“Lissen t’me.” 

The words slid out of the mouth of a drunk in the too-tight polo shirt in a fashion not too dissimilar to sap from a tree: slow, sloppy, and sticky. The target, in a blue T-shirt and jeans, was unable to escape.”Y’see that girl? She’s totally int’ you.”

Polo Shirt didn’t notice the exaggerated eye roll. This conversation had already played out several times. Once more, the slurred jumble of unsolicited advice spilled forth, and would do so again—a drunken Sisyphus too inebriated to even recognize the futility of his task of dispensing unwanted words of wisdom. 

“Ya hafta make a move. Confidence. Girls love confidence.”

The subject stood a few feet away, swaying back and forth to the music. She was, to be sure, beautiful, and seemed quite sweet. But it would be futile to interrupt, and in fact self-destructive. But the fact that this stranger felt he had the duty force the issue was swiftly transmuting from mild irritant to something more serious.

He had enough; he rose and walked away. The drunk’s last words—”D’you wanna keep failing? D’you wanna die alone?”—echoed in his mind and left him cold.