Monday, July 14, 2008

About A Boy And A Test

Reeking of alcohol, the boy stepped into the train that would bring him back to the boonies where he lived. He hadn't even decided where to sit when he heard a woman's voice calling his name. It was an acquaintance from one of the parties he went to, sometime in the past. "You're drunk, honey. On a Sunday night! Is everything alright?"

"It is now!", the boy replied with a heartfelt smile. And he wasn't lying.

Things weren't okay three hours earlier. He was upset, frustrated, and feeling a bit insecure. Luckily, he took the train and spent a few hours with his friends, who, by the way, are judgemental, opinionated, harsh, tactless and are capable of slapping anyone with cold, harsh realities when they are at their most vulnerable state. (That's why they're friends, after all. They're the stereotypical "birds of the same feather".) But this time, his friends weren't so vocal about their thoughts. They knew very well he knew for himself what he was going through. They knew he knew how he got himself into all the drama and what he needed to do to resolve it. They trusted his judgement and just allowed him to vent. They had him drink as much alcohol as he needed to open up to them, and when he did, he was unstoppable. And they just sat there, listening --- being the kind of friends he needed at the moment.

When his self-imposed time limit to be a drama queen was up, he was gentleman enough to shut his mouth. Then his friends left. The next rounds of drinks that followed were more for him than for his sadness over the spilled milk --- over the disillusionment; over the bad date that spanned for roughly two months; over the guy that his mom was convinced was "the one". (And it was a herculean task to get his mom to even consider the guy. She was, until the guy prepared the grill for her birthday barbecue, still rooting for the boy's ex.)

By midnight, the boy ordered his last pink martini for the evening. When the bartender delivered his drink to him, he made a toast to himself --- for the lessons that life had been throwing at him since he first got himself into a romantic relationship, but which he kept ignoring, thus making his subsequent break-ups more difficult to bear. He wasn't going to ignore that lesson again. Not tonight, not ever.

He IS not afraid to love again. Or to have another heartache. But he promised himself, the next time he does, it will be for a whole new lesson. Not a refresher of what he's been taught 11 years ago.

The boy sat there on the train, smiling. He was delighted that he passed the test; and was content of the fun that he had over the past few weeks. Although it ended too soon, it wasn't bad at all. It was disgustingly delightful while it lasted. The guy wasn't an asshole; he was just not what he needed. With a clearer head (albeit alcohol-soaked), and his earphones plugged in, the boy sang to the melody that his Itunes played over and over.

"...I want the real thing
Or nothing at all
I need someone that I
can be sure will catch me
If I should fall
Someone who'll be there when I call
Then I'll know that it's the real thing

I want the real thing
To warm me each night
Someone to love me over and over
Making the future bright
Someone who'll be there when I call
Just give me the real thing


I want to know for sure
That I can feel secure
Knowing I've found an everlasting love
And once I get that under control
Then I won't let go..."

(Real Thing, performed by