You’re crying. You don’t know why, but there you are. Bawling like the abandoned schoolgirl you were always afraid you were.
The tears keep trickling down your cheek, creating an unavoidable line of cooling flesh that quickly warms back up thanks to the heat around you. You can’t stop.
Through your blurred vision, you look down. You’re at a table, alone. As always. And there’s a menu, but not really. Can you call a sheet of paper with only one choice a menu? By definition it should have more than one option. No, not really a menu as much as a demand.
You’re still crying. Is it because of the menu? A single choice, written in blood and all caps. It’s practically yelling at you. You can’t ignore it, on account of it being in blood and all caps. Of course it is:
Alone, at the table all by yourself, no one around you, solitary. You look around. Deep breath. Now a loud sigh so someone can hear you. That’s the trick. Sound impatient.
You wait 15 minutes. You’re still crying. Shouldn’t you be dehydrated by now? It’s been a lot of tears.
Finally, you shout, “I’LL HAVE THE BEER.”
A puff of smoke and there they are. The ex that broke up with you that one time, long ago. You were in love, but they could never commit. You knew that, but couldn’t come to terms. Stupid. Stupid.
They’re sauntering up to you now. Oh no. You were never really over them, were you? All those feelings from long ago come rushing back and here you are crying. Wow, they look good.
They don’t talk. They put a beer in front of you, dark as their heart. You try to say hi, but they won’t look you in the eye. They only look at the middle of your forehead, like some 5-year old playing a mean trick.
They walk away, no words. You’re left with a still-broken heart and a beer, black as theirs.
Now you’re really crying.
The beer is endless as midnight. All light is lost inside. You were really hoping for an IPA, but you’re so thirsty. On account of all the crying.
You pull the glass to your nose and the smell burns. A bourbon barrel-aged stout, forged in the depths of sorrow. Fiery like the passion you once felt for that damned ex who left the beer for you when they knew you’d want an IPA. Figures.
It tastes like gasoline. Your tongue throbs. Your throat aches. You’re pretty sure you’re going to die now.
Except you already did.
You thought you were alone, but now you’re seated in the middle of a club. Everyone looks like they’re having a good time. They dance, you sit. All alone with your beer that burns.
Everywhere around you, Gangnam Style.
“Don’t drink to get drunk. Drink to enjoy life.” — Jack Kerouac