Mixed Drinks

by James Steerforth

All things considered methodically, soberly and objectively, life was dreadful. There was nothing to last, least of all feelings and relationships and love; the only certainties were the daily drudgery of work that leached all energy out of him, the wounds festering away that were immune to any kind of healing, the new wounds getting cut as the days went by, and, to round things off, inevitable physical and mental decay, with death's black eye winking at the end. So out to the bars, away from finding himself and solitude unbearable, in search of some alcohol-induced enjoyment. Where and with whom might Francesca be? She who had gone to Australia when a new, exciting job opportunity presented itself, coolly betting on him being too tied down, too immobile, too lacking in adventure and imagination to come along, taking their little daughter with her. He twisted the stem of life's simile, a mixed drink in a half-full/half-empty bulbous glass, smiling a knowing, alcohol-fueled inane smile.

6S - C3

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