EH13 Good Companions Roadhouse
I’d been by a few times over the years, and noticed that one of the O’s in GOOD was missing from the sign. A new one had been put up, just plain black text on a white background, as if someone had created it on their home computer. There was a group of underage guys in the lounge, old men sat in pairs. I chose my seat based on a view of cherry blossom, with blue and red shop fronts in a diagonal line behind. I waited. Early evening sun bathed parts of the room. Fruit machines lit a gloomy corner with their signature twinkle. When the guys arrived we sat outside. A school friend of Ian’s that he hadn’t seen for years was there with his dog. I was keen to talk about Hearts’ 5-1 cup final demolition of Hibs, and started the ball rolling with a casual “Did you see the game on Saturday?” Some girls, who didn’t look 17, let alone drinking age, pulled up in a white Suzuki Swift, and were met by one of the underagers - who made the greeting with his hand down the front of his jogging bottoms. Then it got chilly. Another Day in Paradise by Phil Collins played inside as the sun disappeared. We moved in for a few games of pool. I lost narrowly to Cai. Then Ian hammered Luke. A Hearts banner was tacked to the window behind the table. As I read some of the messages fans had left on it, I understood that after all the anticipation of Saturday, the whole occasion had already slipped into history. The four of us waited for three different buses. 1902 (the year Hibs last won the cup) had been written on the timetable – though the 0 was not properly formed.