Miami. Summer of 2006. An army green beret on my head. Faded pink tank top with a big heart on the front. And Melissa, my Brazilian friend – long brown hair and a butt that men wreck cars for. Beauty with bite… I’ve always loved that about her. The Butch Cassidy to my Sundance Kid.
We were under-dressed and over-confident. Two beautiful women in our 20s. Obliviously in the moment. Drinks bought for us from across the bar from a Dos-Equis looking older man who gave us a nod, as if to thank us for the decoration and smoothly go back to his drink. We were not offended. Nor surprised. You never know the wand is in your hands until you start to lose it.
Tonight I sit at the bar with a drink in hand and no one gives a second notice. I’m not sure if it’s my age or my broken heart they see… Or the simple fact I don’t want to be here. I want to be home on my couch with a man who’s equally as wise, mature, and tired as me. Perhaps with a golden retriever. Or a black lab. But hell, patience is my lost virtue. So I order another whiskey sour, and let the problem solve itself for the evening. Better to be here than alone and crying.
Besides, if I stare long enough at the bloated old white man in the corner with his pretty young Thai ‘girlfriend’, suddenly I lose the energy to feel sorry for myself. And accept life for what it is again. The rain washing over the sandcastle. The obvious hole in the little boat i tried to sail. They were never built to last to begin with. Foundations so weak.
And I let him walk his walk of fear. What was never ours can’t leave us. What is truly ours will never leave.
One more whiskey from now, I’ll begin to believe this. Tomorrow I’ll wake up a successful woman in her 30s. An artist. A world traveler. An entrepreneur. The envy of at least a dozen high school mates back in Missouri. And I laugh… I laugh because they think I have something golden here in Thailand… As they sit at home with their devoted husband and shiny dog.
Tomorrow I’ll meditate and do some more yoga. Let the grass be equally green again. But tonight… Tonight I’m an 18th century British poet, and all the sadness in the world belongs to me.