Sunday, September 25, 2016

Standpipe Siamese

Standpipe Siamese.  I have no idea what that means.  I would like to go to Siam, which is what Ronald Reagan called Thailand during his sterling performance in the presidential debate that helped win him the office.  He already had Alzheimer's.  It didn't matter.

Siam it is.

There are Siamese cats and Siamese twins which have nothing to do with one another as far as I can tell.

Old Bangkok.  I didn't make it.  I probably never will.

People under thirty don't own cars or homes, I read.  They change jobs ever three years, so a forty year mortgage makes no sense.  They are committed to renting and travel.  Travel brings more happiness than things, or so a study offered.  I am the sort who likes to buy things when he travels.  Those objects litter my house.  I have many poison darts and arrows that go with bows and blowguns. I am well armed.  I have woven jungle baskets and clay pots and a whale's tooth.

Steven Wright said you can't have everything.  Where would you put it?

The kids are right, though.  The expense of my house has hamstrung me, as has my car.

I found a picture of myself yesterday--at the helm of my sailboat--in an old lap desk that I hadn't opened for many years, I guess.  I was twenty-seven.  I didn't own a house.  I was driving the VW bus I inherited when my father died.  I traveled somewhere whenever I wasn't working.  I looked peaceful and happy.

There is madness in wanting to visit the old, gone world.  It doesn't exist and maybe it never did.  The more I get, the less I have, it seems.



  1. I went once, as all my fellow countrymen do. Took a wee tour of the south east asian countries. I suppose the mango's good, and the bustling in the streets of Bangkok. And the domestic beer is nice in the heat, I guess, and the beaches...well they're lined with palm trees, which is exotic enough for me.

    I wasn't as good with my Leica as I am now, I think about that sometimes. I would have made different - and probably better - photographs of it all. But I try not to cry over spilt milk.

    The train ride between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, though, was awful. I had caught parasites from fish balls and noodles in Malaysia and hell broke out just as the train took off. I was all pale and I remember seeing the ground run by through the hole in the floor which served as a toilet. It was my birthday, too. Just my luck.