Clearing the Air
These are my private thoughts to my new travel companion, on her fifth night in Bangkok. These words are mine, and feel they're mine to do with what I wish—including the choice to record them in this travelogue (particularly as they directly relate my current mindset, and future travel plans).
I feel the need to write this out—as I do many of my more complicated thoughts these days.
While in the U.S., I invited you to come travel with me—something I rarely offer to someone—because I believed we shared a mutual attraction, and the thought of sharing the oddities and beaches of SE Asia with you sounded pleasing. Traveling with someone—especially a lover—isn't normal for me, and the idea of spending time with a companion and partner (such as yourself) was alluring.
Truth be told, this is how I rationalized my route with you. I selected the top locations that I've experienced in SE Asia—expecting to spend money that could've easily taken me into Laos and Cambodia for two months—with the notion that I may not be seeing new places, but I'd be in scenic, romantic destinations with a companion (while watching you see things, familiar to me, with fresh eyes). You, in turn, would be traveling with someone savvy and salty enough to take care of you, expose you to interesting things, properly balance your lifestyle between comfort and budget, and, above all, feel comfortable with and trust.
It seems clear that your trust in me to "be there when I get back" (not run off on you) is lacking, and hurts me to know that this is a large deficiency on my part—but not in whole. I believe this insecurity stems from you picking up on my dissatisfaction with the physical aspects of our time together thus far.
I feel like I've been patient over the past few days, but I'm an "in the moment" kind of guy, and procrastinating on pleasure brings with it feelings of displeasure. Time is fleeting, and not to embrace what little we have now is, in my eyes, a waste.
Truth be told, I didn't invite you to come out here to travel with me platonically—I can do that with anyone—and I'm feeling rejected, and a bit deceived, because I thought I'd been clear on that long before you bought the ticket for your flights.
Yes, it's your prerogative to change your mind—I would never argue against such things—but shouldn't it also be mine to choose whether or not I wake up next to a woman who doesn't yearn for me to be close to her?
I have a sense of loyalty to staying with you because of your situation, but I also am in the business of looking out for myself, and my mental and emotional health. I have no doubt that you'd be fine if we parted ways—this went into my thought process before asking you—but doesn't mean I wouldn't feel uncomfortable doing it.
Perhaps the solution is to change the proposed route to be traveled. If we take the physical aspects out of our time together, then I need to be in new environments to substitute that simulation.
As you know, I need to cross a border by the 20th, when the Thai validity stamp in my passport expires, and perhaps that border should be to the north, instead of to the south (and into Malaysia).
There is still time to decided all this, on the island of Ko Pha Ngan.
Just my thoughts, and the desire to clear the air.
I wrote the above out longhand and left it in the room for her to read, and got back to the hotel from an Internet café session late enough to let her sleep on it (which it seems she did little of last night).
Over a banana-mango shake, a few hours before our evening bus south, we talked about what I'd written. …Well, she talked, I didn't have much left to say.
Lindsey said she felt like an idiot, because she'd come here because she claims to have come under different motives… meaning, not me. I don't see how this could have been misunderstood—or perhaps it wasn't, and she's just backpedaling.
I doubt I'll be going back to Malaysia after all.
More Sex is Safer Sex
I'm suddenly reminded of a NY Times article I had the pleasure of reading recently. It was excerpt from 'More Sex Is Safer Sex: The Unconventional Wisdom of Economics' by Steven E. Landsburg.
In the chapter published on the NY Times Web site (username/password), Landsburg does an excellent job articulating how life would be better (and the AIDS infection rate possibly lower) if more people were simply a little less sexually prude.
Poppycock, you say? No, not exactly. The economics behind the statement are spot on, and the chapter available for viewing is written to the easily relatable subject of sex so well that I read it several times over. Having taken heaps of econ courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels, I find this type of writing very entertaining—I think it should be turned into a university course.
The short and simple of "the sin of self-restraint:"
Chastity is a form of pollution—chastity pollutes the sexual environment by reducing the fraction of relatively safe partners in the dating pool. When sexual conservatives increase their activity by moderate amounts, they do the rest of us a lot of good. Harvard professor Michael Kremer estimates that the spread of AIDS in England could plausibly be retarded if everyone with fewer than about 2.25 partners per year were to take additional partners more frequently. That would apply to three-fourths of all British heterosexuals between the ages of 18 and 45.
…Food for thought.