The Session #65: Drinking alone with virtually anyone
Drinking by myself, in a pub, is one of my greatest solo pleasures. It's right up there with being the only walker at a mountain trig point and eating a whole pork pie when the rest of the table isn't watching.
Let's be clear: I don't do the staring blankly at nothing in particular, like the not-so-old-boys in my youth who gazed at cheap prints on the wall whilst apparently smoking their fingernails. They didn't even seem to drink, their beer clearly reaching into them at some molecular level.
And don't get me wrong, I still love the camaraderie of the pub: the regulars, the faces, the people you least expect to see, the outsiders, the strangers who buy you a beer and become friends until they take the piss and swiftly become strangers again. Before they're tarred, feathered and chased out the village.
But I love the solitary drink. Since I was 18, scrawling into notebooks, mucking up the Times crossword, drinking a pint of Symonds cider in the Old Wine Vaults in Eastwood (locals: "Aye up youff, writing a book? Aye it a mucky 'un like Lawrence?)
Into my polytechnic years, scrawling into textbooks, mucking up the Guardian crossword, drinking a pint of Guinness in the Shrewsbury Arms in Stafford (locals: You're a student? But you're not that much of a twat!)
Through work lunchtimes, scrawling into a laptop, mucking up the Independent crossword, drinking a pint of Brunswick Father Mikes in, uh, the Brunswick in Derby (locals: Ooh! Get you, Bill Gates!)
Arriving at lazy Sundays, scrawling into Blogger on my phone, back to mucking up the Times crossword, drinking a pint of Thornbridge Jaipur in the Sheffield Tap (locals: Mornin', Scoop. Alreet?)
In many of the pubs I visit; there's an unwritten code; stand at the bar = I'm open to banter and gossip. Sit at a table = I want to be alone with my crossword / newspaper / book / thoughts.
Sometimes, there's a place I want to go where nobody knows my name.
Although, with a smartphone, there's a paradox. Sat by myself in a corner with that pint, that bastard crossword, Twitter, Facebook and Blogger. I reach a quantum drinking state. I find the pub super-position of being alone and not alone at the same time. I can be drinking alone and sharing the experience with virtually anyone.
I wrote this down the pub. If you were there, I was the Boris Johnson lookalike in the corner who kept swearing at his phone's stupid autocorrect rather than blaming his chipolata fingers. Forking koy beard.
Cheers to Nate Dawg for hosting. If you see him, buy him a beer. Or maybe just get him one in at the bar...