I had finally had enough of his crap and I kicked him in the balls.  He doubled over in pain, ultimately falling on the ground while still clutching his family jewels.

A camp counselor saw the aftermath, and ran over to find out what happened.  I explained that Perry had been bothering me, so I kicked him in the nads.  The counselor looked very upset at me, but ordered Perry to get up and forced us to shake hands and drop whatever our disagreement was.  I was OK with the arrangement, truth be told, as I had achieved what I believed was justice.  After all, I got Perry square in the nuts, and I was actually beginning to feel bad.

But the forced truce was not enough.  The counselor ordered us to stand against adjacent trees, and not to move until we were instructed.  Again, I was fine with the arrangement.  This punishment was a mild one, all things considered, and I figured it would all be forgotten very quickly.

However, after a few minutes, Perry began talking trash.  I was a little surprised that he was trying to start up with me again, so I told him to shut his fat mouth.

Oh, right. I forgot to add that Perry was fat.  Anyways…

I told Perry to shut his fat mouth, so he left his tree and came storming over in my direction.  Without thinking, I left my tree and met him halfway so that I could kick him in the balls a second time.  Remember the look on the T-1000’s face when Sarah Conner blew up his torso?  That is exactly the look that was on Perry’s face as he once again doubled over in pain.

I guess the moral of the story is to be careful who you bother.  Maybe the moral is to guard your package.  Honestly, I don’t know.  I don’t even know why I had this random memory.  I just woke up this morning and thought about how I kicked a fat kid named Perry Parker in the cojones twice in the span of five minutes.  Life is weird.

Your Pal,
Pete

October 9, 2019

Matthew,

Now that we have a baby girl on the way, I really need to speed up the process of sanding down my rough edges.  I’m already scared shitless about having a child, but having a girl means that I need to apply an even more delicate touch to the situation.  I know I’m thinking far, far ahead, but who wouldn’t?  It’s not like I was handled with a soft touch at any point past two years old.  What do I even have to go on, other than my fear of completely ruining a young life?

I’m more interested in the toys, to be honest.  I want to build a little princess castle to rival all other castles.  I want to have a house full of diversions that don’t need a plug.  And lots of books, of course.

I’ll have plenty of time to lose sleep over it all, but I hope the fear of not being gentle enough will be sufficient.  Babies are freakin fragile, and it scares the crap out of me.

And speaking of crap, thank the Good Lord we have such an extended family out here.  I might be able to dodge poop duty.  I don’t think my stomach could handle anything like that.

Anyways, what are you up to?  Just kidding.  I don’t care.  You’re doing the same boring shit you were doing in ’99:  pursuing a worthless education and chasing unhappy white women.  Eat a dick, you clown.

Your friend,
Pete

8/27/19

Matthew,

To where marriage changed my perspectives, expecting a child has ultimately calmed me down.

I still wasn’t all that calm after being married.  Sure, I thought about “us” instead of “me,” but I was still incredibly uptight and had a lot of residual angst from that horrible teaching gig that lasted three years but aged me a decade.  Now, I’m finally cooling off about all of that shit.

There’s too much to think about to be worried about my own needs.  I’m here with a house full of toys and a bank account that tells me I’m doing just fine.  There’s far too much to consider that doesn’t have anything to do with me, so I need to simply disregard any minor discomfort I feel and prep myself for the endeavor that will basically last for the rest of my life.

Yesterday was our yearly trip to immigration for my marriage visa, and following that I had some important things to take care of at my bank.  Between traffic, annoying expats, and a teller who I swear my wife was about to slap, I somehow kept my cool through it all.  I had a few choice words for some moments of which I did not approve, but overall I give myself a firm A- for holding my shit together.

Why?  Because my wife doesn’t need the stress.  It’s not like I was any less disgusted with how people carry themselves.  It’s not like I didn’t notice the teller being rude to my wife.  It’s not like I didn’t notice the new middle class treating the waitresses like shit at the restaurant.  It’s just that there are bigger things to think about, and my wife doesn’t need negative words coming into her ears at all hours of the day.

