I drop in at the Tawan Bar at least once on every trip to Bangkok. I love muscles. I love Thai guys with muscles. And I love Thai guys with muscles parading around naked. An added bonus for me, not that you’d need one with the naked muscle thing going on, is that I know a few of the guys who work at Tawan. It’s always nice to visit with friends. Especially when they are built. And naked.
Often I take a trip to Bangkok in late October. If I time it right, Tawan holds their anniversary party sometime toward the end of that month. It’s really not the best time to visit the place. There’s a 300 baht entrance fee (but you get a drink toke) and the show is pared down to leave time for the festivities. They usually bring in guys for a handsome man contest, or something like that. Cute guys, but not the muscle studs Tawan is know for. And they never get naked. But that party has become a tradition for me. I win an umbrella every year. The place is always packed. With no show to distract, I get some time to talk with one of my friends there. If we can hear each other over the fat ladyboy emcees.
I’d forgotten about the occasion on a recent trip and was delighted when Noom, my bar boy friend and current love of my life, mentioned the party, asking if I wanted to go. Hell, yes! Noom has been working the bars in Bangkok for years on and off. He knows a whole lot of the guys at the various bars, from boys, to captains, to bar managers and owners. I wasn’t surprised to find he knew the owner at Tawan. They chatted a bit when we arrived and he welcomed me warmly to his club. Noom is incredibly sweet. And gregarious. So he gets a warm welcome whereever we go.
I’ve already posted an entry to this blog about Nut. Nut works at Tawan as does one of his brothers. Another brother used to work there. I was one of Nut’s first customers and we’ve become friends over the years. But I haven’t offed him recently. Not since I met Noom. We have met for lunch or to feed the fish at Lumpini Park. Just daytime outings to catch up. Not to get off. I’d told Noom about Nut before. Noom didn’t know Nut, but he knew several of the guys working at Tawan. He trains a few of them. Usually newer, younger guys who are trying to develop their physique.
After sitting down and getting our drinks, a steady procession of guys stopped by to say hi to Noom. And he introduced me to each as his boyfriend. Awwwwww. Noom is straight. And as sweet as he is, he’s not what you would call romantic. So I got warm fuzzies being introduced as the boyfriend. At least it’s a step up from ‘customer’.
I could tell Noom was curious about Nut. He kept asking if I saw him. But the bar was packed and he was nowhere to be seen. No problemo. I’d have enjoyed seeing him, but had Noom and was completely satisfied. And the contest dragged on. For a farang, there had better be lots of eye candy at one of these contests because the fat lady boy emcees keep up a steady patter throughout, all in Thai. But you don’t need to know Thai to appreciate a hot guy. When the guys are all ‘eh’, the contest gets a bit boring.
Between ‘rounds’ the waiters sell fake roses. You buy them to award to your favorite contestant. They get points for the roses tallied toward the Most Popular trophy. And the bar gets the bucks. I think the contestants would rather get the cash than the trophy. They are, after all, Thai. Between rounds a lot of customers step outside, or leave. When the bar emptied out a bit. I saw Nut sitting across the room. And pointed him out to Noom.
Noom, being extremely affable and in this case exceptionally curious, immediately went and got Nut and brought him back to where we were sitting. It was nice seeing Nut again. Big hugs. Then we got busy catching up. Noom is a solid mass of muscle. He hasn’t over done it; his body is well defined and hard as a rock. Nut is also a solid mass of muscle. But he is a body builder and so is what is impolitely called muscle bound. They are close to the same height. You could fit 2 Nooms into 1 Nut. Me thinks some jealousy arose.
When Nut came over, Noom sat behind us giving Nut his seat. After we’d talked for a good 15 minutes, Noom leaned forward and said, “You want him tonight, OK.”
Uh, oh. Me knows some jealousy arose. I reassured Noom that I had no desire to off Nut (small lie) and that I was with him, was happy to be with him, and only wanted to be with him. And the contest dragged on.
We won an umbrella. We didn’t buy any fake roses. Nut and I chatted some more. His English is exceptionally good. Better than Noom’s. I like Nut. But I love Noom. The contest eventually ended. Trophies were awarded. Everyone left. I kissed Nut good-bye and Noom and I went out to the soi to wait for a taxi. Noom and I communicate silently a lot. What I mean is there are large paragraphs before and after what is said out loud that we both understand without it having been said. That’s very Thai. As we waited for a taxi, Noom said to me, “My heart cry.” And mine melted. Once again.
That night as we lay together naked in bed, I could tell he was still bothered. He was weighing his assets against Nut’s, trying to balance them with our growing relationship. I can tell when he is thinking hard, his forehead scrunches up. Finally, he told me that even when he no longer worked for the bar, when I come to Thailand he wants to come and be with me. I think that is the closest he could come to telling me I wasn’t just a customer. He said, “I wit you, I happy.”
If I wasn’t so macho, I’d probably have teared up. Instead, I reassured him. I told him that I didn’t care if he was old, or fat, or ugly, I’d still love him. And would want to be with him. He smiled. And wrapped himself around me as we fell asleep.
Three months later I was back in Bangkok again and brought some friends along on the trip. Walking down the street, the girls were behind me nicely grilling Noom on our relationship. “He tell me I old, I fat, I ugly, he lub me,” I heard him tell them. ”Dat why I lub him.”
Noom’s muscles met Nut’s bulk. Our relationship was cemented. And I made an off the cuff comment that became a promise. One that I hope I can keep.
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