Noom, my bar boy friend and current love of my life, has an on-going love affair with pillows. He likes money. But he loves pillows. I don’t know what the deep part of his soul is that responds to pillows, but they are as necessary to his well-being as is the air we breathe. Pillows are to Noom as is candy to a child, a fresh needle to a junkie, a boy newly arrived from Issan to Pattaya’s sexpats. I’d be jealous if not for his frequent use of my body as a pillow. But since by then he’s already stole all the pillows on our bed for his use, my body is the only one left so it’s not like he has a choice.
Have I mentioned before what a greedy little pig Noom can be?
When we check into a hotel, after he strips down to his underwear, the first thing he does is to pile all of the pillows onto his side of the bed. His greediness is not a pretty sight. But knowing that his ass is, even while still draped in cotton, he knows he can get away with it. The first chance I get, usually when he hits the shower, I steal one back. But it’s only a temporary ownership because by the time I get done with my shower that pillow will be back where it started, cradled in Noom’s arms once again.
The first time he hogged all the pillows – because his happiness is always my overarching concern – I responded appropriately. “Bastard! Give me a damn pillow!”
“Falang not lie pillows,” he tried, almost keeping the grin off his face before dissolving into a fit of laughter. Noom loves cracking himself up almost as much as he likes pillows. If I had a pillow I would have whapped him upside the head with it.
I’ve tried getting to the pillows first. It doesn’t work. It’s only a temporary stay. I’ve tried hiding a pillow for my use. He always finds it. And then not only has another pillow to cuddle, but a reason to smirk too. One night I tried the martyr route climbing out of bed and stretching out on the floor, muttering that if I was gonna sleep in a bed pillowless I might as well just sleep on the floor. He waited me out. Then reached down and draped a blanket over me before sweetly wishing me a good night.
Realizing I was never going to win the pillow battle in direct confrontation, the next time I booked my reservation at the hotel I made a special request for extra pillows. From the receptionist’s response you’d think ownership of pillows was a Thai national obsession. But it turned out that out of all the strange requests that had come over her phone line, having a guest request extra pillows to not only be supplied by hidden in the closet was unique. For a Thailand hotel that’s really saying something.
When we checked in Noom sensed something was up from my complete lack of interest in his hoard of pillows. When he hopped into bed for the night and I retrieved a pillow out off the closet he laughed. I smiled. Score 1 for the visiting team. He grabbed it before I could lay my head on it.
No problemo. I went and got another. That one didn’t even make it to the bed, he just held his hand out for it. I returned to the bed with the third spare pillow wrapped tightly in my arms and snarled. I would have made a lioness proud. Of course as soon as I fell asleep, Noom slipped the pillow out from under my head and added it to his growing collection. Now whenever we check into a hotel the first thing he does is to check out the closets to see if the pillow fairy has that hotel on it’s rounds.
I finally resorted to calling housekeeping and have them bring extra pillows up on every trip to Thailand I make. Even if I have to do it several times through the first day and night. You can imagine Noom’s reaction when he discovered you could have pillows delivered more easily than a pizza. The novelty of the idea was a delight. The resulting high pillow count pure heaven. Since then Noom has become quite adept at calling down for a fresh pillow supply. And I still have to fight him for the use of one.
I made the mistake of doing the same with towels once and now Noom arranges with housekeeping for us to have at least a dozen in the room at all times. I think he uses them to comfort his pillow collection. I dread passing a housekeeper in the hotel’s corridor because I know, no matter how many pillows and towels we already have in the room, Noom will stop and politely ask for more. I keep waiting for a pillow charge to appear on my bill at checkout, but it hasn’t happened. Yet.
Noom is almost as fond of the robes the hotel supplies, but hasn’t figured out how to wear more than one at a time. Yet. Not that it matters, those robes are built for an Asian and wouldn’t fit me anyway. At one hotel he liked the robe so much he packed it in his suitcase, but fortunately showed me his stash before we headed down to check-out. “It free!” He crowed with the delight that only something magically free can stir within a Thai’s heart. I explained that the robe was not only not free but that I’d be charged some astronomical price for his pilfering. Disappointed, he put it back. And I made a quick count of the pillows.
On my next trip, along with the other goodies I brought from home for him I picked up a nice fluffy black robe. He looked at it like it was some unidentified foreign object. Okay. I gave him a hint. “For you, for room.”
“My loom hot.”
I knew I should have gone with a pillow.
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