Alone I sit at the old tavern on the corner of my block – dim lights and decaying 80’s hits pull me deeper in my chair. Alas I stair at my glass as my eyes have outworn their welcome on the waitress in front of me, the tattoos already studied on her plump arms and going down onto barely hidden heaving breasts. I’ve watched every ice cube slowly melt away before I take a sip, watched the dark color of my whiskey waiver, and fade away. The water off the cubes forming fine spirals before spreading into the alcohol and killing the bite from its taste. I look around me, to the laughing and flirting of the others in the bar. I loath them in my envy, until my thoughts work hard to convince me otherwise. I hearken to their laughs for they pierce my solitude. They are stupid in their drunkenness, while I am stoic. Moreover I expect their conversation to be well below my musings, even under my own intoxication. Again my gaze shifts to the brown liquid in front of me and blurs as I drift into thoughts of past happiness. I dive into the liquid and come out the other side of the glass. In my mind I am in a hot climate and everyday my life feels purpose in being a foreigner. I hold hands with the one I loved and laugh with friends. The summer rains come and pour down on me, soaking my clothes but within hours they will be baked dry. Walking through back streets with my friend I search for a pool, or break into one later in the night. Where smiles abound and good times blossoms I intercourse with the past. In the bar again a smile cracks my face as I pull from this dream back into reality. With a big gulp I finish my drink and head home.
I had it all. A beautiful girlfriend, a high paying job, warm days and fresh fruit outside my door. I was special, unique, always a celebrity. But I was put to hard choices and I had to realize that my relationship was not working and would not. My girlfriend was a beautiful Vietnamese girl, from a rich family, and sadly, to them I did not measure up. But this was not the real problem, the problem was the challenges a life with her would bring. Always we would be fighting against racism, people judgments and stares. Continuous would be our search for a means of communication that would make life a little easier. Always our cultural differences butting heads, our core values, the way we perceive the world and how it manipulates us respectively. Me hating power and what is done with it, her looking for it. A future with her would be a never ending array of struggles and I made a decision that I was not up for them.
I said goodbye to Vietnam, and to the idea that love can conquer all, and most importantly to Thúy. Goodbye my love. May what you are looking for come more easily to you.