This is an official address to all of those Londoners who remain bleak and pessimistic regarding the sociability of our capital’s occupants – myself included. Like a solitary candle that burns brightly to shed light on the most darkest of recesses, a single act of friendliness and mutual human sociability can serve to once again, restore one’s faith in the existence of our social abilities.
‘Twas in the pub this afternoon, (last week’s overused grammatical tick was alliteration – this week it’s ‘Olde English’) watching the football match on offer, perched on a stool on my own. After a few jars of ale and a few markedly animated gestures at the referee on the screen before me, I began to strike up a conversation with the chap seated next to me.
Whereas London society normally dictates a ‘heads down, no eye contact, please don’t speak to me’ mode of contact (especially when public transport is concerned), the relationships between solitary men in the pub can somewhat, pleasingly, differ. The gentlemen next to me, from a writer’s perspective, was a beautiful specimen to describe.
Old, white-hair scraped back into a ponytail, white beard, lines on a face that tell a thousand different stories and a continual pint of Guinness well on the go, I started to converse with this gentleman on a number of football related matters. Despite the enjoyed conversation and discussion on our mutually supported team, this afternoon’s incident served so much more than an enjoyable natter over a beer.
It warmed me to sit in an East End boozer and strike up a conversation with an unknown stranger without being ridiculed / heckled / shot / stabbed / berated. Maybe the human race is going to be alright after all…