Christine Phan

christine_phanShe was a Vietnamese refugee.

I had been socializing with VIetnamese people in California since June of 1987. In the late summer of 1988 my social contacts petered out. I started frequenting a gogo bar on El Camino Real in Mountain View. I would go there every Wednesday night and watch the girls dance for an hour or so. Then I would give one of them a twenty dollar bill, and leave.

After a while I began to notice the place next door to the gogo bar. It was obviously a whore house. Men would come in and go out all evening and I never saw women customers, only men. Screwing up the courage to peek through the glass door I could see women sitting around on couches waiting for men to come in. I later learned that they were all Vietnamese women, but I didn't know that immediately. I had been around so many oriental people that they just look like ordinary folks to me.

One night a gal came out of the place and noticed my really fancy car. This was a kit car that I had purchased. It was a replica of a 1929 Mercedes roadster. It looked like something out of a circus. It was fantastic. Anyway, she told me her name was "Sonia", I think. She said something like "Let me think. I can guess. I guess that your name is 'Andy'". Well I was amazed. Then she said good-bye.

I was fascinated by her. I was turned on by her. But where was she? All I knew was that one night she had come out of this place. So in order ot see her again I had to go into it. I was scared. I knew it was a whorehouse. But I couldn't figure out what the cover was. Massage? Mud baths? Electric shock? Cosmetic surgery? What was I letting myself in for?

I finally bit the bullet and went in. They wanted to know what I wanted and of course I didn't know what I wanted. I asked for "Sonia". They sent me in to a room. They had me take all my clothes off and lie down on a table. Then I waited. And waited. And waited. With what I learned later I suspect that they had to phone Christine at home and have her drive out there. You see, Sonia was a fake name. Actually, Christine may be a fake name, too. The gal had lots of names.

Finally the lady comes in and says "I'm Sonia". Then she started to give me a massage. I liked her so much that I let it drag on for three hours. This was California where the fee is sixty dollars an hour, so to spend three hours with her I paid out almost two hundred dollars.

At one point in the proceedings she moved the towel and picked up my (flaccid) penis and asked if I wanted anything there. I said "I don't want you to do anything that would interfere with our being friends." So she dropped it. Knowing her in later months my guess is that she didn't understand what I said but she heard the word "friends" and the tone of voice and realized that I wasn't asking for sex.

At another point in the evening I mentioned to her that I was rich. She had to run out of the room. Near as I can tell from this and that and these and those, she peed in her pants when I said that. After she came back I explained that I had enough money, and that very few people have enough, so I was rich. In fact, I had some very nice stock options that were valuable and that gave me a lot of money to blow and I eventually blew it on Christine.

For most of the three hours we just talked. She massaged parts of me, a bit, but she wasn't working too hard and I was so thrilled to be with a pleasant beautiful lady that I had no need to receive what I was supposedly paying for.

After that I would go over to see her quite often. Sometimes she would be busy and I would have to sit in the front area with the other ladies and wait for her. After a while we evolved to the point where I could go over and sit there and she would sit with me when she didn't have a customer to work on. You see, I didn't need the massage, and there was no sex between us yet. I just loved being with her.

One night the people complained that I was coming over and hanging around for free and it wasn't proper. I went home crushed. A day or two later I decided that I really really wanted to be with her and if that cost me three hundred dollars so be it. I went over to the place prepared to pay for five hours if necessary. She was so thrilled to see me come that she didn't ask me for any money at all.

During this time I learned that "Sonia" was a professioal name, a working name, and that her real name was "Christine". At least that was the name on the cards she showed me, including her driver's license. But of course she had been born in Vietnam so the name given to her at birth was not "Christine". She used various names. She'd answer to any name at all if she thought you were handing out money. I vaguely remember her last name being "Phan", but whether she really used that name I can't be sure, and if she really used that name I'd bet that she wasn't born with it.

About this time I discovered that God could communicate with me through the toss of a coin. Let me give you two examples.

About a dozen separate days, in the early evening, I flipped a coin to ask God if it was OK for me to go visit Christine at work. I was wondering if they wanted me there; I was wondering if she liked me really or not really. Eleven times it came up heads; yes, go see her. One time it came up tails. I was surprised, for I had gotten used to the heads coming up. But it said "No, don't go", so I stayed in my apartment. Ten minutes later Christine showed up. If I had left to go to her work place I would have missed her. I was impressed with the coin's accuracy.

Another time I was driving down El Camino Real when I asked God if I should go to the massage parlor. The coin said "Yes". But by that time I was getting nervous about the place, wondering if it was a good place or a bad place. So when I stopped in traffic I asked more explicitly "Should I go into the massage parlor and say 'Hello' to the people there?" and the coin said "No". I was perplexed but I continued to drive towards the place. I pulled into the parking lot and parked a few doors from the place. I felt that I had somehow gotten mixed up asking the wrong questions. So I asked the mimimal question: "God, do I go through that door over there?" and the coin said "Yes". So I got out of the car and walked to the massage parlor and went in. There was nobody there. There might have been someone in a room working on a customer, but there was nobody in front, nobody in the hallway, nobody in the back room. When I had asked whether I should say 'Hello" to the people there the coin said 'No' because the coin 'knew' that there wasn't anybody there!

