There are three types of women who make me feel vulnerable, which is either an unfortunate blessing or a lucky curse, because we are made for each other. Cutting my hair makes my hair stick to the ends so it won’t be easier for the hairdresser. My muscles get so tense during a massage that the knots have never seemed more visible to the masseuse. And well, ladyboys, I have what they have, so they may be the only women on this planet that I have the ability to understand. And the fact that he used the word women is very disturbing.
If there’s anything I learn about relationships where else, save the few gigabytes of educational video downloads, of course. Relationships have to do with vulnerability. It’s about taking down your invisible shield of invincibility, being unprotected, and allowing the other party to enter your comfort zone. It’s like being naked in front of someone for the first time – the discomfort, the insecurities, and the dangling family jewelry. I’m not encouraging you to get naked in front of your friends and be vulnerable and all that. However, if you have a strong need to go head-to-head with someone, I will always be that good friend you need.
I’ve always felt vulnerable sitting in that lounge chair, mentally suffocating from how tight the fabric is around my neck. Going for a haircut makes me nervous. It changed when I met P ‘Ying. She was a Thai hairdresser in her 30s who worked in a catering complex for the local Thai community in Singapore. Her brown hair was tied back, and her more than adequate facial base gleamed in the strong lighting of the salon.
He wanted to feel young, and probably look good too. But I wish I could tell her that it was all unnecessary, because she aged well and beautifully. I was never able to properly communicate with her, or at least tell her to stop cutting my hair more. I kept coming back to her anyway. I felt comfortable being vulnerable sitting in his chair. It just felt good.
Lying still while a stranger kneads my body has always been uncomfortable. Cat changed that. She is not a cat like animal, although I think having a real cat paw on my bare skin can be a delightful feeling. I walked into this clean massage place (trust me) in Bangkok and what followed was an amazing first meeting story. She was 21 years old, very attractive, and had a championship-winning smile. For obvious reasons, like an uncontrollable natural reaction of the male body, for example, I kept my eyes closed throughout the session.
We had a conversation in Thai and of course I know how I sound in Thai. The masseuse next door was rubbing her client who was a senior Thai lady and they were curious about this funny sounding Thai speaking man (I said he was from Chiang Mai). So the four of us proceeded to break some ice with a mysterious pink curtain between us. I was pleasantly surprised, no, totally taken aback, when the masseuse next door took the liberty of suddenly lifting the curtain to see if I was a true Thai. Cat laughed at the tricky moment while I was still in the recovery state. Oh, she had a championship-winning laugh too.
They have always fascinated me. They are a living paradox and even have a lovely rhyme. Girls with dicks? As much as it fascinated me, it intimidated me or it could have just been homophobia. They are usually taller and somehow wield broader shoulders and a deeper voice as well. If these are the side effects of female hormone tablets, I think I can get a prescription for myself. I met Aey by coincidence many years ago. Getting relatively drunk in a Thai nightclub frequented by ladyboys is a coincidence.
It was another coincidence when I ran into him with my ex-girlfriend, who by the way refused to talk to me for a day, because she was alarmed that I was chatting with a random transvestite on the street. I was proud that all the stigma didn’t affect me and I could talk to him like he was one of us. I was definitely a lot prouder when my good friends were persuaded to photograph with Aey in compromising positions for future blackmail. This is the beauty of vulnerability.