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Bangkok Claymation Girl

I am staying in a Bangkok hotel with Tamara and some other women. We are on the 26th floor..

I talk with Tamara about a friend of hers. She shows me some emails from the friend.

I say, “It may be a good friendship that’s really close or it may be a friendship that lacks boundaries.”

Tamara leads a writing workshop with two other people. One of them is a man with big, funky, tortoise shell, round-frame glasses.

I get the impression he is from New York. He is kind of pudgy and short. He wears tan corduroy pants, a thin white t-shirt spattered with words and a face in black in white, and a jacket. He is self-possessed. I try to get him to notice me because I think he is cool.

“You look striking,” I say.

He doesn’t respond.

I am jet lagged because I just flew in from Tokyo and now we seem to be in the United States. We are Tamara’s workshop out on the grounds of the hotel. I keep misunderstanding Tamara’s directions.

There is a young Caucasian girl/woman with short reddish hair. There are a couple of African American men and women. There is an overweight Japanese woman wearing bright red orange leggings. The distinctions seem important at the time.

The rest of the workshop except for Tamara, me and a few other women are staying in “cabins” on the grounds. They are like cabins at a kid’s camp. They sleep four to a room.

I decide to sleep in one and wake up with someone on top of me. It is a woman. She stays there for a while squirming around and making noises. I don’t do anything.
She sighs heavily after about 30 minutes and says, “I’m giving up.”

“Why?”

“You’re not responding, you’re not doing anything. I’m leaving.”

I say, “No, come on, get back in bed.”

The other two people, an African Americans man and woman trying to sleep in the other bed say, “Oh come on.” Then they get up and leave.

We are talking and touching each other’s breasts. All of the sudden, she is gone. I am alone but she has left a book of her writing and drawings. I leaf through the pages of what seems to be Japanese manga in my mind but it looks more like a traditional comic book from the old American comic book days but the drawings are like illustrations in old Japanese books from the Edo period and Ukiyo-e woodcuts. There are women wearing kimono with their black hair swept up above there heads. All the writing is kanji, no hiragana or katakana.

She has been writing about me since the beginning of the workshop. She seems obsessed. I look back through her writing. It is like the writing I used to do back in my teens and 20’s.

All of the sudden I am trying to refit the sink in the room with a kitchen sink and I cannot make the cabinetry work. I am trying to put in some kitchen appliances but I get frustrated and give up.

The auburn-haired woman comes back. She has ten wigs and I try some on. I say, “I am staying in the hotel.”

She says lets go there and talk. We do.

Her hair is getting shorter and almost disappears. She makes facial expressions as I talk to her sometimes when she raises her eyebrows her hair disappears into her head.

I tell her, “First of all I live in Tokyo and you can’t afford a long distance relationship with me in Tokyo. You’re broke.”

She raises her eyebrows her face is like clay. It shifts and clumps - the hair shrinks entirely back into her head.

“Second, I’m 50 years old.”

More eyebrow raises and face shifting. She says, “Why don’t you pay more attention to your looks, you look really good but you don’t do anything about it, why don’t you pay more attention to your clothes.”

I think, "I’m not trying to attract anybody." I say, “Third, I have three daughters the oldest one is older than you.”

Her face moves and bunches in claymation waves all over her cheekbones and chin.

I equivocate for a moment before telling her the fourth reason but I open my mouth and speak anyway, “Fourth, I’m married. I just took my ring off because I was doing some heavy work.”

She says, “You’re right we can’t do this. But I don’t know why you don’t pay more attention to your looks and your writing and your talents. You really need to.”

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