Oh yes. One day when I was hanging out at the massage parlor one of my co-workers came in. He was fairly embaressed to be seen there. He went on in and when he came out I chatted with him a minute or two to releave the embaressment. But I never saw him there again, and we never talked about it at work. I eventually found out that the chief finance officer of the company that I worked for had been a customer there for a while. He had described me to her, the crazy guy with the incredible car. That's how she knew my name was "Andy" when she had never seen me before.

Christine told me that she had to go to Hawaii for surgery. I asked what kind, and she said it was a kind of heart surgery. She needed money. I gave her five thousand dollars. I guess she was impressed, or grateful, or something. She said that the doctors had told her to bring someone along to take care of her during the two weeks that she had to stay in Hawaii. She asked if I would come with her. I said that I would.

On a Friday morning we flew to Honolulu. At the airport we rented a car and drove directly to the doctor's office. There I learned for the first time that this was cosmetic surgery. The doctor gave specific instructions. I was to bring her in the back way on Monday morning, coming to a specific entrance. I would leave her there, and pick her up later in the day; noon or 1pm I think.

So Christine and I had the weekend to ourselves. We went to the hotel. It was a fancy, expensive hotel. The room was halfway up the high rise, with a beautiful view overlooking Honolulu. I remember that there were two double beds in the room, and that when we walked in I asked Christine "Which bed do you want?" I had been married a long, long time. I was kind of slow. Of course she wanted whatever bed had me in it, but I was just dumb. She took the bed closer to the door, closer to the bathroom, away from the window. I took the bed closer to the window.

That Friday night I tried to sleep in the other bed but I just couldn't stay there. I crawled over into her bed and hugged her and fell asleep there.

Saturday we did some exploring. I bought her a bikini swimming suit and we found a beach on the north coast and she put the suit on and believe you me she was stunning!

Saturday night I again crawled into her bed to hug her and to sleep holding on to her. Sunday morning, when we woke up, Christine and I made love for the first time ever. Today I am asounded that I could have slepy naked two nights in a luxury hotel room with a beautiful female friend and not made love to her. I guess I was out of practice. I had not made love to any woman except Grace for twenty years. You forget how to start.

I forget what we did Sunday. But Sunday evening, at dinner, she dropped a bombshell. She said "I did lie about one thing. I'm married. But we're separated. We separated when my husband got a gun and threatened to kill me." My first reaction was "That poor man"; he must have been really stressed to do something like that. My second reaction was "This is going to make a GREAT story.

Of course if she were really married then my having sex with her could easily be termed adultery, which is a very big no-no where I come from. On the other hand, we had already made love; I couldn't change the past, and I was quite overloaded with her sexuality. So I asked God if this marriage she told me about was sufficient reason for me to stop making love to her. I flipped a coin, and God said "No". I admit that I might have phrased the question a bit towards the continuing bias, but anyway I did not cut off the relationship.

Monday morning I took her to the doctor's office like I had been instructed to do.

When picked her up at the doctor's office it was a shock. Her head was completely covered with bandages. She had a hole where her mouth was. Even her eyes were covered. She was, of course, drugged, so her relactions were slowed. But in the hours and days that followed I sensed that she was shocked, too. She was in pain, in overwhelming pain, in such pain as she had never imagined. She had no idea that it would hurt that much. She was stunned.

Over the next days I had to help her do everything. She lay in bed with nothing to do all the time. She was in agony. Sometimes she would sit up and try to spit blood and I had to hold the bowl. She couldn't spit the blood all the way out the small hole where her mouth was and I had to wipe it off. I had to walk her to the toilet because she could not see. Once a day I would get in to the car and drive to a store which she had shown me where I could buy rice soup. That's all she ate; unflavored rice soup, for two weeks. She didn't even eat rice soup the first day or two; just water.

After a few days the bandages came off her eyes and she could see again. She could move around in the hotel room. She was in a lot of pain. She never went out, so of course I never went out. We just sat in this incredibly beautiful hotel room, with a giant glass window overlooking the Honolulu skyline. After a few days she was well enough to read an occasional magazine or watch a bit of TV but she never perked up.

Towards the end of our stay there she discovered that the doctor had not done some work that she wanted him to do, so she got some more cutting done. How she could ask for more I don't know. I forget what it was; cutting the asian fold from the eyelids, or putting a button on her chin, or something. Finally, two weeks after we arrived in Hawaii, having spent 12 days sitting in a hotel room, we flew back to California.

We soon found out that the massage parlor where she worked had been raided while we were gone. The police had swooped down and we were lucky that they didn't catch her there. So she couldn't work for a while. By that time I was well known as her boyfriend. I could go over to where she lived with her "sister" Angela and Christine could come over to my place.

One time I took Christine to my old house to meet my ex-wife Grace. Grace was very polite to Christine and when they said good-bye Grace gave Christine a hug. I was very very proud of Grace; she behaved magnificently. However, I suspect that during the hug Grace whispered something to Christine; if so, I never found out what it was.

