Katoey Kindness

She wears cropped shorts and a tight low-cut top. She totters on six inch heels. Tall, tattooed, broad-shouldered, big-boned. Standing on a teeming Bangkok street.
Katoey, a ladyboy. And tonight, a prostitute looking for a customer.
He wears a faded blue shirt, dark trousers and black sandals. He’s carrying a microphone, an empty blue cup and a white stick. From his neck dangles a silver amplifier. He’s blind, alone, and singing for his supper on the same busy Bangkok street.
Her night is not going well. She can’t find a customer and she is becoming louder and more aggressive as each negotiation breaks down. She is angry, hard-faced and menacing now.
He stops singing. The pavement is uneven so he concentrates as he works his white cane along the crowded street. He looks worried. He looks vulnerable. Then he stumbles. He is about to fall.
But a strong hand reaches for his arm, steadies him and guides him to safe ground. That same hand takes a note from a lurid, pink handbag, drops it into the cup and gently squeezes the blind singer’s arm.
Neither the blind man, nor the ladyboy say anything. But the katoey’s face softens, if only for a moment.
Quickly she releases the arm and swings wildly around, looking again for a punter.

Bangkok, Thailand


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