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Updated: Jun 15, 2022

Second-hand smoke

Fills my lungs

As I sit perched


A Steinlager Pure

in one hand

And a stranger’s sweaty palm

In the other.

I fake a smile and

Take a sip

While thinking that

I’m not drunk enough to

Deal with this bullshit yet

So I chug it all down

And hope that the 5% alcohol

Will drown some of the noise

That’s deafening in my head

And slow down the rush of

Anxiety in my nerves and

Maybe he’ll start to look


Let’s get shots. Tequila.

One More.


Another night of poor choices

That I’ll forget about

Come morning.

Reload is the name of one of the bars in Nuku'alofa. It's business slogan is "Probably the best bar in Tonga". I always thought that was funny. 
I found this piece in an old notebook from 2015. I was probably 21 or 22. That was before I started dating Nela and eventually marrying him, and when I was a regular customer at Reload. Hahaha, anyway, back then at Reload, people were still allowed to smoke on the balcony upstairs, and they didn't have the wire fence around the balcony at that time. 

I vaguely recall writing this after someone tried to set me up with their cousin. I can't even remember that person's name or face anymore, just that they had a very sweaty hand. They were nervous, and that made me even more nervous. I'm so glad it didn't work out. 

Also, Ican't even remember the last time I even went to Reload Bar. Koia pe. Bye.
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