- · Inspired by the song “I might hate myself in the morning” by Lee Ann Womack
“Vodka, vermouth.” This would be his third.
The music played in the background. “To set the mood?”
He had spent the evening sorting through his old country records; choosing songs to fit his sour disposition.
He lit a cigarette. He had already gone through more than half a pack tonight.
“You look so good in love. I wish you still wanted me.”
Outside it was a stormy evening. No lightening, no thunder; but the haze had turned into a gloomy downpour. Sitting on his couch in his one bedroom apartment, the steady sound of the raindrops matched his despondence.
He instinctively mixed himself another martini.
He looked out the window; the soft inundation of the storm upon the ground engrossed his senses. His light-headiness from the alcohol mixed with the mise-en-scene to compound the desolate solitude.
More sad country records; he spent many nights such as this. Alone, he would drink martinis to the background of heart-wrenching sounds; magnifying his self-pity.
Lighting another cigarette he once again searched through his collection of music. Choosing only the most tragic of them all while his inebriation compounded.
“Doug Stone, hopefully this wouldn’t be too trite.”
“I’d be better off in a pine box on a slow train back to Georgia. Or in the cold walls of a prison doing time.”
Typical to his own senses, he spent many nights such as this, relishing his misery.
Lighting another cigarette, he thought back.
He had taken her to SantaBarbara. The ocean that time of year was breath-taking. It had been stormy that winter, but with the chillness of spring, the scenery was only enhanced. Driving up the coast the crystal blue water of the coast could be savored. Her beautiful smile and cheerful demeanor had brought hope with it in his life. Maybe this had been what was missing? Work had always been steady, as did every facet of his social life. He had been living in a sky-rise apartment in the city after promotion and promotion at work that he enjoyed. Friendship was not hard to find, but a meaningful relationship had been lacking.
As they were driving up alongside the ocean the conversation had been inconsequential, but the companionship somehow meaningful. Her smile and her happiness infectiously warmed his heart. He had learned to find joy in his life.
He poured another drink. The slight inebriation had crossed to mild intoxication. He felt comfortable in this setting, as he spent much time alone. Lighting another cigarette, he continued listening to the rain and to the music on the stereo.
There were no tears, only a melancholy poise.
They had driven to a spot on the ocean and decided to take a stroll up and down the peer. Her eyes enticed while all he could give in return was an honest smile. This love was real.
They walked down the peer eyeing the ocean-side shops and boutiques. They walked into a spot that held an art gallery. Ocean scenes were expressed magnificently on the canvases. Monetarily as well-off as he was, it was not a burden to buy her one. The ocean waves against the rocks magistrated a feeling of ah.
They came to a popular local eatery where they took part in an excellent seafood meal.
Life had never been better.
As the music played in the background and he finished another of many drinks and thought, “How could I lose her?”
“The wheels just turn, down the road ahead. If it hurts at all, you haven’t showed ityet. I’m not asking you to turn that cararound, but I’d settle for a slowdown.”
Matching every word to what he felt in his soul, his senses became numb. Cigarette after cigarette he smoked, thinking of her.
He could call her on the phone? Sometimes he did. She was probably busy, but sometimes she still had time for him. He would call and start by saying hello. Although it was over, they were still friendly with each other.
“Can I see you tonight?” he would ask.
Sometimes she said yes, while other times the phone would just ring.
One more night? Would that be enough? It would have to be.
He picked up the phone. With no self-respect, he would call her praying for one more taste of what used to be.
The phone rang. The phone rang again. One more time, it rang. She probably knew it was him. Would she answer or let it ring?
“Hello,” she said.
“This is Martin. Are you busy tonight?”