Oh but once we were young, and we were crass enough to care
But I guess you live and learn, we won’t make that mistake again, no
Oh but surely just for one day, we could fight and we could win
And if only for a little while, we could insist on the impossible
– Frank Turner ‘Love, Ire & Song’
I’d like to tell you a bit about a place called OJC De Werf, where I used to dwell and that is closing down in a while after 40 years. I stepped in there shortly before its 30 year anniversary and a lot has changed. Last night I thought back of those times.
Last night was a night full of memories, of drinks and remniscing about a past that may never have existed with my two oldest friends in the pub where I practically lived for a couple of years. Friends I fail to tell how much I care for them every time I see them. I wake up in the morning to do what I do now and that is living an adult life. Washing my car on saturday morning. The only thing I carry with me is a headache.
There’s this phrase that has kept coming back to me for years, I guess it was title of a song or a film: ‘Things we lost in the fire’. We lose parts of what we are and leave behind bits of ourselves while we grow and change ever so slowly. We are all flames that burn and we burn away what has ran out of material to fuel us. So was this part something I’m slowly leaving behind. I have started setting my alarm clockin weekends, getting up early to do shopping or go to the gym. Life is no longer one long string of waiting for one party after another. In that pub I’ve learned the worst sides of myself and the, granted that this may be an opinion not everyone shares, better ones. Everyone did, in a way and looking around the empty place, the vacant bar chairs and the meagre amount of half full glasses on the bar I feel everyone is still there. Some part of them at least.
I miss them, all of them. Those people that challenged me with different views, attitudes and personalities. That were quick with a joke and getting you a drink when you were without one. We’ve all grown up, some of us into everything they wanted to be, some became everything they tried so hard not to be. I have to leave the answer to that for myself open for now, I’m not sure yet. What I am sure of is that this place had a huge influence on me and my personal development. Laughter, tears and everything else was there. Also some of the best live shows that probably pushed me to do the things I do in my spare time now, write about music (a lot, check out my facebook page).
It’s hard to convey to others what that feeling is that I recall when sitting there on my bar stool with my mates. We talk about jobs, relationships and average stuff. Back in the day, we spoke about videogames, music and our grand plans to change the world. We all were going to change the world, there was a lot of idealism there. I have loudly proclaimed to be a communist, an anarchist and something totally different the other day. I guess not everyone felt that way and links the place to all those dreams, but I think some will. It was our place, we belonged there and it was home away from home. I’m different there, then what I’m like when I go to a bar in Eindhoven. There’s a carefree and crass mentality, no longer fitting with my adult status (again, I’m washing my car on saturday morning… what more do you need?). Some part of me that I left behind there I suppose.
I think of great friends I made there. Friends I rarely see anymore, but that know things about me that no one else knows. Things we shared once upon a time and that still linger somewhere in the back of our minds. I miss everyone. I still do and I would love to hear from you all. Maybe not over a pint of beer, but with a cup of coffee. Talking about where we are now.
We did the things we used to do last night and when I closed the emergency door behind me for possibly the last time, I knew I left that part of my life behind. We’ll always have those wonderfull, insane and sometimes ridiculous years and the experiences we shared. Sure, I’m romantisizing, but that’s what people do. It’s part of being human and we all were very much human in those days.
So if you like to get in touch, I’d love to.