I always liked Mexican food, and I especially liked Mexican drinks. That night, I needed to do something I liked. When I sat at the bar, I sat alone. Some crazy Latino music was playing in the background. I couldn’t understand a word of it. The bartender was singing right along with it as he sat chips and salsa on the bar in front of me. “Somethin’ to drink, Senor?”
I nodded, “Something big. With lots of Tequila.”
“For you, Senor, I have just the thing.”
He’d come back with a giant Margarita that had to weigh a couple of pounds. Plunked that sucker down in front of me, and then put two shot glasses of Cuervo Gold next to it. “The biggest drink we have, and lots of Tequila to go with it.” I handed him a $20. “If you need anything else, Senor, you just let me know.”
I sat there, eating chips and salsa, planning to get too drunk to drive anywhere. And doing anything I could so I wouldn’t cry. Not one damn tear. Hell, I’d stand in front of a truck on the highway before I shed one damn tear. I picked up my drink, “Here’s to you, bitch,” I mumbled, and took a long chug, clean up to where I got brain freeze.
The bartender walked back by, singing again, this time in English, “Is this love, is this love, is the love, is this love that I’m feeling?” And the song continued on.
“Yeah, baby. This is love.” I looked at my drink. It wasn’t going to be big enough.
I remembered that afternoon when I got home. She was gone. She’d left a note. All it said was “You don’t love me anymore.” I knew she was never coming back. For two years, we’d lived together, slept together, shopped together. I’d given her everything she’d ever asked for. And I loved every minute of that two years. I loved her. I loved having her around. I loved being able to hold her, touch her, kiss her.
And she was gone.
I’d never seen it coming. And I sat there, at the bar, listening to crappy Latino music, drinking straight shots of Tequila, and liters of Margaritas, wondering how she could abandon me like she had. How she could leave me.
Another song was playing in the background. Some kind of Spanish Love Ballad. The bartender walked by, heading to the couple halfway down the bar, singing right along with the song, “You don’t bring me flowers…”
And, God damn-it to hell, I cried. Because she been right. She’d become a prized possession. Something I could show off. A prize of some kind. I didn’t love her anymore. And I kept hearing her voice saying those words on that note, “You don’t love me anymore.”
And the bartender walked by, singing along with that crap music once again, “Cold. As. Ice. You’re cold as ice to me.”
I swore that night, I’d never fall in love again. That was 16 years ago. And I’ve kept my word since then. I’ve kept my word.