-You are going to die.
Not if I can help it.
Its the wanker next door tapping on my wall again.
The winter wind chills me to the bone The broken windows let in rain and the concrete floor is constantly flooding.
Only yesterday another junkie threatened to kill me if I didn’t give him some cigarettes. The police took him away tonight. He broke into a chemist to get his valium fix.
The rain won’t stop and I’m one month away from a flight to Bali.
I really must get out of this place before it consumes me.
– I’ve been telling you that for ages, said Bernhard who just appears out of nowhere. He helped me move from the last shit hole.
-But you wanted your own room so could wank in private. He’s just got from a shift in the mines near Newman. He’s always upbeat and checking up on me.
– You really must meet Brian, he says. He’s the taser gunman.
I had heard about him already from a book called Valium Daze. An interesting book.
‘Next flight is tonight bitch,’ says Bernhard who hands me an open ticket to Bali. But knowing you, I’ll have to bail you out on one of your mad capped ideas of finding yourself.
I have been accused of psychological walkabout.
-Now don’t you think things are moving a bit fast Bernhard.
Not if you have finished that book Jack. A copy of Garuda’s Travel’s was laying on my cum stained bed spread.
I looked at the Air Asia flight in disbelief. Inside an envelope was cash.
-Enough to fuck yourself stupid, he said. But the only condition is that you don’t bring that numbnuts Frank with you.
-I’ll bring him along for the fun factor, I said. Frank is so out there that he might be entertaining, I added.
Pneumonia has taken the wind out of my sail.
My supervisor says I stink. Maybe I do. But he doesn’t know half of what I’m going through. I can still hear the banging on the wall, it can go on for hours. I’m going back to sleep.
– So what happens next?’ asks Bernhard.
A road trip might help.
Frank dials another call and takes a swig of cheap wine from a hip flask. He’s so broke he can’t even afford whiskey. His wife from India takes every penny. Just as well, otherwise he’d be drinking top shelf.
-What’s for lunch today Frank?
– The usual, he says. , as he opened up a cheap can of baked beans and shovels it down his throat.
-Wipe that sauce dripping off you face Frank.
He pulls up his dirty shirt and wipes off like its a napkin.
– The glamor has been taken out of my life, he eventually says.
-You never had glamor in your life in the first place, I say.
The sun was setting outside the large windows of the front office. The eucalyptus trees outside caught the flaming winter sunset like some kind of antipode dream catcher.
I’m listening to the other telemarketers. They were all drones just like me. Sometimes the room would peak together. Other times it was dead quiet.
Generally, we were overly excited and obsequious to get that lead.
The idea was not to be consumed by the phones. I had my traveling daydreams to keep me motivated. It was mostly about volcanos and whores. Vanya described them both so well. He took me to places that I only dreamed of.
Frank always found it hard to get off the phone when someone on the other end complied. He’d say ‘god bless you’ five times before the supervisor would say quite forcefully, ‘Get off the fucking phone before they change their mind.’
The fluorescent lights were annoying. The gaudy colored brick walls painted an off brown color only inspired trips to the toilet. The artificial plants were collecting dust.
Look what my life had become, I thought.
Frank has been talking about a trip up to the Great Sandy Desert and keen on getting his cock circumcised in an initiation right. And I’m keen on going to Bali. It would be my first trip out of the country.
Long days and with a bit of luck I’ll be on an Air Asia flight to somewhere I really want to be. I told Frank I had read about blowjobs on tap by a writer called Vanya Vetto.
But Frank was still talking about the initiation. I’ll rekindle his imagination in due time
-So you really want your penis broke in half, I say, in a half-mocking tone.
He has been showing me gruesome photos of the initiation for the past few months. I said he wouldn’t even get past the interview stage.
-There is no need for white pansies in the desert,’ as we wound up our walk.
But Frank wasn’t giving up on the idea.
I tell him I have my eye on a cheap ticket to Bali at the end of the month.
-I’m going to escape the tail end of a Perth winter, I say, and try to write my first book.
-That’s what you keep on telling everyone, says Frank.
-This is Mardu country,’ said Frank. We’ll set up camp on the outskirts of the town.
