Treading The Boards!

Paul had played the end of the pier before but had never stayed on one – so he and Andrew’s sojourn on a dilapidated jetty in the rather gaudy Thai Gulf town of Hua Hin was to be a premiere occasion. 

Andrew had obviously worked a pier or two too.  

Professionally as well!

He’d had a high time at sea whilst dressing a couple of superannuated drag queens and a young Letitia Dean. (Pre the inflationary period we are all now suffering.) 

Paul had also spent many a year admiring Brighton’s mighty erections- so he supposed piers had always been around in his life. He just  adored piers, not of the Morgan kind of course, but he loved that space between sea and shore – at sea – yet grounded.

Perhaps it was the rhythmic lapping of the slightly murky sea beneath, but some guests apparently found the place unsettling.

Paul only found it comforting.

Like going back to the womb.

If only he and Andrew’s room were as big!

In fact Paul’s womb would doubtless have housed them both quite easily. After all, his mother had always been so kind and accommodating.

Instead, Paul and Andrew felt like quadruplets squeezed into posh spice!

The sea breeze came like gas and air through the antiquated cracks in the wooden walls relieving the claustraphohic feeling for a contraction or two. 

Paul had hoped for the pier to be more chic than creak. But as the driftwood supports drifted ominously beneath them  it was too late. 

They were already walking the planks!

He had once played Gilbert and Sullivann’s Nanki Poo at a charming theatre on the end of the pier in Cromer! The Mikado had been surprisingly popular, despite the gaps one could spot neath the stage; if not in the cast!

It had certainly not been what Paul had in mind when he’d decided to tread the boards. 

The exotic North Sea splashing audibly beneath him as he attempted to belt out ‘A Wandering Minstrel I’?! 

He wasn’t  entirely certain any of the audience were aware from where nor whence he”d even wandered.

Especially when the ocean beneath was giving it full on Wagner in the key of sea bloody major! 

But nobody gave a shit – they were on the end of the pier after all!

The end of the pier in Hua Hin, where the boys were berthing, was what one might call – structurally sound-ish! 

She had stood for many years as many old British peers have done in this part of Thailand.

Her rustic poles just about keeping her above the rising tide of capitalism as the locals fought to keep the area afloat and stop the concrete merchants moving hard in.

The extended family lived at the shore end of the extension – at least four generations in tow with their three and and a half dogs. 

They were friendly enough. Although they never contemplated cleaning a room or a clearing a dish. The walk up the board walk seemed beyond them.  When they did enter one of the rooms they left the mop, bucket and broom outside and usually took at least half an hour to re-appear.

Buddha knows what they did!

But it weren’t sweeping!

The only room service Paul and Andrew received was from each other, and as the structure was already crumbling that did not seem the best of ideas.

A trip up the pier incorporated a laundry, a library and libations. Admittedly these facilities resembled a twin tub; a pile of self help manuals left behind by previous guests and a beer fridge.  There was usually the odd bra flying abreast on a line in the torpid breeze and a dodgy mutt, complete with oversized gold chain, giving one ‘evils’ as he decided to excrete where he liked. 

But the place was friendly and authentic unlike most of the town which seemed to have sold out in comparison. All high rise and low class guests.  

Those only happy with just a happy ending.

But the beach was magnificent. 

And nothing like when they had first visited in high season when it had been a mix of large lilos and lager louts giving it large. It was practically empty.

Paul and Andrew were starting to enjoy their pier-life.

They occupied a cell in which one couldn’t swing even the tiniest pussy – yet the young Thai couple next door had evidently managed, if the mewing through the cardboard walls the previous night was anything to go by.

The ceiling fan threatened to blow Paul and Andrew overboard and the water from the taps was lurid and far too hot.

Yet the place had charm.

They decided to extend their stay for an extra couple of nights.

Treading the boards in Hua Hin seemed the only way to go.

By far the best show in town!


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