Grass overgrows outside the fence of my local; Explorer Tavern. The gate looks weary, old. The tree outside it has shade lots of leaves outside it, now curled and dead.
My local is in a cul de sac, which means I saw all these recently when I was driving on the main road and got pulled inside by nostalgia.
As I reversed to turn around, I realised that I’d been drinking there for many years. It’s like home - but that charges you food and drinks.
I miss it - until I calculated how much I spend there every week. It’s something my father would shake his head at. Something someone would want to convert to bags of cement.
But a bag of cement can’t make you a cocktail. Still, this lockdown is teaching me that you can actually stay away from a bar for long periods of time. And save some money, while at it.
But it’s not the same, is it? I mean drinking at home. It’s miserable, like having your final meal.
If you have kids it’s even worse because you have to wait for them to go to bed first so as to avoid questions like; why can’t I taste your wine? (“It’s not wine, son, it’s whisky.
Wine is for pedicurists. Now get a glass….a big plastic glass.”) Also, if your wife doesn’t drink she will most likely leave you in the living room alone and go to bed, making you will feel so lonely you want to jump off the balcony - only to realise you live on the ground floor.
If you live alone you deserve to drink alone in misery. Generally, drinking alone is like filling a well with smoke. It leaves you exhausted and haunted and you want to jump off the balcony.
Which makes me realise that there is a reason why they mark up drinks in bars. You are not paying for the drink; you are paying for the mood, the people, the music, the parking, the staff who come when you raise a finger and for the toilet paper in the loo.