Empty Chairs at Empty Tables

It’s only been one day, but I already miss going to the pub.  Only one day since Boris asked everyone to avoid going to the pub in order to help tackle the coronavirus crisis, but it already seems like a lifetime.  But I know my social responsibility, and I will follow Boris, rather than Stanley, Johnson’s advice, and give up my practice of lunchtime drinking for the greater good of the country.

I can’t help feeling rather nostalgic, though.  I can picture my usual seat on the brown, leather bench, with the ugly split where the stuffing shows through, now unoccupied.  I can visualise the solid, wooden table top, covered in ring-marks and always slightly sticky from a lifetime of slopped ale, now unused.  And I can imagine lifting a pint of smoky-gold wheat beer to my lips, and feeling the soft embrace of its frothy head around my mouth, where it is no longer drunk.  Will those halcyon pub days ever be recaptured?

Empty chairs at empty tables.

To be suitably poetic, I should really add “Now my friends are gone” but, the fact is, I have long advocated drinking alone; always preferred my own company in the pub to that of a companion.  Even when the pub is empty, I still find it a companionable environment, in a way that I don’t if I drink at home.  The pub brings with it its history; is somehow imbued with the spirits of successive generations of drinkers; their hopes; their fears; their plans; their losses.

When this current crisis is over, the pub will be the place we will congregate once again to discuss stories of self-isolation; of sacrifices that were made; friendships forged; others lost.

But I will still drink alone.  Because I prefer it that way.

© Beery Sue


Beery Sue has long believed in social distancing.

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