I am already six hurricanes deep when Beth lets me into her bathroom stall at the Bourbon Street restaurant where we’ve stopped for after-dinner lemon tart and port wine. She is crying, and I am not. I am rum-laden, as always, and she is not, obviously, and I do not think of how ironic my middle school guidance counselor would find this, that there would someday be someone in the world who would open a bathroom stall for me instead of the other way around.
At Dinner the Lady We Are with Makes a Joke about Mosquito-Borne Illness
In the fall of 2001, while I was living in the south Thailand border town of Ranong, I had a brief love affair with an Australian woman named Eva. I first met her on the swimming-pool veranda of the aging hotel where I was renting a studio for $150 a month. Travelers would occasionally pass through Ranong to renew their Thai travel visas at the Burmese border, and Eva had just returned from a visa run with a British couple I’d met the day before. That night the four of us went out to drink whiskey and sing karaoke at a local nightclub. The following morning, the British couple headed north for Bangkok, and Eva moved her things into my room.