A Single Man

dog kissing male owner

Now I live in a hot room in Vietnam, like the guy in Apocalypse Now. Except I have Winnie-the-Pooh bedsheets. Landlord went shopping and chose them, for some reason.

The AC gets fixed, works for a day and then breaks again. Spews flaming F-16 exhaust into the room while outside the sun blasts the life out of the city. The heat is such that it wakes you up at 5:00 am. It’s the only reminder I need that God doesn’t exist. Because there’s no reason for it to be this hot. For the sun to sear and boil you and melt your DNA strands down into cancer. An intelligent designer would have modulated this shit a little.


This breakup burns. Even though I was the one who did it. I see her around the city all the time. She’s alone, and she doesn’t want to be. It’s not fair.

I have too much history now. Too many cute, flirty stories racked up by this point for me to offer someone something genuine. And too many fuck stories for me to offer someone something innocent. Dating gets sick and nasty after a while. We wouldn’t buy a car with fifteen previous owners, but we’ll take a person with that many.

When I go out girls ask me if I have a girlfriend, if I want to go somewhere with them. I don’t. Which only makes them ask again. They only want me because I don’t want them.

That’s the only thing you need to know about life. By the time I decide I want one of the girls, they’ll all disapparate. Look at me with disgust for having a desire.

I’m worried about my empathy levels, I’m worried I’m too detached. I’m outrunning my emotions. I never sit down; there’s always something pressing. I exercise and then I go to work and then after work I have some drinks. Then I pass out and purposefully wake up late enough that I have no time to do anything but get ready for work again. Which leaves me no time for anyone’s bullshit. Vietnamese managers ping my inbox with threats in Google translate-level English: “you sending the spreadsheet now.”

I say no. And they apologize for asking. I’m Genghis Fucking Khan. On Gmail, at least. I keep hoping they’ll fire me. But they can sense that I don’t care, so they keep me around.


Someone stole my helmet from the bar parking lot last week, because that’s the kind of thing happens in Vietnam. If it’s not cemented to the Earth, it vanishes. I didn’t get a new helmet. But it’s safer to ride this way, because I’m far more vigilant. I treat every ride like it’s war.

I saw a dead guy on the bridge near my work. The side of his head was smashed flat. Motorbike crash, no helmet. I know that that’s not going to happen to me. Not these days, anyway. I’m safe and I’m lucky. And things will stay that way until I get more excited about life.


14 thoughts on “A Single Man

  1. You’re honest about yourself and that’s something I don’t feel like exists enough currently. I find myself envious of you… both in shitty and good situations. I know thst realistically part of it is just that your experiences are different than mine, but still.

    Christ, there’s so much about life that we’ll all miss before we die. At least we can read about it.

  2. I dig how honest Holly’s comment is as well. And that picture you used, in this context, just TASTES like sarcasm. Also, I hope you’re okay. I know you’ll keep going, but I hope you end up better than okay…

  3. So, I think I’m terrible. No, I know I am now. Normally, when I browse my reading list, I usually just like the post to show fellow writers I’m rooting for them, but rarely do I actually read the post. And admitting that makes me feel like an unholy death ring of fire may or may not close in on me. BUT, I read this post. And I’m conflicted about liking it so much when the content was kind of heartbreaking. Either way, I think you may have enlightened me, so thanks for that!

  4. Hey, I really dont understand how could you sacrifice what you feel for Cindy (??). Sorry I am not sure about her name.Well, I pray that good luck would always be your friend and that trouble would always be a stranger to you, dear friend. I admit I have not met you personally but I somehow feel that you are a nice and a very profound guy. I wish you well in all your endeavors.

  5. As always, I am flabbergasted. First, I am sorry. You sound like you are hurting; nobody deserves to hurt. Second, I am sorry for the guy who’s head was smashed. That must have hurt. Thirdly, I enjoyed this read thoroughly.

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