Some optional audio to keep you company on this otherwise lonely blog post…
The topic for this month’s “The Session” is drinking alone, something wonderfully covered by one of my favorite writers, Tom Chiarella, in the May 2008 issue of Esquire. Considering my appreciation of Chiarella’s work, I’ll only deviate slightly from his notes, of which this is most important:
“Don’t use it as a warm-up. It’s a prelude to nothing. Drinking alone must be an event unto itself. It’s never about getting sloppy, or lucky, or even happy. Beginning and end, make it a choice. A gift, not an escape. It’s about raising your awareness, not dulling it. Be neat, small of affect, businesslike.”
For me, the idea of drinking alone – especially at a bar – is an idea of romantic escapism. As others will certainly point out, drinking alone offers respite from the daily activities of life and lets you slip away to wherever you’d like your mind to take you. Want to bring a newspaper? That’s OK. A book? Even better. It isn’t a time to Get The Party Started, it’s a time to enjoy your time, reflect and relish the simplicity of sitting and appreciating a cold beer.
Above all else, drinking alone may force you to become more involved in the drinking process. Focus more on the aromatics, the mouthfeel and the flavors. Drinking alone is about biding your time and enjoying the process – whether that’s sipping a brew or just savoring some time to yourself. Drinking solo should be just like going to the movies alone – you’re there for the experience.
There’s a reason why meditation plays such an important role in peoples’ lives. Sitting alone, concentrating, thinking (or not at all). This is just another version. Just make sure you’re keeping it simple, because life is still waiting for you after that pint:
No bourbon. No scotch. One beer.
The Session is a monthly event for the beer blogging community which was started by Stan Hieronymus at Appellation Beer. On the first Friday of each month, all participating bloggers write about a predetermined topic. Each month a different blog is chosen to host The Session, choose the topic, and post a roundup of all the responses received. For more info on The Session, check out the Brookston Beer Bulletin’s nice archive page.