And again, my life is great.  I think about all the people I left behind, and I realize I am doing better than pretty much all of them.  I have my worries and I still have a student loan to pay off, but my life is remarkably free of complications as I wait for whatever comes next.  Never mind the bitching I do about Thailand.  There’s enough right with the situation, otherwise I wouldn’t still be here.  I’ve got my pond, my garden, my cat, and a shitload of books.  Most of all, I have seclusion and silence.  Those last two things have probably expedited both healing and growth.

Besides, it was time for me to cool off.  I’m pushing 40.  I can’t always smoke a joint when the pressure is on.  I need to be able to weather a little more than just the occasional mishap.  I need to be able to get out into a situation that I know will be shitty, just like yesterday, and I need to be able to push through it.  Then, when I push through, I need to finish off the day prepping for the next one instead of plopping down and lamenting how frustrating everything was.

Hopefully I can have more repeat performances of yesterday.  I mean, I’d rather not have to endure that kinda shit all that much, but it’s nice to know my skin has gotten thicker and the amount of thinking I do before I speak has improved.

That’s why I ain’t doing SHIT today, cuz.

And it is a reward well-earned.

For once.

Your darling,
Pete

8/25/19

Mashew,

We’ve got these two kids that we are tutoring.  One is a girl and one is a boy.  They are so shy when we are conducting the lessons, but every other day of the week they ask their parents if they can come over and say hello.  The little girl even rides her bike around our house with her friends so that she can catch my wife coming outside.  It’s very clear it is a source of pride for this little lass to talk to her friends about how she knows us, especially talking about my little garden and my fish pond.

All we need is a couple more students like this, and it will replace my wife’s salary at the university.  She spends half her damn check just to get there anyways, so we would only need four or five regular students.  We’re trying a second time to go independent.  She’s pregnant now, and the demands from the university are getting too ridiculous to keep up.

Too bad these assholes are always cancelling.  We’ve had three other people come in, interview, get a demo lesson, then cancel the day of the first lesson, most of the time mere hours before.  We set aside the time for the interview, we get up early for the first appointment, and they cancel.  It makes me furious every single time.  We were supposed to have two interviews today, and now we only have one.  I have half a mind to go to the guy’s house, because he is right down the street.  I just want to see if that dickhead is sitting on his couch just picking his nose.

I can’t tell you why they do they interview and then agree to lessons.  There’s a real lack of empathy and regard for your fellow man in this country.  It’s enough to make you want to scream.  Hell, I even got up at 5 a.m. for a job interview ninety minutes away, only to find there was nobody there to interview me.  No rescheduling, no apology, just a big, dumb shrugging of the shoulders.

I’m gonna stop complaining, though, and get on with my day.  The CBD is pushing back against my shitty mood.  At least Pii Popang kept her frickin word.  Makes it easier to get over it when Thai people inevitably tell you an untruth.

We’ve got an interview in an hour, then we have to take photos of the house for our yearly marriage visa interview tomorrow.  It’s so funny how they are the ones who don’t trust us.  Only the treacherous fear treachery, Matthew.

What a joy it is living here.

Ponies and Rainbows,
Pete

8/24/19

Matthew,

It is in my humblest of opinion that Pepsi Max is superior to Coke Zero and Coke Light.

Unless you’re mixing Johnnie Walker.

That’s all, cuz.  This constitutes writing a letter.  I can check that box for today.  I’m going to bed now.

Shabbat Shalom,
Pete

August 22

8-22-19

Matthew,

I’m going through more upswing with my weight.  It’s a real pain in the ass at my age to try and get off of a plateau.  You spend weeks starving yourself and following the latest fad, only for that weight to come right back and then some in a matter of days.

But I checked on the stuff I ate this morning… holy frickin balls, man.  I basically had half of my calories and all of my fat for today.  I had no idea the shit I picked up was all so horrible.  I gotta start reading those labels, man.

So it looks like a lot of celery and fruit will be on the menu today.  I’ve got some gross protein shakes I can have as well.

I guess today marks the day that I officially get my shit together.  Again.  For the tenth time.

Of course, if I had a place to walk or ride a bike, none of this would be an issue.  Good thing I live in a country where that literally isn’t possible.  You’d get run over walking on the damn sidewalk out here.

