Wine and Heartbreak: Brue Huh’s Tears, A Cautionary Tale

I am not a good person.  I do not have a bountiful glass of compassion and my patience eventually evaporates. But there are times when I aspire to be good; and I experiment on trying to do good things.  When I extend goodness to others, I naturally do so with lavish things expected in return: Respect, Consideration, and Gratitude.  I recently remembered that not everyone shares the same philosophy, and found myself deep in heartbreak and despair.

Swim in a Swamp of Crocodile Tears

It has been a while since someone cried in front of me; but just recently, within the span of four days, Brue Huh1 cried in front of me twice: the first time was in my tiny dining room area and then the second time was in my living room.  Although the rooms are steps away from each other, my responses were a million miles apart.  On the first fall of tears2 I rushed to her, hugged and kissed her; and reassured her that she and her cat3 were welcome in my apartment. I had to explain to her that I had declined friends’4 offer to visit three times since she has come to stay with me, but I needed a few hours of private moments that Friday night5. On the second cry of crocodile tears, I simply proposed solutions for a matter6 she considered to be Argameddon in scale.  I neither approached her, nor made any reassuring physical contact.  I have learned of her manipulative ways and how her face mimics her ghastly and pernicious character. I wanted her gone – from my sight, from my apartment, from my life; even if we have only been friends for about two weeks.  After a couple of hours, she was gone, and my evil soul rejoiced.

But exultation was momentary.7  

Darkness Sets In

I thought that Brue Huh’s departure would pluck the thorns away, but it did not8.  The thorns turned to stakes9 and were hammered deeper into my heart.  Gray turned to darkness10; and darkness to gloom11.

Troubling things happened12 while she stayed with me, but events that transpired after her departure revealed even more how fractured she is.  It is unfortunate that I was incapable of helping glue her broken self together.  It is heartbreaking that I do not have Mother Theresa’s heart and charitable spirit to care for her emotional leprosy.

I wanted to let go and move on, but my emotional attachment to the experience was so strong. I felt used, disappointed, and angry.  For a week, I struggled to sleep and I could not piece together coherent thoughts beyond a paragraph.

I was not even in the mood to drink wine13.

I felt horrible for not having more compassion for someone who appeared to be mentally ill; someone in dire need of reassurance, understanding, and love.  But at the same time, Brue Huh’s negativity and odd character blend of sense of superiority and insecurity brought a pervading dark cloud and my heart felt heavy when she was around.  My interest in helping her faded, and the responsibility I initially felt to be magnanimous to her when no one else was responding beyond social media, eroded, too.  I am neither her clinician, nor her family; and I clearly was not even her friend, as she showed no interest in getting to know me or being associated with me14.

Light Eventually Shines

Last Saturday, it made sense why words would not flow: I was harboring anger and I was still cradling hurt deep within me.  As I walked back to my apartment from Starbucks with a cup of coffee and thoughts of Filipino food15, an epiphany dawned on me: To fully move on, I have to let go; and to let go, I must replace the thoughts of negativity with thoughts of delightful moments16. A few minutes after such realization manifested, I saw a handsome man approaching pushing a stroller with a cute toddler passenger and a woman with supermodel lips and cheekbones walking next to him. I said to myself, “God, these people are good looking!” And then I realized it was my new friend Mary of and her family.  The context of familiarity redeemed me from appearing as a total psycho-weirdo staring like a stalker17. I talked with Mary and Zachary, and the aura of their character made them even dreamier. And the model-toddler, Chaya, who stole18 the model-toddler life I dreamt of when I was her age, charmed me like a cherub with her angelic innocence. I needed a splash of joy and purity, and I believe that such chance meeting was a message from God, the Universe, or another Entity19 emphasizing the need to focus on bright moments that Brue Huh and I shared. Fortunately, before darkness set in, we shared some lighthearted times together and almost always with fabulous food and wine.

That evening, I opened a bottle of wine for the first time in five days: Graffino Wines’ 2014 Temptation, a beautifully approachable bottle of Paso Robles Zinfandel, gifted to me by my International Food Bloggers Conference friend Kimberly Morelli of Contessa Grigia and San Marcos Creek Vineyard.  It reminded me of how Zinfandel, when cradled by a nurturing terroir and crafted by artful winemakers could significantly stand out in the midst of other fine wines. 

I drifted into an evening of Zinfandel bliss and imagined positivity. And then I started to write.


