Showing posts from 2013

Mind the Gap

In the quiet early morning kitchen I strapped the dog into his fur coat and followed him out the door. Through the dark streets he snuffled and pissed and croaked like an asthmatic pensioner. It is excitement - I tell passing strangers who surely must think they are about to be set upon by a gang before we round corners.  I sneak into my Father’s house like a jewel thief, easing the key around in the cold brass lock.   I deliberate about dropping and running or calling up the stairs, but he is deaf and I cannot bear the thoughts of waking him, of seeing his sleep rumpled face, his white fluff   standing on end, the blue striped pyjamas, explaining again that I am off to the City.   Despite composing a number of emails in my head, offering apologies and downright lies in equal measure, I am apparently ignoring the self sabotaging voice in my head and in an altruistic move -   am leaving the building. The sky is navy velvet with a faint fri

Stranger on a Bus

Thomas fought his way up the harbour steps and was blown across the green to the small black door. I had stopped playing Solitaire and talking to the Samaritans long enough to answer the bell. I was lonely then. One night, full of pints, playing the Manic Street Preachers so loud the speaker crashed off the wall, I dialled the freephone number that appealed to me as I idly flicked through the phone book which passed for our amusement then. Bored, lonely, depressed, give us a call. No better Cailin, I thought and picked up the grey eircom phone. The  man who answered was from Wah –ther ford and I made him laugh, a lot. I accused him of drinking large bottles of cider off the shelf, pint glass with ice, of eating  red lead on a blah, and of  calling  people Montawk s.   A number of times he had to stop to get his breath.   I played down the enormity of coming to terms with the self.  Nothing intensifies ones innermost  feelings of angst and self pity quite like

St. Peter preached the Epistles to the Apostles looking like that.

Success as Shell scores Cider  On Good Friday, the town closed up tighter than a gnats chuff. You couldn't get a sweet, or a cigarette, or a packet of Butterscotch Angel Delight for love nor money. And if you did, you couldn't be caught with them. "What are you rustling there" said my Mother as I ran up the stairs with contraband in gold foil. The town was a wasteland with every shop battened down,only tumbleweed rolling through main street, the sound of bells pealing ominously  from the 3 churches, Twins and a Friary as the day wore interminably on. One could be forgiven for thinking Gary Cooper would walk out from behind a store front with a pistol on his hip at High Noon.  Because we were told we couldn't have it, even people who wore gold Pioneer Pins had the thirst of death on them.. In a countrywide epidemic of reverse psychology, we would have walked through walls to get at a pint. Myself and my comrades in arms were on the hunt f

I don't know much about Art, but I know what I like.

People be mental. I don't know about you, but if I felt a weakness or a bit of a turn coming on,  I would try to faint somewhere safe -  preferably onto a bed - but if none presented in the immediate vicinity,  I would.........  oh you know  -  totter my way  queasily to a seat,  - feel my way to a wall and slide down it,  - stagger through traffic to lie down on the path, -  sit on an escalator and lie prone on my back at the top, -  my fringe plastered to my forehead in a flop sweat. I would not collapse onto a painting. Especially and preferably not one worth a few bob. Like about €10,000,000. Yep, Ten Million bucks. How do you even collapse onto a wall? Surely, by the very nature of the fact that it was a painting, AND  the only one of it's kind in the country by the celebrated artist Monet , AND  mounted on a wall, presumably at eye level, (maybe it is on the skirting board and is an installation piece for The Borrowers ) then it is a super-human pi

Hair today, but here tomorrow.

I slept in my dress. It was way too cold to do the stripping thing. Having been up half the night watching shite and knitting what appears to be a Doctor Who style scarf, I slept late and pulled the patchwork quilt around me in the morning and turned over. "Brrr and Bollocks" I thought when the phone rang. Little Thomasina is parked across the road with the chihuahua in his arms, his tiny paws no bigger than my little finger, balanced on the wheel. The two of them are staring at my front door and I shuffle down the stairs with my hair standing on end.  Looking  like a baby that has been left  too long in a cot , a ring of  fuzz  at the back,  I extricate the tiny dog through the open window. Dad gives me the hairy eyeball. He thinks I have been carousing and cavorting around the streets with a motley crew of unsavoury young men. He also thinks I am about 13. Alas, those were the days. The truth is that I have set a precedent on Friday nights that started whe

The Gatekeeper

The water draws me back again, and again. The first time I was 17 and living in a caravan beside the petrol pumps - working shifts in a chipper called The Pirates Den and battling my way through a fog of Impulse  and Harmony hairspray daily.  There were 3 girls living in the caravan,  Paulette and I sharing the twin couches at the front and a madwoman called Cassandra living in a madder room at the back, filled from pillar to post with burger boxes and empty cans. It was permanently locked, as was she. There was no lock on the caravan door though, and we lay at night listening to the keys rapping on the windows as the boys left the pub, shrieking up and down the roads on motorbikes, praying toChrist that they would not try the door handle and come in on top of us.     The most exciting thing that ever happened in the Den was someone left their duty free behind one night in a gale and we divvied up the fags and brandy between the alcoholics and the smokers. Some of  us were bo