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Late night. In Mao's Inn the sound of chatting, laughing and shouting could be heard all over the place. Everyone was talking to his friends, either telling jokes or arguing. Others were gambling and a few old men were even playing chess. The waiters were running from one table to another, bringing wine and tea, noodles and beef, fruits and cakes.


The men who were coming to this place were people of many kinds. Hard working men who wanted to relax after a long day of work. Husbands who wanted to escape from their wives and have a drink with their friends. Sons of rich aristocrats who had nothing better to do than to waste their time drinking wine at inns.


Only one man was not participating in this feast. Only one man was quietly drinking his wine. He was alone, without any friends, and had an expression of unspeakable sadness and pain on his tired face. His dark bright eyes were emitting a light that could make even the most joyous person feel melancholic.


He was drinking fast. One jar of wine came after another. But he kept drinking. He wanted to get drunk. Why people want to get drunk? Some people get drunk due to being extremely happy. They drink with their friends and they forget that drinking too much will get you drunk. But most people get drunk due to extreme sadness. In that case, those people want to get drunk.


If a sad man gets drunk, then he can forget his pains. He can let go of his worries and escape from this world. Those who are drunken are transferred to a world of dreams, a world where they are free of all worries and of all of their troubles. But, unfortunately, this lasts only for a few hours. Once they wake up, they will feel dizzy, their head will hurt and their problems would still be unsolved. They would have only delayed the inevitable: the fact that they will eventually have to face their problems.


That man had not realized this fact. Or maybe he had realized it, but pretended that he did no knew about this. He pretended that drinking could solve his problems. Sometimes, when we are in extreme emotional situations, we like to lie to ourselves. It is a natural reaction of our organism to extreme emotional pain. By lying to ourselves, we give courage to ourselves so we can continue living in this world. Otherwise, the pain would be so unbearable that death would be preferable.


That man had drank many jars of wine and yet he had not managed to get drunk yet. Sometimes, when you really want to get drunk, you cannot get drunk. It is as if nature is tormenting you on purpose. What is more painfully than wanting to get drunk in order to forget the pain you feel in your heart, but no matter how much you drink you cannot get drunk?


Meanwhile, an argument between two young men had developed into a sword duel. The one man, Jiang, was the son of an aristocrat. The other, Huang, was just a simple smith. Huang had accidentally poured his drink onto Jiang. The dress Jiang was wearing was a newly bought red gown made from the finest silk one could find in China. Even the Emperor's gown was not made of such excellent silk. All of Jiang's friends laughed at him. This, of course, enraged Jiang. The young aristocrat immediately pulled off his sword and slashed Huang's chest.


Huang then retreated by a few steps and grabbed a sword someone, not even Huang was sure who that man was, had thrown at him. He counterattacked by bringing down his sword with fury at Jiang's face. Jiang dodged the sword by less than one inch. He then stabbed with fury Huang's armpit.


Everyone was watching with excitement or fear the vicious fight. Only that man, who was drinking alone, did not cast even a single glance at them. He was just drinking. He did not seem to care at all about what was happening besides him. Eventually, some men came between Jiang and Huang and stopped the fight. Soon, everything returned back to normal: drinking, chatting, laughing.


"Brink me another jar!", the man drinking alone shouted.


A thin man, the waiter, rushed towards his table. "You have already drank so much. Stop drinking!".


"I have money! I will pay you! Now bring me the wine and go to hell! Go to hell both you and your advices!!"


The waiter had gotten used to serving drunken men, so he was not enraged but rather just snorted and brought another jar of wine. Before he could place it on the table, the man had already grabbed it from his hands and was drinking.


Finally, the wine was beginning to have the desired effect on the man. He felt dizzy and started shouting a female name: "Nianci! Nianci!"


The waiter sighed. 'Another man destroyed due to love', he thought.




Love can make people happier than the Gods. It can grant them more happiness than all of the riches of the world, than all the finest horses of the world, than all of the Kingdoms of the world. But love can also make life worse than death. It can make life a living hell, a torture chamber. Especially unfulfilled love. That is the worse kind of love. You have to live with the fact that the one who you love does not love you. You have to accept that the one person who gives meaning to your life does not care about you. You feel trapped. You cannot escape from your desire for that person but neither can you make that person love you. You can be neither free nor engaged.


What is the solution to that problem?


According to this man, drinking. Drinking until you get drunk. Drinking until you can forget her face. Drinking until you can forget her eyes. Drinking until you can forget her lips. Drinking until you can forget her sonorous voice. Drinking until you can forget the words you exchanged. Drinking until you can forget the glances you exchanged. Drinking until you can forget everything about her.


Yet, if he wanted to forget her, why was he shouting her name? Why, when he would wake up, would he still be thinking of her? Can man really forget the woman he loves? Or does he fool himself by thinking that he can forget her?


Even if he managed to forget her today, tomorrow he would have to face the reality of her rejecting his love. But that man could not think about tomorrow. He could only think of the past. Of the past he had with that woman.


So he continued drinking until he was totally drunken.



The End

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