The almost empty bottle of alcohol slipped from her fingers and crashed below her, on top of the massive rocks that formed the beach in that part of the port. It wasn’t an area to go an have fun of anything, rather a place for people who loved seafood to go and have a delicious dish of crab, lobster, fish or any other creature from the sea. The small pier on which Cynthia was seating, her legs dangling like she used to do when she was younger, was located in a part closed to the public, far from the restaurants and the bustling ambiance of the now exclusive and upscale area of commerce that was located a few steps away.
Where she was, she could hear the ocean crashing softly against the rocks and then pull back and then crash the rocks again. She found that beautiful sound to be very soothing, especially at that precise moment of her life when she was feeling cornered by thoughts and things that were happening all around her. She knew the place from one time she had been invited to a party there and now she looked at the pieces of glasses on the rocks, as if they had the answer to all of her problems. And apparently, the answer was to open up the other bottle she kept on her coat and start drinking again, no regrets at all.
Cynthia had never really been a lover of alcohol but it felt soothing for that moment to do something like that. She wasn’t into drugs or anything like that, having a crippling fear of dying from an overdose, so she would more often than not go to her nearest store and buy a couple of middle-sized bottles of alcohol, which she could feet nicely into her large winter coat. And it was that, the weather during that time of year, that made it all the more perfect. She knew it was the perfect way for her to handle what was going on and she wouldn’t let anyone else decide for her what to do or how to do it.
As she took a good sip of the clear liquid in the bottle, she paid special attention to a fishing vessel entering the port. She was certain no one could see her there, on the spot she had chosen to be in, but realized it would be very annoying to have someone come and stop her from going on and on with that part of her life. Because that’s what it had become: alcohol had become the perfect gateway “drug” to make her feel a little less, something she really needed each time she was reminded of her past but also her present and the prospects her future held. Everything in life triggered her and made her unable to respond normally to anything.
The fishing boat passed and Cynthia waved at it, already a bit drunk from the alcohol but also because of the cold. She closed her coat a little bit more, realizing she had chosen an especially cold evening to go out and sit over the ocean. But the truth was that she had never “chosen” such a place or such an activity. It was only the thing she could do without feeling she was doing the wrong thing or acting in an undesirable manner. She wasn’t a mess there, by herself.
It was also easy to hear the screams and laughter coming from the people in the restaurants, but Cynthia tried hard not to pay attention. One reason was that she didn’t really liked any of the people that visited such places. They were mostly snobbish, the type of folk that don’t even realize people don’t normally have the kind of money to dine in such places every single night. That was exactly what she realized the day she was invited to a party there and soon realized how much of a mistake it had been to attend that event, at that time and in that place. It was all wrong and there was no real way to mend it.
She made everyone feel uncomfortable and the only thing she won out of that experience was the fact that she was very clear on how other people perceived her and what she didn’t really like about all of them. She was one of those people that don’t really mind what you say about them or how you say it, or at least they seem to not care at all. That’s way her appearance in that party was such a disaster, even if other things were feeling as if they had been improving in her life for quite some time. But those awful moments of social awkwardness made everything feel worse and seem worse, and she didn’t really need that.
When she finished the bottle, she dropped it intentionally over the rocks, applauding loudly when the glass shattered and pieces flew all over the place, to the ocean, over the algae and on the rock. No one appeared after she had clapped. Maybe no one cared or maybe she had a way with the city and its strange places, but her next move was to go back to the mainland and try to exit the area without anyone looking at her. She was successful, after avoiding to look back on her way to the exit. Once there, she walked, cold and shaking but feeling a bit better. The cold wind on her cheeks was apparently doing wonders too.
She sat at the bus stop and realized she was a bit tipsy. She looked around, and realized her only other companion was a very elderly woman who didn’t even have a reason to be walking around so late in such a remote place. Cynthia looked at her and tried to guess if she was actually younger than she seemed or if she seemed to be into the kind of things that hip people liked doing over there. She didn’t have much choice anyway, as the bus appeared soon and they both entered. Cynthia sat behind the driver and the old lady walked very slowly to a seat by the middle of the bus. Maybe she was buying something she wasn’t supposed to.
When Cynthia got home, she felt really dizzy and also very tired. She dropped on her bed in two seconds after she had arrived and realized, in a moment, that she was drunk and that she hated most of the people with whom she interacted ever. Everyone including doctors, shrinks, supposed friends and family and all other people that always try for you to have the life that they want for you, instead of the want for yourself. She really hated them, with feeling.
She then decided to strip for bed and stood in front of the mirror, looking at her almost naked body. Cynthia was not a supermodel but she wasn’t the ugliest woman in the world, she was fine. But she didn’t have much else aside a degree she never used and a lot of debt towards her parents. She was one of those so-called “leeches” that live in their parents’ home for years and never really go. Her fortieth birthday seemed close, even if it wasn’t going to happen for some more years. It was pressing on her, her mind and the body she was looking at.
It was obvious that she didn’t really feel great about all of that but even so she got herself into a pajama and then into bed. She heard her parents entering the house right when she was about to fall asleep. It was nice she had chosen that precise night to be able to come back without her parents being there and asking something about her life or, much worse, not saying anything but giving her looks and glances, certain attitudes too, that made her realize what she already knew. But how the overcome the fact that she was a non- achiever?
How was she supposed to overcome the fact that she was just one person, unable to change the world around her? That’s why she needed to drink, why she really needed to have a proper reaction to everything happening around her. She could just be there and take it or end it all in two seconds. Neither of those two options was an actual option, she didn’t have access to any of them. So, she had to endure and keep at it until something happened. But it had a toll on her and maybe that one would be the last straw for her and her consciousness. She knew very well she was not the kind of person to hold for years and years.
Cynthia often found herself looking up at her ceiling, wondering about all of those people she had met at least once. She wondered about their lives, their success and their stories of greatness and achievements. And she felt so tremendously alone after that. She remembered the times she had borrowed money from her father to pay for a quality education and it had all amounted to nothing. They didn’t really say it but she knew, deep that, that it was the case.
So every night was a struggle and every new day felt as one more iron ball had been put in a jar representing her life. It got heavier and heavier, never easy to properly carry around.