Monday 5 March 2018

#463 Barbican Wine Man - Part 1

The first floor of the Barbican Centre really was a splendid place to chill out on a weekend. Not as splendid as say, a cosy pub, a coffee shop, a restaurant, a hotel lobby or the average living room but as a quiet, spacious public venue to escape to, with free wi-fi, sofas and mesmerising ceiling lights, it was unbeatable.

As a result of its unique qualities, the centre attracted a unique kind of crowd, composed of culture-seekers, students, and vagabonds. Looking at each person's behaviour and affects, it was usually clear to which category he or she belonged but there was one man who didn't fit into a category.

The first time I encountered him, I was sat with my laptop on the first floor, completing some training for a temp job. A tired looking man of about forty-five came and sat the other side of the small coffee table in front of me. At first I took him for a theatre-goer but as I studied him, his behaviour defied that assumption.

Some minutes after having taken the seat, the man reached into his rucksack, pulled out an ordinary wine glass and placed it on the table. Predictably, he then took out a bottle of red wine, filled the glass and then returned the bottle to his bag. He was a secret wine-drinker.

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