As the months moved on I found out that Christine was a frequent liar. it got harder and harder to deal with her. She would say something for a long time, then she would say just the opposite claiming that she had been lying, then she would switch back and claim that the switched version was the lie. I remember that there was some child in Wastington State, where her husband lived and where she had lived before. She was fond of this child. Sometimes she would say that it was her own child, sometimes she would say that it was someone else's. I felt pertty strongly about motherhood, and it really bent me out of shape to be unsure of this child.

Her nickname for me was "Number Seven Crazy". I soon figured out that she numbered her lovers. Well, there was this guy who had helped her when she was breaking up with her husband. She called him number five or number six, I forget which. Anyway, she wanted to correspond with the guy but she didn't want him to know where she was. So I arranged to get a rental mail box in Pennsylvania, on the other side of the United States. She would write to him and he would write to her using that mail drop as a mailing address. She had a big huge lie fabricated to explain it all to him.

Her sister started a new massage parlor up the peninsula closer to San Francisco. Christine worked there and sometimes slept there.

One time she went up to Everett, Washington to visit her husband. They flew to Reno together to party. According to Christine, the Reno airport has a telephone in the ladies room; at least she said that was where she was calling from. She and he were about to board the airplane and fly back to Washington and she was calling me to say "Hello".

So I pulled a joke on her. I telephoned her husband's number in Washington and got his answering machine. I said something like "Oh, so sorry, this is the wrong number.". She told me later that when she and he got home he played back the mesages from his answering machine and when she heard my voice she almost had a heart attack. He thought it was strange that a person getting a wrong number would leave a message saying so.

She was somewhat ignorant of American ways. She once got mad at me and scratched out the entry in my phone book that had her husband's telephone number in it. There, right in front of her, I picked up the telephone and asked for Information for Everett, Washington and got the telephone company to give me his phone number. She was schocked. She thought that, without her having given me his number, I could never find it.

Things were getting very bad between us, driven largely by her lying. It wasn't that she lied to me so much that she lied to everyone else and I was expected to back up her story. It got so bad that one time someone asked me "What did you do on Saturday" and I said "I don't know" because I had been with Christine and I had no idea what line of bullshit she had been feeding this person. It became impossible for Christine and I to have mututal friends. She lied to everybody; her sister, her coworkers, her sister's boyfriend, me, everyone. I said at the time that she used at least half of her brainpower just keeping track of which story had been fed to which person.

That summer I had started to try to move to Hong Kong. I sent resumes to a lot of employment agencies in Hong Kong but nothing ever came of it. I remember, though, that one time I was making love to her, my cock was actually inside her, and the thought came to me that if I didn't pull out NOW I would never make it to Asia. So I pulled out of her and put my pants back on and walked out. It was one of the rare times in my life that I have stopped right in the middle of sexual intercourse. I guess it proved to my that my mind is stronger than my passions.

She bet me two hundred dollars that I could not find the phone number of that previous boyfriend that whe was stringing along. I took the bet. I had exactly one month to do it in. She was in the habit of telephoning him and talking to him at the massage parlor. And they had the habit of leaving the telephone bill under the cushin on the sofa. One time when she was working I looked through her purse and found a letter from him with a return address on it. Surprisingly enough, it was from Boulder Creek, which was just a few miles from where we were sitting. She had bullshit this guy into thinking she was on the other side of the country when in fact she was less than an hour's drive away from him. Anyway, I checked the phone list against the the address from the letter and had him spotted.

One evening I actually went out to Boulder Creek and knocked on his door. He came to the door and I felt danger. This was not the sort of thing that I should be dabbling in. So I apologized for knocking on the wrong door by mistake and got out of there and drove up to see Christine. The month was up for me to find his phone number. So I handed her a slip of paper with the Boulder Creek number on it. She was shocked and wanted to know how I found it. So I explained, except that I did not say that I saw him. She said that this was not his phone number, so I paid her the two hundred dollars. A while later, as I was walking to my car and she was walking to her car, she returned the two hundred dollars to me. So I think it really was his phone number.

One last time. Her sister was a BIG gambler in Las Vegas. So Christine and I and Angela flew to Las Vegas. The hotel knew Angela and gave her a suite. I mean it was huge, and it was free. The bathroom was bigger than most apartments I've ever been in. But they knew their gal. Angela sat at the blackjack table all night playing with hundred dollar chips. I learned later that that night, that Saturday night, she lost one hundred thousand dollars. She told me later that she went back there Wednesday night and won it back. Christine played the slot machines little bit; I did not. Christine and I slept on the bed; she way over on the right hand side and I way over on the left hand side. If Angela thought that this adventure would get us back together again, she was wrong. Well, it was tempting. When Christine was in that huge bachroom taking a bath I tried to peek through the door, but decided against it. So we did not get back together again and that was it.

The last time I saw Christine she did not see me. I was in a shopping mall at New Year's and I saw her walking away from me arm in arm with some guy. It was amazing how pear shaped Christine always had been.

Christine was a member of a number of Vietnamese ladies who worked in massage parlors in Silicon Valley. I suspected then that they were an espionage ring operated by the Vietnamese Communist government.