Tough Guy

Keep almost getting killed in Vietnam. Frantic braking as guys on motorcycles with no helmets race me to gaps. These punks with their loud farting engines. I always puss out, let them swerve ahead. I also always consider throwing a stiff arm, catching them behind the ear. Watch the fall, the concrete flaying their fucking skin off. A pleasant daydream. I think it would be easier to love myself if my balls were bigger.

Then there’s the cars. Cars mean royalty. Vietnam doesn’t make any; you have one, that means you ordered it from overseas, paid Communist import duties on the fucker. Even a shit car speaks of wealth. The roads are OK, manageable, until some cunt in a 2008 Hyundai Elantra rides through and plugs up your lane like a cork, blows up the rhythm. Rich people are bad, basically.

Roads are cratered like landmines went off. But they’re your only option if you want to get anywhere. No public transport. I mean, there is, but fuck you if I’m gonna get on a Vietnamese city bus. Lonely Planet guarantees you will get mugged on one. They’re hot rolling prisons. I’d rather be the master of my own destiny and be able to sneak through reds.

Only a matter of time till I get pulled over. They set the city speed limit so low that everyone is speeding, all the time, and is a fair target. Traffic cops glare on the corners, miserable in the heat, trying to make a few good scams. They step in your lane and put a baton in your chest. My friend says they take your keys and if you don’t have cash for the bribe they put your bike up on a truck. Damn Nazis; well, wait until they try that shit with me. I taped a spare key inside my helmet. When they turn away I’m gonna rev up and jam on out of there, is what I tell myself. No traffic cameras, I can escape through an alley, is what I fantasize.

Riding is stressful but a soothing process. Just stay sharp and Point B is an assured outcome. Meanwhile in your head it’s just wheels spinning. Doom loops and dilemmas on repeat. Good thing I’m not able to solve any of them, because goddamn does the moody stuff sit pretty well on the page.

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8 thoughts on “Tough Guy

  1. Wow. From the way you describe Vietnam, it’s like it hasn’t evolve since the 70’s. My dad spent four years there and he has no plans of getting back.

  2. Maybe the best line you’ve ever written – “I think it would be easier to love myself if my balls were bigger.” Sounds like Vietnam is a blast… I won’t be visiting.

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