Mushrooms and motorbike accidents have come to define my life, I hit 27 running, quite literally. Losing traction taking a left over a hill I surfed the hydroplaning bike til she flipped and took a ditch at a single leap, but was sure to ram the nut on the wall which broke my fall – you know, just to make sure it knew who was boss like. I did stave my thumb and the bike got some battle scars but I didn’t even hit the deck, in fact I took it at a run, fortunate really. Carting the bag of shrooms back in the waist of my trackies I mightn’t have been found til morning but at least I would’ve died as high as shit.
Having made it home, once the psilocybin began coursing in our veins, my strange friend and I decided the beach would be the best place to lose our minds. I had meditated on a rock at sunset and I felt good about obliterating mine. What we were greeted by was a vista far more stunning than our wildest imaginings, nothing can surpass the serenity of tripping on the beach at night – trust me. I shadow boxed at the towering bastions of the clouds rolling in by moonlight as the silver sea roiling relentless before us calmed our madness with its warm caresses.
As the euphoria wound it’s way about me I was greeted by friends and by feelings overflowing with love for those I share this wonderful life with. How can words describe the majesty of celestial annihilation on so mind bending a scale? We were dust mites beneath the piercing lantern beam of the moon illuminating the earth from its position in space. The clarity left me feeling fresh and free.
Of course all is not perfect in paradise; the seventh murder in three years has occurred on Koh Tao, some with their skulls smashed in, some hung with their hands tied behind their backs, some dumped in the ocean. The latest discovered hung in the jungle behind a resort I have visited. Surely everyone knows who is responsible, five families rule the island that you can drive across in 20 minutes – the question is why is nobody helping this person? Or locking them up? Hanging women in the forest? Bludgeoning a young couple to death with a garden hoe and raping the victim’s corpse? Whoever is responsible inhabits a dark and poisoned realm of jealousy infected by something devilish and incurable but not entirely surprising.
So why is nothing being done about it? How many people know the truth but can’t or won’t speak up? Seven? And the Burmese scapegoats for the first two murders are still on death row, effectively turning seven brutal murders into nine in order to avoid facing the truth.
Because the truth is, if something happens to you here, you’re on your own. Muay Thai has become increasingly my solace and my refuge, after losing a brother and a lover this year, and has become answer to the riddle of who am I? Or “what shall I do?” Muay Thai gives me the reason for being that has fallen from other areas of my life, failures that have led me forth to knowledge of what is real and valuable and I intend to keep those ideals close to my heart.
A recent trip to Singapore was rendered fruitful by the cleanliness and efficiency of the city state, and a friend with whom I have shared much. Thais are in many ways a proud race, but it is virtually impossible to build anything in this country without becoming utterly ruthless, such is the environment. Interestingly, Thailand and Singapore are almost polar opposites; where one is lush and green and wild and dangerous, the other is clean, grey and safe. Singapore feels like a computer program, an artificial but accessible hive, whereas Thailand has a richer and more elegant culture and geography. Having travelled extensively in south Thailand and Malaysia, I have experienced beauty beyond wonder.
I still feel as though I am lost in these lands, but the road feels like home, so I shall keep looking – and listening to the sound of my footsteps in the night.