They closed all bars. Covid-19 sweeps the land. Stay at home, the government repeats, keep social distance. Wash your hands. Sneeze into your folded elbow. Stop touching your face to see if it’s there.
In 30 years, the next generation will look back at this time and wonder, “these guys were dying in thousands because of a flu?” Almost the same way we look at Polio now. It’s unfathomable.
But what we will remember the most is the act of staying still, in one place, without thinking of leaving to go to the car wash or the bar. The bar is our crutch, we will realise. We find something there, a solace or sort. We redeem ourselves with a glass of something in our hands. We kill time there, letting traffic die down or the wife to fall asleep so as not to rehash the morning fight. We forge superfluous friendships there. We laugh hollow laughs there and promise trivial commitments.
Our talks there are mostly filled with false bravado. We regurgitate rumours and half truths and delve in hyperbole. We tell stories that make us look heroic.
We are brave and smart and we are good in bed in bars. We waste money on bottles. We escape. Until the morning when we face the world and we cower at the blinding brightness of our ways.
Now bars are no more and perhaps that’s a good thing because now we have to talk to our spouses and learn our children. We have to stay still without a drink in our hands, without an escape.
And because bars are closed we have to face ourselves; the good and the bad and the downright disgusting and it’s only when these bars are closed that we might finally love ourselves.
And so it’s a good thing, it’s a fantastic thing actually, to see how long we can stay at home sober before we grow hair on our backs.