A sip of the flask, a burn in the throat. The taste is as bitter as my mind. Now that mind will be erased, my feelings will numb and the not giving will ensue. Stumbling down main street at midnight, not feeling the cold even though it pierces my skin and cuts to my bones. My loneliness mixes with this vodka and the two do the usual tango, using the sounds of the night as their music. These streets smell like piss but I don’t care, I smell like piss too. With one last swig I put my worries in my pocket and take on the spirit of a carefree man. I call out to women, I yell at traffic. My giddiness is a safeguard for my depression, which threatens to peek out from behind the bottle. I can’t let that come out, not tonight. I walk into a coffee shop, a shop that I came to when I was an actual carefree man…. A man who had a wife and kids, a man who had a job, a man who had a roof over his head, a man with little problems save the loss of the Cowboys last Sunday… A man who didn’t hide his demons behind a bottle. I stumble into line, unaware of the concerned looks that patrons are giving me. I order a beer, and they give me a blank look. This is a cafe, they tell me, and the pimply-faced gets his manager. They ask me to leave but I make a scene, yelling for that Guinness that I used to be able to afford, thrashing my arms about, stumbling, stumbling. They try to detain me but I fall on my face onto a table. The customer’s coffee lands everywhere, but I don’t feel the scorching hot of it. The setting fades as a tear rolls down my cheek. I laugh myself to sleep.