Tiki Smashed: Progression

25 December 2023

Cramped into a small corner with stools lining the alcove, we sat and waited for our tropical rum inspired drinks. The sky boomed above us as rain and thunder danced on the ceiling, a mockery to nature’s true power.

I was stuck to Allison again, two hyperactive hot spring monkeys, amped by booze. Not stuck stuck, just trapped against the wall in our little corner of the tropics.

”So how do you find meaning in your life?”, I asked her.

”That’s what I’m trying to figure out right now. I feel like I’ve grown roots here now. I have a stable job, a relationship and friends. But like, my brain still isn’t comfortable.”

My mind wandered as it does when intoxicated. “Lately I’ve just been trying to find the joy in the little things."

"What do you mean?"

"Like there’s stuff I stress about, mostly to find a partner right now and sometimes it leaks, like I project. Before when I’d see a couple on the street I might get jealous but now I try to think, ‘Oh how lovely, it’s young love’. Or seeing a child in a stroller and thinking about how exciting their future is rather than the bleakness of the world they might grow up in."

"That’s a good way to think about things. I still get anxiety sometimes even though my life is stable. Like I’m always wondering what’s next, I feel like I have to be working towards something. That’s why I picked up power lifting, because the goals are more concrete.” She reminded me of something I had read recently.

Apparently, when humans have free time, they tend to stress over the past and future instead of focusing on the present.


Thunder crashed again as drums started. A volcano was erupting, in the literal sense. A waiter was bringing around a bowl of molten alcohol and ‘Happy Birthday’ coursed through the room. I sang (slurred) along to the song and watched with bleary eyes.


I turned to Andy in that dark and stormy room.

”Dude, you just have to go talk to someone.” All night I was trying to get him to fulfill his mission.

”Naaaaah"

"Alright, let’s make a bet. You have to talk to at least one stranger tonight."

"Eh… Naaaah"

"Dude why are we even out here then? Honestly, you gotta start somewhere. Like go talk to her!"

"Hmmmm nah, she’s not it."

"Oh my god”


I shimmied my way out of our alcove towards the bathroom. As I walked back towards our corner, I decided I had to show him up.

”So whose birthday is it?"

"It’s Sophie’s!!!"

"Oh my god!! Happy birthday Sophie”

But that little comment just reminded me of all the messages I’d sent to strangers online. All those little comments and quips that amount to sweet nothings. But it’s a starting point. A point to see the world as a brighter place. Just to talk to people, to hear their loves and woes. I’m the main character in my own story but so are they. And their lives are just as rich as mine, filled with hopes and dreams, wants and desires. And to crack open just a little bit of that… that might just be the meaning of life.