Sunday, March 29, 2009

On Becoming a Real Adult

I think I now understand what the expression "to drink like a 20 year old" means. As I notice the first thin streaks of grey weaving in and out of my hair, I console myself to the fact that I'll turn grey fairly early with the likelihood that I'll be Ian McKellen silver, which is really the best grey to be. However, my most recent wanderings through Hess Village, Hamilton's equivalent of George street in St John's, have left me feeling rather alienated. When my friend Rob was in town a month ago, he ended up taking a swimsuit model home (actually to our mutual friend Johnny's home) almost effortlessly from the burrito bar Ché on Hess street.

I wandered from bar to bar this past Friday surrounded by the utterly indifferent. I think the only thing I actually do miss sometimes about drinking in St John's was the fact that the bartenders treated me as a human being. Here, I was a paycheck and an irritant. Any activity that caused a pause in the flow of money behind the bar is cause for ejection. Though this isn't really a difference between St John's and Ontario. There were bars like that all along George street; I just never went inside them.

The bars I did frequent were more relaxed places, either where you could see good music, or just have a few congenial drinks in a friendly atmosphere. There are places in Hamilton like that. Where I used to go to Roxxy's, CBTG's, and The Ship for music, I now have 33 Hess and The Casbah. Where I used to go to Roxxy's and The Spur (may it rest in peace) for friendly liver destruction, I now have The Winking Judge and the other spots on Augusta street. It's a bit farther from my house, but still entirely worth the fifteen minute walk. A person can always find the places that are welcoming to them if they look.

In fact, I never liked the meat market, customer-as-commodity style bars. Whenever I went to them, no matter what city I was in, I always had an awful time. So I suppose I never drank like a 20-year-old, even when I was 20. When I was 17 years old, I looked like I was 25. Now that I'm in my mid-20s, my hair is slowly starting to turn silver. Perhaps I'm finally growing into the character I always have been, after a fashion, a sardonically happy writer drinking pints of beer in a bar that's not too loud and where everyone comes to know my name. There are some places where I've never been comfortable. I just need to stay away from those places.

Posts about my continuing voyage into Marcel Proust (pretension, check!), my thoughts on the Watchmen film, and the Wittgenstein biography will be forthcoming, especially now as my term's work is starting to smooth itself out.
I have become positively addicted to this song, a perfect cadence of rhythm and regret. A song that's a couple of years old from an outfit called Beirut. They mostly do instrumentals with instrumentation and melody inspired by European folk song, but song structures closer in style to contemporary rock.

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