We were fired for setting up doggy leads, a perfect excuse for a road trip.
Not far from camp, I could hear the trucks from the iron ore super pit. The dust levels were quite high and inducing a coughing spit. So I lit up another cigarette.
Then Moses himself arrived. He was pushing a supermarket trolley full of booze down to the dry riverbed.
A white boong, well fuck a duck.
I had just entered Frank’s world.
‘Pay day,’ said the white elder, in a deep baritone voice. He was in his early sixties, with a long flowing white beard that covered up the fact that he had no teeth.
Frank gave him a bear hug.
-You took your fucking time Frank,’ he said.
-I could smell the booze from Perth, said Frank. I wasn’t going to miss this piss up session for anything.
These two had some history, I was sure of it. ‘I was his supervisor, said the
-I was his supervisor, said the Rasputin like Elder. He was the worst telemarketer but boy could he bullshit those leads.
Frank looked on dotingly. I could see he was up for a big session.
I looked up at the sky. It was just galaxies upon galaxies and a few lost milky ways. The secrets of the Mardu twinkled in the long night of the desert by the camp fire.
I was hoping for an early night.
-You might as well party, said the elder who introduced himself as Sambo Battersby. There’s not much else to do in the desert.
Frank was getting lose. The fire down by the creek was belching black smoke. Frank was eyeing off the two grannies who were drinking cheap wine.
I commented about the rich pungent smoke that seemed to have hints of lust.
-It’s sweet smelling water, said Sambo.
I was feeling a bit giddy myself. How could smoke be water, I thought as I glanced over at camp fire. Now the two old hags were now half their age and their voices were sweet as Tahiti nectar.
-Or Java honey,’ said Sambo. Mardu means honey in Javanese, and if you look very careful, you might see some Indonesian traits.
The old hags reminded of a witch that Vanya described in one of his books about a place in East Java called the village of sweet smelling water. I swear to god they got younger and their tits got bigger as whiffs of pungent smoke from the fire hit me like a steam train. Maybe it was the Jim Beam talking.
-Two minutes with the ladies is like a lifetime filled with ejaculation, said Sambo.
How odd I thought as the night became another blur.
The next morning galahs and cockatoos flew across the desert landscape, laughing at us. Kangaroos hopped across the desert sands, taunting us. I lit up a cigarette and kicked Frank in the balls. He was sleeping in the dry creek bed.
A car pulled over to see what we were doing parked near the super pit.
-What the fuck you doing here, said a Kiwi, dressed up in grubby overalls. My name’s Bernhard and I’m from New Zealand
I know, I said. I read about you already. I think I even had a visit from you.
‘Of course you did numbnuts.’
Bernhard hands Frank a beer and some penicillin.
– Take these for the next three days and keep your cock in your trousers, he said.
He knew why Frank was up here but he’d offer us a better proposition soon, I could feel it in my bones.
-I’ve seen many white fellows who lose themselves in the desert,’ he said. And you boys aren’t that far away from it.”
He then gave me a long hard stare before he continued: .
-I can see you only want the best for your friend, he said. But show him a living and breathing culture like in Bali. There is no initiation here anymore.’
The deal was clinched, as far as I was concerned.
-You can stare at me as long as you like, I said. But I’m going to fuck my brains out in Bali.
-That’s not all you will do, said Bernhard. This trip will be an eye-opener for you too.
-Not necessarily, I said. I had been researching Bali.
-That settles it, said Frank. I can practice my Bahasa in Bali.
-The only thing you’ll practice is licking out pussy, said Bernhard who seemed surprised how quick dropped the idea of initiation.
-And get some more pox, I added.
-You can pick up a copy of Garuda’s Travels for background reading, said Bernhard. It’s a very good read.
He pulled out a dog eared hard copy from his back pocket and flashed it in front of Frank’s face, in case he wasn’t listening.
This sounded like shameless promotion and Vanya needed all of it he could get.
-I hear they have voodoo and trances in Bali, I said, having already read the book.
-And whores, plenty of them, says Bernhard who now speaks to Frank. You just need to grow a pair of balls son.
