Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Breaking hearts

It’s playing in the background, ‘never gonna break my heart again’, what Coward called the romance of cheap music, and I ponder on the beer in front of me, Zundert Trappist, and I wonder if a beer can break your heart, or for that matter can a brewery break your heart, or is the hurt that some of us feel when a beer or a brewery vanishes similar to the two minute emotions of a song — transitory and enduring only as long as the song echoes in our thoughts?

And as I drink I think back to the morning as my coach pulled into Victoria at 6am and I saw a guy walking up the road, in full early 60s rockabilly (or was it greaser?) regalia — peaked hat, leather jacket with badges and slogans written on it, including one for the Pirates (Johnny Kidd and the Pirates I think), old school bike boots with white socks rolled up at top, jeans tucked in, denim new and durable, an outfit that was popular when the Beatles drank Mackeson, London Pride had an ad campaign based on an LP and Albert Seaton swigged his body weight in beer on a Saturday night and fell down the stairs in his local pub…

And the point is that this man was both celebrating and mourning a past he would never know, but things have moved on and those who want to drink the beers they drank in the past will find that they too have moved on, meanwhile the Trappist beer is ok, sugary and blanket-like in its smoothness, but I feel like I’m back in that coach watching the rockabilly guy, reliving a beer that never knew its past but is content to stride along the pavement, unafraid of what contemporary time thinks, undaunted in the pomp and passion of asking the past if it can answer the phone or come to the door or unfurl its flag and never break your heart again.

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