Drugs and parenting don’t mix.

How my work colleague nearly tonight died of a drug overdose. And it’s only Monday.

A lesson in why it’s bad to have a coke seizure in a dive bar.

(Source: Not telling)

So I just watched a work colleague nearly seize out and die at this dive bar that we hang out at. I now have a healthy reconnection with the meaning of the value of life. I’m so angry with this guy. Yet. I don’t know. Maybe I shouldn’t even be angry. Ugh. The only reason I’m writing anything here at all is that I’m currently such a mixed hobo’s bindle of emotions.

I should start out by telling you here and now I’m not someone who swears lightly. I’m more the sort of person you’d be proud to introduce to your mother. I hate using the F word, it’s coarse and avoidable in most situations. I try to be nice, am respectful to other people, polite; overall I’d describe myself as well mannered. I’m English, after all. We have a reputation to uphold.

But this motherfucker nearly died right there on that sticky godforsaken floor. Fuck.

My colleague has a child. What I saw last night really shook me to my core. His son is barely a year old. And there I am, sat there on a dirty, sticky stool watching him walk along the cliff face. The cliff face between normal life, permanent neurological damage and possibly even death.

This teacher bro was homeless less than an hour ago, I guarantee it. (Source: I googled it like two seconds ago)

As an English speaker in Thailand, it’s incredibly easy it is to achieve and maintain employment. Any flip flop wearing kid in a pair elephant pants with braids in his hair can become a language teacher in Thailand. As long as they meet three conditions: speak English, have a bachelors in any subject and are younger than a million years old. Ideally you’d be required to finish your beer before starting class, as is the cultural norm in Thailand. Although this isn’t always strictly enforced, so don’t worry too much.

He just started shaking whilst standing around a bunch of hippys. Or is it hippies? Does it matter? They’re good people. I’m good people. I hang out there on occasion because, well, mainly boredom.

Thankfully I don’t live in the centre of Bangkok (constant traffic) so this bar is local and great to go to after a hard day of work to blow off some steam.

(Source: Still not telling)

It’s a crazy hostel with a party pretty much every night of the week. Holi festival party night, drum circle party night, BDSM night (the photos here are from that night, obviously), Mexican wrestler punk rock night, you name it.

But the bar doesn’t fit with everyone and occasionally the good patrons of this bar and the bar itself doesn’t always get a good rap.

Casual Cat Thursday’s is always popular with the crowds. (Source: Still not…you get the point)

The Review:

Take this review for example, which in my humble opinion, whilst clearly over the top, does paint a somewhat honest, if not brutal picture. Especially when talking about the room description:

My 1 night at the n̸o̸t̸ ̸t̸e̸l̸l̸i̸n̸g̸ will stay with me forever, in all the wrong ways. Cockroaches EVERYWHERE. If you’re lucky they’ll be the ones that someone has stepped on and are stuck down to the floor. I love animals but the cats smell bad and are covered in fleas. The toilets — simply filthy. The rooms — the ideal setting if you were making a movie and were scouting for a location to shoot a murder scene. The staff: Absolutely less than useless, and I mean this in an unsafe way.
The hostel is in the weirdest outskirts of Bangkok. We went out one evening, got a taxi back home and no taxi cab drivers had even heard of the place. One guy, (who spoke hardly any English) said he knew where it was and proceded to drive around for 3 hours in the middle of the night!!!! I phone the hostel asking for help and their repoly was ‘heyyy man, yeah like, nobody here knows where we are, sorry.’ I honestly think the positive reviews here must be a joke?!

I was going to post a screenshot of the review but after discussing it with a close friend decided not to. The fear of it leading back to the hostel in question is possible. And I don’t want the guy who shook it off harder than Taylor Swift doing a dance routine to see this and feel bad.

The bar occupies the entire downstairs of a hostel. Located in a grey concrete filled part of the city, it gets a weird mix of cultures through its doors.

Kevin the DJ (Source: Kevin)

To say a weird mix of cultures is to say it could be any mix of cultures at any given time.

Thai drummers hanging out with Irish teachers. Bearded Americans flirting with Scottish backpackers with dragon tattoos. English people talking to people from the north of England. It had pretty much every type of combo you could imagine.

Lots of right brain creative types abound. And did I mention the hippies and various counterculture types?

(Source: Your mom’s house)

Now, I’m only setting the scene of this bar in depth because well, hell, I wouldn’t want to snuff out in a place like that. Nobody would, nobody. Even the cockroaches that so often frequent the premises don’t want to snuff out in a place like that. The value of life is better than the inadvertent set of a murder scene in some cheap B movie.

But tonight it wasn’t the djembe drums making noise no, it was the teachers. That’s right. The teachers were off their rockers and on their meds. Laughing gas mixed with Colombia washed down with beer. This cocktail overcame my colleague in a way that shocked me a lot, but shocked him completely. If you’ve ever seen a mime artist (do they even still exist outside of France anymore?) pretending to be electrocuted you’d have something of the image of what my colleague -let’s call him Dave, for safe keeping, was doing.

I was shocked for good reason. Dave’s girlfriend has a child. He’s a father. That was the biggest jolt. Because, like this shaking fool, I too am about to be a father just the same.

He started having a seizure but he didn’t collapse, he just stood there, convulsing. The only reason an ambulance wasn’t called in my humble opinion was due to a combination of factors. Partly due to all of us staring goggle-eyed in shock but mainly because he didn’t hit the deck.

