Burnout

They ask me why it didn’t work out between the two of us. I quote Churchill, not really having anything else better to say.

“He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire.” I take a drag off my smoke and feel the cold December breeze against my sweaty forehead. I sweat whenever I smoke, no matter how cold the weather is. I think it’s partly because of the guilt of smoking, and partly because of the excitement of having to break THE rule again. He never liked my smoking. I never liked his never liking my smoking. Quits.

I feel my friends staring at me from across the table. I look away, lean back in my chair and sigh. I always have to explain everything literally. Well, the night is young, I have my friends for company, booze is everywhere, and a fresh breakup is at hand. I ready myself for a long night of talking and drinking.

But for the first time, I don’t have an answer for their “What for?”

A few months ago, whenever my friends asked me how we are, I always answered, we’re holding on, steady lang. Then a follow-up question of “What for?” from the more frank ones. I was always only too happy to explain to them that what we have been through was something worth saving and waiting for. That all we need is just some time, and eventually everything will fall into place.

They shrug their shoulders; I shrug mine.

Tonight however, I am caught off guard because of the question again. I find myself struggling for an answer, but I realize I don’t have one anymore, so I just keep quiet and look away.

So much had changed. It’s funny because in our attempt to keep everything normal between the two of us, it all went out of control and came crashing down anyway. It really is like holding water in your hands. Everything will spill out, no matter how carefully you try to hold on to it. But of course, I will not tell them this.

“I waited ‘in vain’ for six hours. He stood me up. He preferred to sleep it off.”

Amy suddenly starts singing Waiting in Vain. Everyone begins to sing along with her. I blow a smoke directly on her face and she stops.

“It’s not funny. Not funny at all.” I say. I congratulate myself for not saying the whole story. If I do, they might do a musical in front of me.

“No, but who would’ve thought the resident cynic could be such a hopeless romantic?” she says coyly.

“I am not a hopeless romantic.” So what if I am, you insensitive twerp, I almost blurt out. I gulp down a half-empty (or half-full) glass of light beer and throw my fifth cigarette butt.

“Anyhoo, I waited but he didn’t come. I never told him how long I’ve waited. I just ended it. End of story.”

End of our story. I’m not going to be sentimental about it. I’ll just drink and smoke it off. It will eventually go away, so why bother telling my friends about it.

But it is just so lonely. So fucking lonely.

 

(original post date: December 02, 2006)

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