There’s no better way to make sense of the chaos surrounding my life than to pack my bags and move, temporarily, to a country in the Eastern Hemisphere. I graduated from a prestigious university last May, and my mom and dad promised me a place to stay while I braved the job hunt. However, after a few months, they started to question my motivation. I want to be a writer, but few people will pay you to write, especially the people responsible for your birth.
Without notice, my parents put my childhood house up for sale the other day. They’re moving to Florida, and they didn’t invite me.
“You’re not coming under any circumstances,” they said, and when I tried to argue—I was an English major, and I know every sentence is ripe for interpretation—they wouldn’t hear any of it.
That’s OK, though. I’d never be able to find myself in Naples anyway, surrounded by people who aren’t interested in transformative experiences. They’d only be into golf, or walking around in a hundred-percent humidity wearing sweaters. So, that’s why I’ve decided to travel to some country in the East to write a memoir about traveling to some country in the East.
After doing minimal research, I think I’m going to Bangkok. The city, for one, permits many puns I can use for a title. I don’t know much about Thailand, but most importantly, from what I can gather, I have the highest chance of witnessing a revolution. I hope this future coup, which apparently occurs every five years or so, will allow me to see and write about my parents’ abandonment in a different light. I have no chance of figuring out things here, especially considering I won’t have anywhere to stay. And besides, I can’t sit idly in the state of my birth. Just like Hemingway needed Paris and Spain and Italy, and Orwell needed Catalonia and India and some other place to make this clause have the same rhythm as the last one, I need my inspirational haven abroad.
I have some solid savings (commencement cash and the active neglecting of my loan repayments), but I’ll need a steady stream of funds, of course. To make money, I’m planning on teaching English, or coaching recreational soccer, or something. But that’s not important because apartments are cheap, and that part, kicking around a ball, or helping Thai children have a better command of the English language, even though I don’t speak a word of Thai, will probably only be a chapter in my book. Those things will provide some nice blog-potential details, too. They’ll show the texture of my everyday life.
But what people will really want to read is how the army’s government takeover, which is asserted, by the army, not to be a government takeover, relates to the current perils of my middle-class upbringing in suburban New Jersey. Also, I’ll include several poetic ruminations on elephants. Hemingway and Orwell can credit almost all of their fame to elephants.
I already have some great ideas about how I’ll bring these two worlds together, the East Coast and some southern Asian territory of which I’ve never been. I will bridge the gaps between gaps that many probably believe are unbridgeable. I’ve been reading a lot about the country I’ve chosen to call home for an indeterminate amount of time (until there’s an uprising), and it doesn’t seem that hard.
Take, simply, the number of military interventions since the Siamese revolution of 1932. There have been eleven in eighty-ish years, which is about the average life expectancy for a human in the United States. I can make the analogy that I can expect to have eleven coup-like events in my own life—like my mother and father ditching me for a mundane existence in a sweaty retirement facility—and that, each time, I must figure out a way to make peace without causing bloodshed. Not actual bloodshed but figurative bloodshed, like not getting depressed, or resorting to drugs, or going to the “Renaissance,” an establishment for those fifty years of age or older, located at 352 San Sebastian Drive in Naples, Florida, 34101, and murdering a couple who left their poor son to fend for himself.
This is ignoring, too, all the complications I might confront as an American in a tumultuous land where I don’t understand the language. I might be arrested, or held at gunpoint. Those would be excellent events for metaphorical use, say, on the entrapment I feel everyday in my own skin. Or maybe I’ll even sleep with a hooker in order to investigate the underground world of Thai prostitution, only to discover that the things of which I’m really searching are all the former loves I squandered.
Either all that, or I’ll go to Germany. I heard Berlin’s pretty dope.