Also you know, trying to explain how he’d managed to get himself into that mess to a nurse could have proved potentially problamtic to say the least. And just think, some people want to give us guns if we lived and worked in America.

An earthquake rocked Dave’s body harder than a Japanese coastline as he stumbled around trying to find his step. He looked jerky. I mean, real jerky. The kind of jerky you can’t fake as more of the people around us caught on and also went into shock. I looked out at all the open mouths and realized my own was open just the same. I closed my mouth and put a hand on his shoulder. ‘Da..Dave buddy, are you OK mate? You look um, are you OK?’

Dave was overtly not OK. He was staring ahead, kind of. In between his neck twitching up to an ungodly angle, a wannabe enthusiast of The Exorcist.

And just think, some people want to give us guns if we lived and worked in America.

At that point, I was absolutely sure he was on the way out. I pictured an ambulance, a confused looking medic. He’s holding a pair of defibs, asking me what happened, gesturing towards the melted salad vegetable shaking the water off. There’s a hippy who came along for the ride. He’s brought along a spare djembe drum, just in case a drum circle happens to break out in the hospital. And then there’s me. Left holding the djembe, as it were.

Now before you judge these guys for being teachers and doing drugs I feel the need to express this. First things first: Wake up. People from all walks of life take drugs. I have been guilty in the past myself of making less than intelligent decisions. We’re all human.

This was for an art piece they had going on there one night. (Source: That night with the art stuff)

We’re all trying to do better, and we all want to be better. Sometimes, however, we all need to blow off some steam and the end of term is that time. By end of term, you should read, the end of rooms full of screaming children. The end of a spectrum ranging from angle biters all the way up to the age of eighteen, private school, highly entitled, lowly motivated rich kids. Brats, for the most part.

Dave was overtly not OK. He was staring ahead, kind of. In between his neck twitching up to an ungodly angle, a wannabe enthusiast of The Exorcist .

So hands up full disclosure. I was also extra worried because I may or may not have done a couple of key bumps of the exact same stuff this Dave was snuffing out on. You know how cocaine makes your synapses fire faster and all that? Watching this guy hit the ‘On’ switch to the body blender happened to coincide with the exact moment I chose to come back to the bar from the toilet. My imagination of what was about to happen to me was lit up brighter than a Christmas tree in Vegas of bad ideas. The value of life.

Things get weird sometimes. (Source: Sauce)

OK so it’s the next day and I’ve calmed down now. I found out what the word clonus means today. Wish I didn’t look it up, to be honest. It’s not nice. That’s exactly what the guy was doing he was 100% having a seizure for around two minutes. Afterward it took at least fifteen more to come back down to earth from the clouds.

Dave has really made me reflect I didn’t sleep much at all last night. Although that may in part be due to the ahhm, you know. But still, reflection.

I think I’ve been focusing too much on the wrong things. I’ve been asking myself recently what it takes to get it right. I made a list. The list. A list of the things I’d like to be able to do with this new self-imposed writing gig. However maybe what I should really be asking is the same question, what does it take to get it right but with a different focus. The focus of impending fatherhood. And as mad as I am for how stupid and utterly risky Dave was for doing what he did, I suppose I’m thankful. I don’t know though. Maybe I should just block it all out and never revisit it ever again. I’ll just have to be careful in the future.

His near-fatal mistake was the beam of light shone from Clonus Island lighthouse onto the rocks of the what could have beens. The what could be’s that are sat in my path if I don’t buck my ideas up.

So it’s a few days later now (Saturday) and I’ve been thinking a lot more about all the crazy stuff I’ve done in my life. How those events relate to this one. How this most recent one will actually help me.

His near-fatal mistake was the beam of light shone from Clonus Island lighthouse onto the rocks of the what could have beens. The what could be’s that are sat in my path if I don’t buck my ideas up.

I remember reading a story once about a man whose wife went to a photographer to create a set of intimate photographs for their 20th wedding anniversary. The wife asked the photographer to brush out all the creases and wrinkles on her body. She wanted her husband to have something to enjoy for his anniversary present.

But then a while later the photographer received an email from the husband.

He had thanked the photographer but asked why he had chosen to remove the blemishes? After explaining that his wife had requested this he received this reply:

Thank you so much for your efforts but I’d like to request the original pictures, leaving my wifes body as it was. The marks around her waist is from when she gave birth. These remind me of our child. This is the memory I have when I see them. The marks on her hips are from the multiple times we’ve tried and lost weight together, only to put it back on and take it back off again. These remind of our closeness. The marks around face are there to remind me that we’re growing old together, the way I always imagined we would.

Dave is the blemish on my fat arse that I should be thankful for having.

Dave taught me by seizing out, we can all go at any time. Even on a shitty Monday in a bleak Bangkok bar. We can’t or shouldn’t try to brush over past blemishes, ours or other peoples. We must use them. I shouldn’t block out what happened. I need to remember it, burn it in to my mind.

I’m not going to be the perfect parent overnight.

I can, no, I will choose to remember. Every screw-up, like the ones on that night, both by me and Dave, have their own meaning. Those marks are there like the marks around my eyes. To remind me of good times and to remind me of the times where I could have done better. So I learn. So I don’t repeat them again.

And maybe this will help me teach my son to never make the crappy decisions his dad did too. I’ll be a better dad to my son. Better for having experienced this epileptic epiphany; don’t be like that.

The value of life.

New life. New life is worth more and requires more investment also, but we can’t and shouldn’t forget our past. I’ll use mine to shape my future, and hopefully Dave will learn to do the same.