There’s only ten years between them but Berhard is running this show.
And to me he said:
– Once a hack, always a hack, but never give up your passion. One day you might crack the book market. But even if you don’t, enjoy the ride.
I was warming to Bernhard.
I said it wasn’t a case of Frank growing balls, but draining them.
-Either way, said Bernhard, be prepared for a culture shock. Everyone deserves a taste of it. And it’s far more accessible than abo culture. You’ll be close and intimate.
Was he talking about whore houses?
Bernhard just grinned to that.
-You are catching on, he eventually said. keen to make a move to the promise land.
He was keen to make a move to the promise land.
I had my passport.
-So do I, said Frank.
-Well what the fuck are you waiting for, said Bernhard as we legged it to the nearest airport. The village of Sweet Smelling Water is waiting for us.
At complex one I could hear the ocean roll up onto the black volcanic sand.
A DJ was in the corner cranking out tunes. Those tunes were catchy jackhammer tunes mainlined into the skull and combined with Bintang beer and access to hot whores, it was a heady mix.
It was so dark inside, a few tables, tatty chairs, and glorious whores.
We couldn’t hear over the loud pokey techno music, a Surabaya variation, grind grind those groins.
-My kind of Bar, said Bernard, who pointed out a poster of a big titted Indonesian celebrity who was promoting responsible use of condoms.
-I wouldn’t mind trying out my Durex on her big knockers, he added. Everything looks glamorous in the dark, says Bernhard who orders another round of Bintang.
-‘I’ve been having recurring dreams, I tell him. A sweet thing was sitting on my lap and playing personal lap dancer. I keep on dreaming I’m in the industrial zone.
The Industrial Zone was Southern Thailand, an area famed for it’s bloody Muslim insurgent movement.
‘You been reading too much Vanya Vetto,’ he cut in.’ But never mind. It’s normal. I even dream about myself after reading his books.’
-But I also dream of being held hostage and having my anus pulled out with a pair of plyers.
My dreams were indeed that disturbing.
Frank let out a goofy laugh.
-You mean I’m-in-fucking-heaven laugh,’ said Bernhard. He should be too, I’ve bought him enough whores to last a lifetime in a space of two hours.
Had Frank had found his utopia?
Bernhard handed him some more cash. Go for round four,’ I said. ‘You deserve it.”
-Go for round six, said Bernhard, You deserve it.
He didn’t deserve it but Bernhard was quite impressed with his stamina, which seemed on his level.
-Bet he can’t fuck for eight hours straight.
Only Bernhard could and no one was disputing his endurance
Frank had declared unrequited love to him and started kissing him on the cheeks.Now back off bitch, vent out your gay tendencies on the whores.’
-Now back off bitch, said Bernhard, vent out your gay tendencies on that big titted whore that’s been playing with your tiny willy under the table.
The chicken farm was a ten-minute drive from Sanur.
-No tourists at all,’ said Bernhard.It’s only for the locals.
-I’ve grown balls’ said Frank, more as a revelation than as small talk. ‘I’m no longer a child.”
‘Yes, Frank, now have another beer,’ said Bernhard who had just received a text on his phone.
‘Think we might be having visitors.’
Across from the bar was a warung where all the working girls bought their cigarets and drinks or ordered cheap noodles.’It’s where the Mad Hindu prays on them,’ wrote Vanya in Bali Dreaming. The mamasan was pleased to see her establishment had gone international. We were big tippers too.
‘You all like spending my money, don’t you.’ Bernhard was shouting this bender.
Here the outside world stopped as we focused on the job at hand of getting laid and drunk. Bintang beers flowed steadily.
Bernhard has taken us to a little village by the sea. It consists of about ten shacks joined together, each joint trying to out noise the other with insanely loud techno music and insanely sexy East Javanese whores.
Bernhard requests his favorite country music, Dolly Parton which was followed by a Kenny Rogers. I asked Brian for a line of coke to revive me from the slow death of listening to The Coward of the County. ‘It might make the music more palatable,’ I said. Even the working girls and the Indonesian punters ran out of the bar.
