He lit a joint, said: ‘I met her on the beach in Thailand, asked her out.’
‘Was she Thai?’
‘No. English. Reading a book in the sun. I sat down with a Tiger Beer, offered her one and she said no.’
‘What happened then?’
‘The sun was going down and I was getting hungry so I asked her what she was readin….’
‘What was it?’
‘Shantaram or some shite. Anyway, then I says: “D’you want to go for dinner…” And: “Ok.” She goes. “I’ll meet you at 8pm.” Sound, says I, so I ran home to get changed. I was sweaty as fuck after lying around all day…so I ran back to the hut, you know the way they have huts out there instead of houses, and the window was open so I jumped up on to the bed to get to the window but the fan was on too, to keep the place cool, and sure it nearly took my head off.’
‘Yeah, one of them thick wooden fans goin round. Thought I was after getting hit with a baseball bat.’
‘So what did you do?’
‘My head was half split so I had to wrap a towel around it to stop the blood. The only towel I had was white so I was going around with a big white blood stained towel on my head.’
‘And that’s how you went to dinner?’
‘Yeah, your one says – What happened? – and I told her and she just kinda laughed. Things went alright then for a while. She was on the white wine, ordered some kinda scampi shite. I had the steak, and more Tiger beer. She wanted to know what I did, where I was from in Ireland, what were my family like…I told her all but she didn’t seem to like the answers that much. She was some kind micro biologist herself. Taking a year out. There’d been a fella back home in Oxford that didn’t want to travel and didn’t want to settle down so she left for a while. To find herself and broaden her mind and “…meet interesting people…” She said London was a rat race and then she asked me if all Irish people were alcoholics and if I ever intended on getting a real job. I told her I had a business idea – to set up my own hostel back home – and then she looked out the window for a while at the sand and the full moon and you could hear music from one of the party bars down the beach. It was some kinda dance and probably had a pool table surrounded by tourists with buckets of cheap whisky and whores pretending they wanted to talk to you to improve their English….’
‘Did ye end up together?’
‘She brought me home.’
‘Did she fuck?’
‘She fuckin did. Her place had air con. No fan, thank fuck. My head was belting now with a hurricane of a headache but sure I was getting lucky and that was alright….’
‘So what happened…’
‘She got ready for bed. White walls, no wooden hut shit. No spiders or lizards. A double mattress with clean sheets. I went for a piss while she was getting changed. Real jacks, not a hole in the ground, an actual toilet like, with a toilet seat and everything….I took the white towel off my head and checked the cut. It had stopped bleeding but there was a right good hole and I’d probably need stitches. At least I’d get a ride first, you know?’
‘What she look like?’
‘Green eyes. Lovely washed hair. Posh accent. Perfect teeth. Sure I was sorted. I went back out and she was in the bed, glasses on, reading the book.’
‘Yeah, the same fuckin book from the beach. I wasn’t too sure what to make of this so I slipped in beside her and kind dropped the hand to see how she was fixed…next things she says:  “What do you think you’re doin?!” I knew then it was all fucked but I said anyway: “I thought I was in…with you…?”…
“Eh….no….”She goes. “I’m not like that….”
‘What are you like so?’ I asked her.
‘Don’t be so pushy.’ She goes.
‘Fuck this.’ I said. ‘I’ve to go.’ And I left.
‘Where’d you go?’
‘Down to the party pub with the whisky and the whores.’
‘Did you score?’
‘I did, with a Thai burd, but she insisted on protection and sure then I couldn’t perform, so I asked her if I could wank on her tits but she wouldn’t let me, and eventually I fell asleep and she robbed me blind. Woke up with the towel around my head and my wallet and belt and watch gone.’
‘Bitch even took my shoes.’
‘Did you ever set up the hostel in the end?’
‘I’m workin on it. D’you want some of this joint?’
‘No thanks.’
‘What do you do yourself?’
‘I’m a writer.’
‘Did you ever read Shataram?’
‘No. You?’
‘Just a few lines over your one’s shoulder. It’s probably shite. Fuck, I’m fuckin stoned…fuck.’

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