On the afternoon of December 31, 2007 heavy lorries, pick-up trucks and 125cc motorcycles with sidecars exited from the distributor at the end of my soi with thousands of beers every minute. Thousands of Thai and farang tourists were flocking into the city for the year's final drunk in the beach resort's countless bars, go-gos, hotels, and brothels from Jomtien to Naklua.
"What are you doing tonight?" Sam Royalle asked on my porch in the shade of a Norfolk pine. He had been out the previous night with our friends and couldn't remember coming home. His skin exuded a sheen of excess alcohol.
"Nothing." I had avoided the debauch and fallen asleep before the TV during a Star Trek ENTERPRISE marathon. The mozzies had partied with my feet during my unconscious state and I was scrubbing the red splotches with salt.
"Sounds good to me." I had worked in nightclubs through the 70s, 80s, and 90s. My fellow workers referred to 12/31 as 'amateur's night' and the same stupid behavior of fights, accidents, and stupid conversations held as true for Pattaya as it did in New York, London, Paris, or LA. "I'm giving it a miss. My wife is going out with her friends though, so I get to care back of my daughter. We're going to watch the fireworks from my garden."
"Have a party." Sam was a family man and understood kids came first. He drove off my his scooter in the direction of home.
My wife left the house at 8:30 without any good-byes. Angie didn't care. She and I had KFC and played rodeo on the bed. We had a glass of Pepsi and watched some more Star Trek. It put both of us to sleep before 10. I was dead sober.
I heard the fireworks and tried to open my eyes.
Not a chance.
What has happened to my wickedness?
They tend to rescue a bad man's soul.
Better them than the devil.