Keith gave up with his attempts to light a cigarette and slapped the broken lighter on the deck of his houseboat. There was still plenty of gas inside, but the flint was gone.
Now, since Jane has left him, without even bothering to divorce, the houseboat felt too big for him. In reality, it was one of the smallest ones among the others in the marina. It only had a tiny bedroom, slightly bigger living room, and a small open area at the stern. Just enough for a very modest couple. When the marina was closed, all houseboat folks were evicted and scattered all around. Like a spaceship explosion in some sci-fi novel, which name Keith had long forgotten. Those who survived the explosion were thrown into space in different directions, and kept communicating on radio, until they were out of range and faced a lonely and silent death, except for one, who got back to Earth as a shooting star.
Keith was always a bit slow to adapt to changes, so by the time he moved out of the marina, there were absolutely no places left in any of the marinas or typhoon shelters closer to the city. His boat was now parked in one of the small typhoon shelters on the outlying islands. To be honest, he could not complain about it. He now wanted to stay away from the big city and needed some quiet time to mend himself. Jane's departure was quite a blow for him. He wasn't sure though how long this "some" time would be. All good things tend to take much longer than expected, this was one of the few things he was sure of.
Keith resurfaced from his thoughts and looked around. If he cannot kill some time with a cigarette, he got to come up with an alternative plan. There was no spare lighter—since the days Keith had a family, he didn't smoke on the boat, and now the new habits didn't quite form yet. He couldn't even make instant noodles not being able to light the stove, so he got to get to the shore. Back in the days when they were living at Discovery Bay Marina, getting to the shore was as easy as stepping down on the pontoon and walking a few hundred meters to the convenience store. Now, at typhoon shelter, his spot was in the far end of it, and he would have to climb over an uncountable number of fishing boats, sampans and hell knows what, berthed next to each other, with a few perilous jumps along the way. Even in broad daylight this was not a passage to be taken lightly, but now it was evening already. He'd be lucky if he can get back before dark.
The evening skyline over the city and mountains in the distance on the opposite side of the bay was gorgeous, it never failed to impress him, even now. Keith just couldn't resist spending a few more minutes watching the sunset. After all, wasn't he meant to have more time for himself now? There should be some bright sides in being alone again.
He recalled that one thing onboard didn't require cooking. He had whisky.