Well Drinks & The Crying Girl
The smoke swirled thick and pungent in the bar creating a haze that only seasoned smokers could see through without their eyes watering. The jukebox in the corner still played tunes from a time many seemed to have forgotten at a low enough volume that it didn’t drown out the conversations of the patrons.
A girl sat at the bar, buying an out to her misery from Emile, the bartender.
“They were right!” she cried looking at me, “I shouldn’t have loved him so deeply if he didn’t love me the same.”
“Whoever told you that is full of shit,” I said, lighting a cigarette. “Love isn’t about what you get out of it.”
“What do you know, you’re just an old drunk,” the girl snapped.
My ears grew hot, and my temper flared as I opened my mouth, “I’ll tell you what I know. Your entire generation has the same problem. You all think that you deserve love, need it even, and you spend your lives jumping from relationship to relationship trying to force someone to love you.
“Love is about giving. Love is unconditional and free. It’s nothing more than your selfish pride making you so upset at the moment. ‘He didn’t love me like I loved him.’ You don’t have even the faintest idea.
“Love is effortless, relationships are work. I would assume you’ve mixed the two up for a long time-”
“Love is all you need,” Emile interrupted.
“You’re a dumbass!” I erupted, pointing at him before turning back to the puddle of a girl crying into her drink. “Relationships are about being independent enough to live your life while simultaneously putting forth effort to spend time with someone who is the same. Real love sometimes means making the tough call and walking away or staying behind. Real love is never about what you get from the other person it’s about what you give them.
“So what if this guy didn’t love you? We all like to be loved, but we can’t control other people, only ourselves, and even at that, we’re fucking horrible. My wife of twenty-seven years passed away, and while I miss her every day, I can’t be sad that her suffering ended. I sit here, in this bar, as an old drunk, waiting for life to end so I can be with her again. That’s what I know about love, you whiney little girl. How about you take your selfishness to another bar and try to find some ‘love’ in another person you’ve never met…”
I relit my cigarette, breathing heavily as I tapped my glass on the bar. Emile came over and refilled it while the girl stared into her cup.
“You’re an asshole,” the girl said as she dropped money on the bar before she walked out.
“She’s right you know. You are an asshole,” Emile said with a smile.
“Asshole, Old drunk, it doesn’t matter,” I shrugged as I stood up. “I’ll see you tomorrow, Emile.”