there is a place revealed serene yet surreal

land of discovery beauty mystery and dignity

above the clouds and sun two hearts will beat as one

so set your spirit free be what you want to be

just let the sparkling seas wash all your cares away

more than you ever know how to be free*

Thailand is supposed to mean Land of the Free, liberty, to be liberated from slavery. Surreal to want to escape it, to want to get away from Paradise. I collect clothes with buttons and snaps for dignity’s sake, as if the layers and accessories could help me become a traveler, not just look like one, although looking like one might get me a little bit closer to being free.

It’s not a small step, for me it would be everything to be in a country with atmosphere, it would be surreal, like Fashion Television everyone would carry themselves with dignity. They would be White, they would be nice, they would take me away to learn about Thai silk in French, a way to gain perspective, to really understand the one thing that matters outside of myself.

It wasn’t dignified but I wanted to get free of all of this. It wasn’t a surreal moment when I left 113/6 for the last time. There would be many opportunities to return and I took none of them, be it destiny or fate. I told him to get away from me and he didn’t, it was surreal but after all he was just one person and I was free, technically, I had more dignity than he could ever scrape off the ground, I had more dignity than the dirt living in his eyes.

I thought I would be famous, I was obsessed with French cinema, I kept telling myself I was free until I stopped thinking about it, until I was away for 20, 30, 40 years and realized I was the one chained by my guts to a childhood memory I called surreal.

Inhabiting that surreal architecture, I dressed up in all the dignity I could wash and iron. I said, I’m the only one who’ll be so far away and never free.

*DID YOU KNOW? This travel package features lyrics to the song in the Tourism Authority of Thailand commercial “Once in a Lifetime” [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dUMVYtuqL7o].