“We’ll have to go for a pint..?”

… it’s what newly former colleagues say, and you concur, yes, we should, that’d be cool.  But you don’t really know if they mean it or if it’s one of those things you just say. 

Much like “keep in touch,” when both parties know they have little intention of doing so.

Yet there are a couple who might surprise you.  Who send an email or a text saying, “how about that pint then.”  And of course, they’re usually the ones you had a better relationship with, and wouldn’t mind spending a couple of hours and a few pints with.

My second meeting was with a top chap, albeit one who I wasn’t hugely professionally or personally close with.  As he worked on the opposite technical side of the office, amidst the legions of developers, we could often go weeks without having a conversation of any sort.  Yet when we did it always felt less throwaway than the usual kitchen platitudes.

And so it was when we met for pints.  From office gossip and conspiracy theories, my own unpleasant departure – which I’ve rather tired of regailing now (yes, it wasn’t nice, but I’m over it now), to sibling relationships, age, decay and death.  Strange how subject matter switches naturally to basic human things when you know you have few common interests.

He has a “grandmother” who actually isn’t his grandmother but a great aunt: a lady who sacrificed much of her own life to raise his mother.  According to him, she never had a partner or any relationships at all, so heartbreakingly strong was her dedication. 

In turn, he was an only child who spent much of his youth visiting and spending time with her.  She’s grown old, withdrawn, is physically inhibited by a rigid, unmoving, inward turn in her neck, and cares for little. Despite beng 99% mentally present.  For his part, he’s getting married in a couple of weeks to a very long term girlfriend.

Glad we met for the pints.  Parted with a manly handshake and wave of good feeling.

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