Snort. And I had my second wind.
-Snorting pussy again,’ said Bernhard. It always wakes me up.
-Sick fuck, I said under my breath. But hay, he wasn’t half wrong, those girls knew how to liven up someone with jet lag. We were like children released in a candy shop.
‘You are on a set of You Porn now,’ said Bernhard to Frank, who was trying to dry hump every whore he met.
With a little bit of cash in his hand Frank could be fucking them all too.
-What you talking about, I’ve shouted the fat cunt five fucks already, he added.
He thumped me hard on the back to stop me from drooling. I was fantasizing about those big bazookas on that light Indonesian frame draped with golden honey color skin.
-She’s your’s after I’m done with her, he said as he disappeared with the big boobed whore.
Even I was drooling over those mammary glands.
-Not for much longer, yelled out Bernhard. I’m even paying for your root.
Slops, I thought. Better than nothing, was another thought I entertained.
A car pulled up at the chicken farm. The driver was Balinese and in the passenger seat was a white guy. He had short cropped black hair and a tanned face.
‘About fucking time,’ said Bernhard. “Thought you were going to chicken out.’
‘No chickening out at the chicken farm.’ The white guy joined our table that was overflowing with Bintang beer bottles. He was wearing a black T-shirt under a black jacket and shorts with holes in them.
‘Get a new pair of shorts you scallywag,’ said Bernhard. You could tell these two had some history. They were relaxed around each other.
‘They are my holy pants, helps keep me cool in this tropical heat,’ said the stranger who introduced us to himself as Vanya Vetto.
‘Well fuck a duck,’ said Frank.
That was my line but I cut him some slack and thumped him hard on the back for good measure.
‘Fucking a whore is more agreeable,’ said Vanya, who released a cloud of smoke. He was a cool cucumber, no doubt about that.
‘So I hear you been showing the boys a good time?’ he said to Bernhard. ‘Wise move to come to the chicken farm. Beats paying the higher prices of Kuta.’
Then he introduced us to the Mad Hindu, ‘The best fucking pimp on the island.’ He had big black wild curly black hair that had just been colored. He looked like a hybrid of a Balinese Barong and Clark Gable. He was neither Balinese nor human. ‘Sometimes he morphs into the devil, other times he’s a gentle tour guide,’ said Vanya who didn’t waste time joining in the festive spirit.
I noticed the girls flocked around him. ‘They fucking well should, I’ve spent most of my savings at this place.’ He flashed a smile. His teeth were rotting. ‘I’m onto it. Just need to get the courage up to find a good dentist. The last one did a real rotting job, as you can see.’ He flashed us a smile. Frank seemed very familiar with Vanya. ‘I know you. You use to be a telemarketer for Telstra.’
‘Most likely, in your dreams buddy. But I do recall working with a Frank, a real weird motherfucker.’
Bernhard and Vanya got chatting, catching up on old times.
‘So when are you coming home?’ asked Bernhard. ‘Or do you intend to keep on floating around Asians brothels until your cash runs out.’
‘Something like that,’ he said.
‘Now who is paying for the next round.’ Bernhard had two young East Javanese hanging off him. ‘They don’t love me, they only love my money.’
‘Still and ugly cunt,’ said Vanya. And I couldn’t help notice the Mad Hindu weighing us all up. ‘All crazy like Mr. Vetto. He crazy number one.’
‘You haven’t met Frank, I gather,’ I said to Sana.
‘Made Sana, the mad fucking Hindu, that’s his name,’ said Vanya, who despite being loud and raucous, I could tell he was a quiet kind of guy and preferred his own company.
Frank looked on, intrigued.
‘Misfits always get on better with themselves,’he said, as he directed the comment to Frank. ‘Now I hear you have been having some nightmares,’ he said to me.
I said they only really got worse after I read the introduction to Tramadol Nights: Bali Dreaming.
Last night I had a dream. Dead bodies were laid out on the stainless steel tables, and the smell of death was strong on the nose. Sana was looking around the morgue for a condom. Fucking a dead 78-year-old holy man wasn’t going to go down well.
