Me Vs. You

27 Jul

“Alone Vs. Lonely”. That was what she wrote in her notepad. Crouched outside a gently buzzing little bar in Tel Aviv’s Yemenite neighbourhood of Kerem, her eyes flitted between the two words, and her mind between two worlds. The city felt heavy, oppressive. Inside the bar, shadowy figures sat sipping pink beers at high tables, relishing the heat and the cooling fizz of the alcohol as it slid down throats, or missed mouths and fell unceremoniously onto tables. She’d never seen it before, this glamorous little local bar, which had risen like a party-seeking vampire as the night fell slowly onto the city’s shoulder. “Alone Vs. Lonely.” She debated a drink, a solitary one, or perhaps one which would become two, or three, aided by the easy manner of the winking bar man, out for his tips and perhaps something more. But then she looked down at those words again, those two worlds she had etched into her note pad, and shook her head, no, not tonight. Tonight she would leave those happy people within to their gin, and their vodka and their beer, and their fearless existence living inside the ‘Versus’, that little word which she had bypassed, shortened into two little letters that her eyes skimmed over as she read back her own words. Because you don’t have to be alone, or lonely – you don’t have to choose between the lesser of two evils. A good friend told me that there’s  always a third way, and there is – the ‘Versus’ – fight back against the things that make you feel unloved, dive into the bar and raise a glass to your joy instead of drowning  your sorrows. I took a sip and watched her pack up her notepad and wander off into the night. “Next time”, she thought, “Next time I’ll join them.”

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