Nok (Manee Butawong)

became my lady in February of 1991 and we broke up four months later. Apparently she got pregnant on or about her seventeenth birthday. When we broke up we found out she was two months pregnant.

While she was pregnant I gave her a thousand baht about once a week when she came around to my office to collect. She knew darned well that if she showed up and she wasn't pregnant I would not give her the money. In effect, I was paying her to have the baby. Finally her father came down from the village and took her home.

Nok and DamlongWhen I next visited her in the village, it was December; she was seven or eight months pregnant. I noticed there was this guy hanging around. I asked Nok, and she admitted that she had a new boyfriend. I had a little talk with him. I patted Nok on the stomach and told him "This belongs to me." I waved my hands around Nok and told him "Everything else, I give to you." He was happy with that deal. The picture here is of Nok and Damlong.

I figured the baby was going to be a programmer, because even when she was born she was two weeks late.

Nok named the baby "Alee". I did not realize it but "Aree" is a standard Thai name, only Nok, being from Isan, pronounced it "Alee". I got her a U.S. Certificate of Live Birth Abroad showing her name as "Alee Canfield". If the certificate also shows Nok's birth date, then the government has proof that I was sleeping with a seventeen year old girl back then. But as far as I know, at that time the age of concent in Thailand was fifteen.

Our daughter, Alee, drowned three years later. She was cremated. Her stupa is in the village of LawnDawkMai, near Kamphaenphet, Thailand. They spelled her name wrong in the concrete; they spelled it "Aree Canfield".