I do not drink alone. I never drink alone. I admire guys who walk into a bar and order a stiff one and sit there alone with their thoughts. Staring into their glasses. Not bothering with their environ. Ignoring the music. Then they have two, three doubles and then ask for the bill. Then they walk away from it all, like they were never there. They go home. Or in a cave somewhere. Or whatever forsaken place it is that people who drink alone go to.
I think I would die of depression if I drunk alone. I think I would feel forsaken, lost and aggrieved. I would drown my drink and head straight to talk to a priest. Maybe I would weep as I confessed my sins. Maybe my lips would tremble as I narrated my woes, and all the love I gave that did not go bequeathed. I would mostly likely be the sob who used words like “bequeathed.”
It is for these reasons that I avoid drinking alone. Well, that was until I found myself on top of the tallest building in Bangkok, Baiyoke Sky Hotel. The bar – The Rooftop Bar – sat perched on the 83rd floor, overlooking the stunning vista of the city with burning tendrils of roads and trains crisscrossing the city. Stunning. I sat against the window, my nose pressed to it, ignoring my Cuba Libre. I did not feel like having a whisky or a cognac, and when the waiter suggested a cocktail, I asked for a Cuba Libre because I once watched a movie where this deadbeat musician would drink it backstage in a small grumpy backstreet bar where he was trying to pick the pieces of his life, career and passion. A befitting drink for the mood I was in up there on the 83rd floor like the undecided soul of a departed soldier.
I was finally drinking alone and hating every moment of it. I did not want company either. I wanted to feel what complete solitude felt like, wanted it to sip in my skin and remain on my clothes. I wanted to carry it back home and smell it as I unpacked, and maybe then I would have ensnared the feeling of solitude.
The Cuba Libre turned out to be shit. Too much cola, too little rum. I summoned the suited manager who looked like Jackie Chan. I asked him if my drink had any rum in it and he said, “sure”. I told him I could not taste a drop of it, so he went back and added me another shot. I sucked on it through the glowing luminous green straw and stared out the window, craving for a human voice, something familiar, a familiar laugh, a touch on my shoulder, anything that normal humans who do not drink alone do.
Later, as I rode the elevator down, leaning at the back, I knew that drinking alone was not for me. That it was still as miserable as I imagined it and it did nothing to stimulate my thoughts. Even the Cuba Libre sucked. Goodness, was I sad to be right.