International Writers Magazine: Dreamscapes in Thailand
a liar you see.
And I will be honest here; you have my word as an old Etonion.
The thing is, I was paid to be a liar, paid by Her Majestys
Government. But I did it too well, started a little self-employment,
and you people hate that, because you know that the capacity is
in all of us, if we open the door to it.
Bangkok is a hot
steamy fetid place, where one needs to imbibe at least four G&Ts
an hour just to keep cool, and you usually end up changing clothes three
times a day.
A place where secrets and lies are buried in both the heat and alcoholic
haze. Where no one asks you questions because everyone thinks the worst
A perfect place for me then you might think?
I am Jeremy Stanton, formerly of MI6 just like his late father.
Sadly my father had a blameless career in The Firm, unlike
me. But then, you chaps know that Im sure, I mean you, my intended
and by the time you read this, unsuccessful captors from London are
my audience, my readership. Im fairly sure Ill know some
of you, in which case, sorry Ive had to dash without so much as
a goodbye, but then I was never one for reunions.
It was quite easy for me to get into MI6, it was expected of me to enter
the family business as it where and after a first class degree and unblemished
time at Cambridge all the doors just swung open for me from the first
floor entrance right up to the Russian desk in the summer of 83.
Thats when it all started to crumble, when my perfectly laid plans
came to fruition and you poor saps never had a clue.
But of course these things cant last forever, and it only takes
one big mouth to put two and two together and blow the whistle. That
was of course what happened to me. But Ive always been blessed
with brains and so my escape route was well planned.
Jeremy Stanton stepped from the shadows of one world and into another.
Ive spent the last two years here in hiding, under an alias. The
sweaty afternoons really just drag by, like a mosquito with only one
wing. I spend most of my days in the, well, lets just call it The
Old Officers Club.
This is where you find all the old ex pats with a dark past. Cowardly
Colonels mostly drowning their shame in drink for the deaths of thousands
they are to blame for.
Occasionally women too drink in this hellhole. Though it is rare, I
even hear that they are allowed in golf clubs on certain days back home
I guess Ive been lazy really. I mean when youve traipsed
round the globe with more fake cards than a hustler, youre bound
to want to just rest for a while. And thats what I did here.
Too long it would appear. Your tame journalist spotted me
and did a little homework. Must be a comprehensive school chap, and
word got around. Before I knew it I had to use all the old tradecraft
I thought Id left behind. Zigzagging around putrid bazaars being
followed by agents so obvious they may as well had a placard. Honestly
what are they teaching them these days?
So, Im found out. No big deal, I chose this lifestyle and I stick
by it. Youll get no remorse from me. Yes I sold secrets firstly
to the Russians and then after the Cold War defrosted like the proverbial
turkey I moved onto industries. I feel no shame in what I did, it was
something that I believed in and so therefore-
No, no, thats a lie
and I said I wasnt going to do
that didnt I?
Slapped wrists for Jeremy!
No my double life, my selling of frankly, third rate secrets that the
six boys at Vauxhall Bridge kept hold of so dearly in their
clammy little palms, like some porn magazine was brought about purely
for the money. THE MONEY. I mean honestly if some Leonid from Lubyanka
and latterly some consolidated clot was willing to fork out for the
pile of rubbish we held in esteem then, why should I have principles?
Principles are worth nothing, we dont benefit from their being
in our lives. I mean, it doesnt keep the Jag running now does
So there you have it, I sold secrets, not for beliefs like dear old
Philby, but for money. I really did have to, I mean to say, some of
my old fags were on better money than I. A gentleman has to do something
to keep up doesnt one?
It really was quite appalling sitting in ones club back home and
seeing some former chap one used to use to warm the lavatory seat waltz
in as if he owned the place. This was the 80's, when these little oiks
danced out of Oxbridge and into the music business or some such tawdry
life, all cocaine and coca cola. Our Soviet cousins were a few years
shy of those particular pleasures, and so I passed a few things onto
Of course question is, where does one move onto now? I could top myself
I suppose, but Im not that desperate
or bored. No, I shall
continue to elude you and travel ever onward and upward. I shall be
swift, Im sure youll be here to read this soon. Yes, it
will be Roger, I was always one step ahead of you wasnt I?.
Oh well time to go. No doubt the chaps at the club will stare at my
vacant chair and wonder what happened to me, for about a day before
they return to the never- ending sundowners. I guarantee you there will
be a similar chair in a similar club waiting for me by the time you
© Mark Cunliffe March 2006
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