Nostalgia will kill you in the end

Tonight I went to the pub with two old school friends, and although the first pub was very loud and stinking of bleach, the second pub was quieter and allowed us to watch a time capsule from twenty years ago, a message from our younger selves.

My friend Barry was always carrying around a video camera so he had a recording of our last day at school. On Super-VHS, which meant it took about twenty years for him to find the right player on eBay and finally get a digital transfer made. Finally, we can see ourselves as we used to be, two decades ago.

Bromley has changed while I’ve been away. The Railway, a key part of Diet Croydon, is now a hip bar rather than a place where old men go to drink themselves to death. The Bell has stopped being a pub and become a bookies’: exchanging one vice for another, I suppose. But other pubs like the Swan & Mitre remain much as they were before, calcified in a moment in time.

I’d wax lyrical, but I’ve had three pints of lager, of varying strength. And in 35 minutes I have a work phone call with Japan, which feels like some sort of failure with my lifestyle choice.

But tonight was fun: we got to toast a friend’s impending fatherhood, talk about some of the old times, and try to figure out where we’ll be in another couple of decades. Since the same kebab shop and pubs will still be there, I guess Bromley is probably a safe bet.

I got home, wondering if I’ve achieved enough in the last twenty years. But that’s a silly thing to worry about right now. Is it ever not?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.