by Niall Doherty


For the second consecutive morning, I sit alone and I listen and I cry. I cry fucking hard, man, tears streaming down my cheeks. Last night was awful, gut-wrenching. I went home feeling like a loser, like I was never worthy of a girl like her in the first place. It crosses my mind that I might have made the biggest mistake of my life, but I let it go.


Discipline and spontaneity in a never-ending tug-o-war. Sometimes, when discipline wins, I wonder what it is I’m working for. Like last night: cute girl invites me south of the city to watch a meteor shower… and I pass it up, too much to do tomorrow. Now I’m regretting that decision. Have I mastered my will, or has my will mastered me?


I don’t believe everything happens for a reason. Sometimes shit happens and it sucks. The Stoics acknowledged this, but they also saw each obstacle as a way to practice some virtue, never letting a good crisis go to waste. Accordingly, I appreciate that in recent days I’ve had ample opportunities to practice patience, acceptance, humility.


Giant arranged a double date, somehow got them straight to our place. Physically, my girl is every man’s dream. But looks are about all she’s got going. Her wallpaper is stacks of cash, books don’t please her, and she browses Facebook mid-conversation. No indication she wants to fuck me, but if she did, I like to think I’d make like Rhett Butler and frankly-my-dear her ass.

Overlooking Medellín

Overlooking Medellín


Last week was tough but I think I handled it pretty well, bouncing back strong. The important thing to keep in mind when going through a rough patch is that everything comes and everything goes. Emotions and situations are temporary. They don’t define you. Writing helps, too. Get those thoughts out of your head and down in print. You’ll feel better, trust me.


I had her on a pedestal, but not anymore. Spending a lot of time together, living in the same apartment, she appears merely human now. Today we annoyed the shit out of each other, then spent several hours in silent treatment, no remorse. Glad my infatuation is gone, but, if we’re not careful, our friendship will be, too.


It’s good to have a key phrase, something you let spill out of your mouth before your brain can conjure up a reasonable excuse. Once those words are out there’s no going back. For cold approach I use, “Disculpe, tengo una pregunta…” For difficult conversations I’d rather avoid but know must be had, it’s, “Listen, I gotta tell ya…”


The plan has always been to hit up New Orleans first, then embark on a big road trip west, spending about seven months total in North America. But now I’m thinking twice. A trip like that is only worth doing if my finances are sorted, and I’m not sure they will be. So I might head east from NOLA, and just keep on going. I could be home and done by summer.


That said, I have to be careful. It’s tempting to look ahead, waiting for the next chapter to begin. But I’m here now, in the prime of my life, surrounded by all things Colombian. I’m finding it hard to let go and be social though, focused as I am on the money-making. Some days I feel my life is way off track, others that I’m exactly where I need to be.


Out the front door, headed for my usual lunch spot. It’s another sunny day, and I’m without sunglasses. My last pair may have been stolen. Two blocks up a beautiful woman crosses my path, watched by two men in a truck at the traffic lights. I don’t talk to this woman or make eye contact. I let her pass and glance at her ass, then at the two men in the truck at the traffic lights.

Salsa class in Medellín

Salsa class in Medellín


I’m pretty bummed here in Medellín. It’s a cool city and all, but I think I’m just over this whole foreign culture lark. It’s been three years since I’ve lived in an English-speaking country, really starting to miss effortless conversations, random banter, understanding and being understood. The US in February will be like a warm hug to a lonely man.


I wonder if Bukowski faced this. He wrote raw, no holds barred. He must have upset some people, writing about private moments, ugly details. He probably killed some relationships being so candid. And yet that was a big part of his appeal, why we know his name. Maybe you have to cross that line… but not me, not yet. I won’t tell you what I did for the first time today.


If I don’t make the call, I have to skip cheat day and fast for thirty-six hours. So I make the call. Her name is Eleanor and she’s easy to talk to. We stay on for close to ten minutes and I follow up with an email. Then I dip chicharrón in guacamole, give my lady a hug, and head back to bed. It’s ten past twelve in the afternoon.


I was aiming to win $5,000 of new business in November. A big project put me over the edge on Thursday, and now some unexpected work pushes me further ahead. I’m happy, but not satisfied. Earlier this week I interviewed people making $10-15k a month online through freelancing. No reason why I can’t do the same.


It’s about noon as I sit up in bed, listening to music from big pink, trying to be still. She’s at my side, dozing. I watch her eyes twitch behind skin and flash back a fortnight, how unlikely this all was. She’ll move out later today. I’m savoring these moments, because now could well be the end of it, the last time we’re together like this.

Writing home

Writing home

In the comments below, let me know which of the above Momentos is your favorite. Which can you relate to?

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