Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Would I blow everyone's mind if I ate dessert first?

It's been giddy nuns, frank and sensible Germans and smiling Swiss. This is TEFL, and I love it. No two days are photocopies.

"So you definitely don't need me to work tomorrow?"
"No, we don't need you tomorrow. See you on Friday, Andrew."

This is how the wind blows, and it's OK. It's helping me steer clear of the inevitable maiden voyage to the dole office.

I wander down George's Street. Radiohead's In Rainbows is on my ipod. It must be my favourite walking album by an urban mile.

No matter how it ends, no matter how it starts

I'm hungry. But I have a Mars bar in my coat pocket and the components of a killer toasted ham and cheese sandwich at home, only 15 minutes away. I might even go fucking mental altogether and put salami in it too.

Past all the new students on Aungier and Kevin Street. Each and every one of them thinks they are the most unique and special human being on earth. If zany t-shirts and lunchtime pints don't say that, then nothing will. This feeling is likely only to swell for them as they go through the next few years. It will swell, and it will pop.

The infrastructure will collapse

Posters everywhere fight to appeal to my basest natures. Vote No. Vote Yes. Vota Idiota. Fucked if you do and fucked if you don't, from what I can see. Hard not to feel impotent at such times.

I'll be on my own this evening, as she's off to a meeting like a grown-up. A fleeting moment of panic grips me where I wonder what I'll do without her for the evening. Then I laugh at it, glad there's someone whose company feels like a treat every single night. It's dazzlingly sunny for a moment, and I realise I've been walking for the last few seconds with my eyes closed. I've become that guy.

What's the point of instruments? Words are a sawn-off shotgun

And I near home, and I think about how I might try and put how I feel on this brisk walk home into a post. Because I do that from time to time. And I think about how I will fail, because words can't really do that. There might be no way to adequately tell people how you feel. But if I could tell you I would let you know.

You've got a light, you can feel it on your back
A light, you can feel it on your back

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Upon this tidal wave of young mud*

I may very well be the king of posts-I-really-felt-I had-to-write-and then-never-did.

Tonight I had intended to write about football from a certain slant. But it's late and I'm still annoyed by the issue in question and there are plenty who can do that stuff better than I so I'll leave it, at least for now.

I had intended all week to write a little bit about last weekend at the Electric Picnic. But it's now one week on and I doubt anyone cares terribly about what acts I saw and why I went home a bit early, in a huff only with the muck and myself for wanting to see the hype act that everyone else wanted to see. So I'll relate to you instead only a quick anecdote from the Friday at said festival.

Being unfond of getting up and getting my hole into gear in the morning, the missus and I leave it rather late to make our way to Stradbally and don't get there till mid-afternoon. Somehow in our sluggish morning preparations we forgot that we needed to replenish our supply of tent-pegs, as we are about ten short of a well pinned-down tent.

We remember this while pitching the tent. I go off to seek extras from any shop I can find. The man at the camping supplies shop says "No, mate, we sold out hours ago." He is clearly of the belief that if one must be unprepared, one should at least be early to do so.

So I try the Gala mini-supermarket.

"Do you have any tent-pegs? I ask the girl behind the counter.
"Yes we do" she replies, with a certainty that suggests they must have plenty of them. In your fucking face, camping supplies man!
"Brilliant, you're saving my life here. Can't believe I came down without enough of them."
She smiles sympathetically, scans the item, and hands me a box of...Tampax.

*Hundreds of bands playing at the Picnic and I have to go and make my title a pun on a song by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, a band who were not there.

Monday, September 7, 2009


The Second Sole

"Is it ready yet?" you bark at the chap behind the counter, "I've been waiting twenty fucking minutes."
 This is a lie. I think you had placed your order just before me, and I was only gone two minutes, fetching milk in the Late Nite shop across the road.
"Nearly," says the chipper man, as he stares intently at the pan, willing the fish to cook faster. I sense you were chatty while I wasn't there, too.

You wear a navy suit, not shabby but not half as suave as you might have hoped. It looks massively incongruous in such surroundings on a Sunday night. You are upper middle-aged and middle middle-class. You are old enough and educated enough to know better than to be an asshole to nice fellows working in chip-shops. Your belligerent demeanour makes me assume drink was playing its part, though you were odourless from where I stood.

And, for a moment, I want to smash your fucking face in.  To decorate the pristine white tiles on the wall with a smattering of your blood. If only to put manners on you.

It passes.

Your order arrrives: two fresh sole and two chips, and you pay with a twenty. "I want all my fucking change, now," you growl, your prey fumbling at the till. You get your fucking change, and an astonishingly genuine sounding thank-you.

You turn to leave, and see me for the first time. I must look strange, freshly returned from a festival, spattered with mud and smelling faintly of rum. But your face speaks of only of contempt, not of bemusement. I resist the instinct to move out of your path and  I make you walk around me instead. You meet my eyes in a way that makes my blood run cold. And you leave.

My food is ready instantly. As I suspected, it was ready before yours but they dared not give it to me first. I leave a twenty cent tip by way of a sympathy gesture and leave. Looking up the road I see you clunking your way along the pavement towards Camden Street.

And I can't help but wonder as to who's at home, awaiting you and the second sole.