I used to work in the Earl Percy, on Ladbroke Grove, back when it was an Irish boozer. The line up at the bar was always the same, always changing. Death Row they called it. A row of toothless old men who nursed golden ales and whiskeys with no mixers. Every now and then, one of them would die. Their seat would be taken by someone from the snug. I would feed them minute steaks and cabbage and potatoes, peppered with mouse poo.
My favourite punters were two London boys. Both in their late 40s, both still living with their mums. They’d be outside the pub at 11am, when I arrived to open up, and would drink until closing. They’d sell shit coke at the end of the bar, mostly to people who didn’t drink there. At midnight, they’d leave, to go to work. Both were foreman on the railroad repairs being done on the line out of London from Paddington. They’d work there until 5am, go home, get 5 hours kip, and start again, bright and early.The same today, everyday. Forever + ever, Amen.