Vanya was wearing a black jacket. The temperature was in the thirties and humid as fuck but he was wearing a fucking winter jacket. ‘It keeps me skinny,’ he said. ‘I sweat like a pig. Nah, to be honest, I put my wallet in the inner pocket, and these.’ He pulled out some pills.
‘Tramadol keeps the toothaches at bay.’
‘Didn’t you have malaria,’ I asked. I had just finished reading Tramadol Nights: Bali Dreaming, so I had an idea why he wore a jacket.
‘That too, I get bouts of them. So some nights I need to wrap up in all the clothes I’ve got when I’ve got the fever.’
‘That’s fucking true,’ said Frank. He was having a revival. ‘Now I remember you. You were the one wearing eight layers of T-shirts when it was 40 degrees outside.’
‘That’s right, I was in the grips of Miss Malaria and that dopey fucking supervisor called the police after I refused to go home. I only wanted to go for a ten-minute walk, warm up, and then get back on the phones.’
‘You are the fucking Vanya Vetto that everyone seems to be talking about. You really covered up that writing side of your life.’
‘In Australia, I’m a nobody, just like you.’ He looked at Frank who was still chain smoking my cigarettes. ‘But here, we are someone.’
Vanya took Frank aside. ‘Here grab a few of these,’ he said, as he pulled out a packet of tramadols, ‘you’ll be fucking all day without losing a drop of your precious cum.’
Vanya eyed up a whore who just arrived. ‘Think she’s fresh off the ferry from Banyuwangi, by the looks of her giant knockers.’
Vetto seemed like an old Asian hand, I thought as I watched him take a drag on his Dunhill Red like his life depended on it.
‘Nope, I’m not an Asian hand,’ he said. ‘But I do love fucking Asian whores if that’s what you meant.’
The only thing we have in common is that we are lonely undersexed white guys, I timidly said.
Vanya slapped me hard on the back. ‘If were weren’t,’ he said. ‘We wouldn’t be at this dodgy whore house, would we?’
‘We are all fuck ups alright,’ he continued. ‘We are products of the feminist back home who want us to pay for their vaginas with a house and a garage full of cars.’
Why don’t we take a road trip, he suggested. ‘I know a place called the Sweet Smelling Water. It’s a very mystical place and only a ferry ride away.’
Was this a proposition?
‘Are you slack cunts up for it?’
Of course we were, and Bernhard said he’d pay for the fuel.
‘You just can’t say no, can you, you soft cunt,’ said Vanya, who handed Bernhard a blue pill. ‘Viagra for the old man to fuel the legend of your marathon fucking sessions.’
Those two had history, and it was apparent now.
‘Now drink up boys,’ said Vanya. ‘And if you have any special requests, the Mad Hindu will try and accommodate them in any way. His only payment is with whores. You’ll have a friend for life if you abide by that simple rules.’
Sana smiled as Bernhard handed him over two red notes. ‘I think Ranni is waiting for you.’
She stopped hugging Frank and followed Sana out the back who was back ten minutes later.
‘Got to say it for the Mad Hindu,’ said Vanya, ‘he doesn’t waste time on foreplay.
‘Now stop being all teary-eyed,’ said Bernhard, who thumped Frank again on the back. ‘ There’s plenty more where they came from.’
Frank wiped the back of his shirt as if he was looking for puss flows. ‘Looks like my boils were a thing of the past,’ he said.
’But watch out for the pox,’ I said. ‘Every taxi and truck driver driver has been through Ranni and you say you want to marry her.’
Vanya disappeared with the dark skinned princess with the big bazookas. ‘Just got to see if they are real or fake tits.’
Sins and Redemptions, there’d be plenty more of that before this trip was over, I told Bernhard. ‘You haven’t seen anything,’ he replied. ‘That guy has nine lives and he’s used up about 20 already.’
‘This is no place for sissies,’ said someone, with either an American or Canadian accent. ‘And I bet that Vetto cunt is fucking himself stupid. I’m Brian by the way, nice to meet such a merry bunch of cunts.’ He let out a laugh that was punctuated with a taser gun. ‘And say hello to my little friend. I and Vanya go way back. He just texted me saying that he’s organizing a road trip. If you don’t mind, I might just tag along.’