*sigh* So the suck-fest continues.  There will come a breaking point.  I believe today was it.  Those calories shocked the hell out of me.  Food is so dumb.  I wonder if I could actually get away with fasting…

I’ve only been awake for an hour, too.  That’s a long time to not have any more fat or sodium  Son of a bitch.

byeee for now, pjm

August 21, 2019

Matthew,

I’ve become a rather patient person living in Thailand for six years.  People never speak directly here.  They don’t even have “no” in their language; they say “mai chai,” which literally translates to “not yes.”  This vehemently non-confrontational mentality spills out into everything you do.

More than once, my wife and I have gotten up early to prepare for a tutoring client, only to have them cancel… and by cancel, I mean we have to call them to ask where they are.  It’s always the same, too:  “Oh, I lost your number.”  Three different clients have told us that.

We’ve had gardeners and housekeepers pull the same crap.  We get up at the crack of dawn to get ready for a person who says they will be here at 8 a.m.

And it’s always the same:  “Sorry.  I couldn’t find your number.”

So when one of my supposed American friends ends up not doing what they say they are going to do, suffice it to say that it pisses me off immensely.  With Thai people, I just have to suck it up.  Confrontation or any form of upbraiding is pointless.  If anything, I’d just mess things up for my wife, as they would inevitably spread the word that she is married to a violent and unreasonable foreigner.  I still haven’t lived down an incident at a 7-11 where I told a girl not to put sugar in my latte eighteen months ago.  My wife and I got so sick of the dirty looks that we decided it was just better not to go to the incredibly convenient but now off-limits store.

So again, when I’ve got my own people pulling the same flaky bullshit, you have to understand that it makes me want to Darth Vader force choke somebody.  Just do what you say you’re going to do, or, at the very least, be a grown-up and tell me before too much time goes by that you can’t fulfill the promise you made.

People have no idea the eggshells I walk on in this country.  They mistake this new way I conduct myself, namely my silence and lack of confrontation, as either weakness or an invitation to walk all over me.  I let the Thai do it in the interest of peace.  Yes, they piss me off, and, yes, they take it too far at times, but my wife and I can simply move our business or direct our attentions elsewhere.  For everyone else, they simply need to understand that I will not tolerate empty promises or a lackadaisical attitude towards an agreement made between two adults.

Some people need to grow up.  Do not mistake my patience for weakness.  Sure, I’m an outdoor cat who has been taken indoors, but the claws are still there.

And I still know how to use them

This will be the last I say on the matter.  My pot should be getting here in the evening, and I think I’ll just lay low until then.

Happy Easter,
Pete

August 20, 2019

8-20-19

Matthew,

Arguing with an adult is way worse than arguing with a kid.  With a kid, you can expect a few altered details or skewed perspectives.  It comes with the territory.  Kids are bad at lying, so they’ll try to throw up a smokescreen of confusing language that often befuddles them more than their intended target.

With adults, we call that gaslighting.

Some people will do whatever it takes to either not be wrong, or not be wrong on their own.  Some people will put you at the scene of the crime, even when they know it isn’t true.  Some people will blame you for their actions, and then blame you again for the outcome.  Some people will twist your words and swear you meant something else.

That’s because some people are no better than kids.

I don’t really know how I have wound up with so many dickheads in my circle.  I keep thinking that I have weeded the worst of them out, then another one shows their ass and forces me to question my own judgment.  It gets old.

What also gets old is losing money.  Several times now I have asked people to send things over, spending a pretty penny and incentivizing them well, only for them to flake out and blow the entire deal.

It’s funny, though.  No matter how many times they dick me over, my bank account still refills itself.  Maybe that’s why they do what they do.  Maybe they think the playing field is uneven, and they are perfectly justified to change their minds if I voice dissatisfaction in how they are treating me.

Who knows why people do the things they do?  All I know is that my circle continues to shrink.  Pretty soon it’s just going to be you and the Reverend Pearson.  You guys are still assholes, but at least you don’t steal.  Three is a magic number, my dude.

Oh, well.  It’s 8:30 at night, and I need to move on to something else.

Pete