He settled at the bar. The very end of it, as far out of the light as possible. The dull glare of the flickering television images periodically lit up his face. He winced, as if the spotlight were too much for him. “One whisky, small, with coke…and lots of ice…thanks Rahul”. He knew the barman well. He knew his story, his hopes, his dreams. Good man, Rahul. Knew just how much ice to put in his drink, just when to stop by and offer a starter. A good man, who kept responding to Rahul, even though his name was Ranjan
Two stools away, the two techies nursing their beers looked over in his direction. He glanced up and offered up a weak smile in their direction. “Cheers”, they raised their bottles. Up went his glass. An acknowledgement, a grateful clink, and back to his thoughts.
Alone for the first time in a long time. The lonely drunk in a far corner of the bar. Dull, inconspicuous – you wouldn’t notice him unless you looked directly at him. The familiar conflict between wanting to spend some time wallowing and the voice telling him to suck it up and get on with it began once more in his head. The scariest moments are those we face alone. A moment when we stare inward and look deep into our soul. Interestingly, it is also those moments which showcase character. Not to sound cliched, but at these moments, if you are lucky enough, your sub conscious will kick in with a pleasantly distracting and entertaining thought. That exact moment when you realise that dark thoughts do not always last, while sub-conscious acid trips, though scary, were at least entertaining
And then the drunk smiled. Life would be alright. Maybe not now, but eventually, it would be alright
Although he should look very seriously into Rahul’s definitions of a small whisky