  1. This could be a fictitious name; but maybe it’s not.
  2. I went home from work for lunch to get away with the work craziness, and as soon as I entered my apartment, she started sobbing while saying, “I didn’t know Aristotle (the cat) and I were such inconvenience to you.” | This was in response to my request if she could take Aristotle with her when she goes out for dinner with her friend.
  3. Despite the fact that I am mildly allergic to cats and mess causes me anxiety.
  4. HOT ones, too.
  5. To de-stress with some passion and poetry; and to clean the kitchen the mess in the kitchen. Mutually exclusive, of course.
  6. Her Problem: How she will get her stuff back into her car. | Proposed Solution: In reverse of how she got them out.
  7. She left with cat litter sand sprinkled all over my apartment, cat hair stuck on rugs and other fabric, and cat excrement in my kitchen trash.
  8. I spent the next two hours after her departure cleaning my apartment and hours more de-furring and washing the sheets, pillow cases, and blankets she and her cat laid on. This would not have mattered had she even expressed courtesy to help clean or at least apologized for not being able to clean because she was busy, like a teenager (she’s like, 65 years old), in keeping up with her social media.
  9. I realized after her departure that she took my parking permit with her, and despite numerous polite requests for her to return it the next morning, via text and Facebook messenger, she never responded and refused to return my parking permit. I never got it back and I had to spend my lunch hour the following Monday at City Hall to report it stolen, and to request and pay for a new one.
  10. She claimed to have sent me a cease and desist letter and blocked me from Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, three of her cyberspace homes. I did not find a need to block her. My dark heart had nothing to hide.
  11. Brue Huh’s Sacramento friend, Dee Monyo (could be fictitious, too), participated in tormenting me via text messages through her condescension, lack of etiquette, and sense of entitlement
  12. I shall not enumerate.
  13. Yes, it was THAT tragic.
  14. I was not expecting it, but I found it so remarkable that for someone who lives in social media who broadcasts every single detail of her life, not once did she reference or tag me in her postings while she stayed with me. She was very interested in meeting other Sacramento residents both in person and online, but not once did she pause and ask me to tell her more about me. Again, being the bad person that I am, yearned for something in return for my once in ten years act of goodness: perhaps an actual dialogue between friends instead of her usual dramatic monologue on how her boss and General Manager are horrible people and other tales of her personal woes.
  15. Fattie thoughts eventually turned to reality.
  16. I know, SO groundbreaking!
  17. Although it’s possible that I still came across as such.
  18. Joking, of course.
  19. Whose wisdom and sophistication is beyond compare

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6 Responses

  1. Mary says:

    Oh Eli, I just want to give you a big hug right now! Thank you so much for your kind words. I had no idea you were processing such a heart-wrenching pain when we saw you. You brightened my day when we saw you. Isn’t it amazing how just being ourselves can be such a gift or a healing touch? Even when feeling pain, sickness- or joy. And just when we need it. You have expressed such an honest and real longing that the human heart feels and needs. With humor (you got me laughing a few times as I was reading!) and a twinge of somberness too. We all crave what you have beautifully written and yet even living with and sharing a home with someone can still feel oh so lonely and lacking. Of course we’re all flawed to the rhythm of our idiosyncrasies and brokenness. I think there’s a difference between acknowledging that and pretending as if all is okay. Perhaps that is the dichotomy between what we experience as a genuine person vs someone we’d rather not be around. I wouldn’t go so far to say you’re not a good person! Not at all! Just honestly you. And there’s nothing wrong with that 🙂 Thank you for sharing this piece of your heart. I hope you are filling in more positive moments and filling yourself up well with them xxx

    I’ll be looking forward to part 2!

    P.s. I love the style of the footnotes you’ve included

    • finewinepoet says:

      Thank you, Mary, for your generosity in words and sentiments. I was accompanied by fear in posting such a personal matter, especially since I could only hide behind literary devices to a certain extent. You remind me time and time again that surrounding ourselves with people who radiate sincerity and positive energy significantly affects the color of our lives. Looking forward to seeing you again, both planned and unplanned. Cheers! 🙂

  2. Monica says:

    Beautiful, authentic, and funny. Loved it all. You’re such a great writer E! I love how you connect it all back to wine and end it on a good note with wine. 🙂 Bravo!

    • finewinepoet says:

      Despite your remote internet access, you are still able to reach my heart and respond to its ever-enduring yearning for validation, haha. Thanks, Monica! 🙂 Cheers!

  3. Susanne Duplantis says:

    So well written. Love the side notes. I imagine most of us have been in your situation at one time or another. Kuddos to you for sharing your feelings. I think some people at times are so involved in their own lives they have no idea how they effect others or have any idea how much others do for them. Cleaning house, letting in fresh air, and popping a cork is the best therapy. Hope you toasted the most amazing person-you.

    • finewinepoet says:

      Thank you, my friend. You have an extra gift of having a mental picture of one of the declined visitors and the regret and shame that I will forever carry, especially when I am older, wrinkly, and much fatter. 🙂

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