‘So he’s written about you too,’ said Bernhard, ‘welcome to Vanya’s world.’
‘Did Vanya tell you about the time the Mad Hindu pulled a shifty on him,’ asked Brian.
‘No I haven’t,’ said Vanya, ‘but it’s all been well documented.’
‘You were talking about that big titted Indonesian you met at hotel in the volcano town of Bromolingo’ I said, ‘and you write about how Sana obliged her after you said you were recovering from some major tear in your never regions.’
‘You don’t miss a trick,’ he said. ‘I had a threesome at this very bar. The condom broke on a very dry cunt that peeled half the skin off the head of my cock. But that didn’t’ stop the Bromo whore from sucking me off on the good side. And her boobs were yummy.’
‘That’s gross,’ said Frank.
‘Not as gross as your festering boils,’ I reminded him.
‘What was more amazing,’ continued Vanya, ‘as soon I flew back to Perth the festering wound on the end of my cock had healed up after a few days.’
Sounded like torture to me, I said. ‘Not being able to fuck for the rest of your trip.’
‘It was,’ he said. ‘But remind me to send you a PDF of Valium Daze.’ Vanya lit up a cigarette and took in the scene of the chicken farm. ‘I won’t bother with Frank,’ he said, ‘he seems a bit too self-absorbed about his sub-incision to read anyone else’s writing but his own scribbling.’ He looked at Brian. ‘He’s the main character of that book.’
‘And you didn’t even ask me for permission,’ said Brian, who was downing a long neck of Bintang.
‘Didn’t need too, it was an unwritten agreement and look at all the boring housewives you have been fucking since my book reached the top of the charts of being the most vulgar and disgusting gobshite since Henry Miller published a Tropic of Cancer.’
‘But no more for you,’ said Brian to Frank, after giving him a line of coke. Frank’s face went red and his pussy detector became more honed in. ‘You’re nose is too fucking big for my liking.’
I ignored Frank running around the bar like a dog on heat playing ‘susu besar’,a game Vanya invented, when you ask a working girl if they have big tits. Of course, anyone who had, wouldn’t deny a little grope as proof of their large mammary glands.
Wasn’t this the chicken farm where you lost your black jacket, I asked Vanya.
’Indeed it was,’ he said, as he lit up his favorite smoke, Dunhill Red. I could see he really treasured that black jacket he was wearing. Most of us were wearing Bintang singlets but Vanya was wearing a winter jacket. ‘Even on my last run to the chicken farm in Bali Dreaming,’ he said.
It’s raining outside, a kind of torrential rain that drenches everything. The dirt road is mud and puddles. We have a long drive back to Ubud. Dana had put my jacket on the bike when we arrived and now it’s drenched. He puts it between his legs and off we go. Ten minutes later, he says the jacket has disappeared. Go back, find it. I loved that jacket and wasn’t going to say goodbye to it that easy.
We find the jacket in a muddy puddle on the road leading out of the complex. It was drenched but we have reunited again.
I didn’t find love on Chicken Beach but consumed gallons of beer. I wrote it off as another interesting night. Now I’m on the back of the bike, shivering. Sana says only five minutes to go before we arrive home. Its 3 am and the Bali food is playing havoc. I’m paying for it with flatulence and a fever from the drenching. What a night.
‘I eventually dumped the jacket,’ he said. ‘I was under the influence of Miss Tramadol and I worried the jacket might get quarantined in Singapore. I felt the jacket could have a more noble ending if I gave it to one of the Balinese staff at the hotel.’
He proudly displayed his new jacket with it’s hidden deep pockets where he kept his wallet and tramadol stash. It had cigarette burns too which gave the jacket a worn in war-torn look.
‘What you think of it?’ he asked.
It looked like it was bought at some second-hand shop and that it still needed breaking in.
‘That’s the plan,’ he said, as he flashed Miss Big Tits a big smile and few red notes.
‘Love courtesy of the red notes,’ he said. ‘And they say money corrupts.’
It does I said. It’s corrupted my soul years ago.