If I can make it there ..................

My Producer is on her way over to manhandle a procession of hard backed, soft fronted,
wheeled and carry on cases into submission and bate the contents of a stage wardrobe, props, furniture and various sundries into all the above mentioned holdalls.
 She will also have to explain as if to a Martian how to actually pack and what I can and cannot bring.
It would appear that I am absolutely going to New York in a couple of days.


My mantra is do what you can from where you are when I am low.
And obversely do it like you mean it when I am high.

I don't know where I am right about now.

Howya gettin' on eh? says a lad on the street with a fine row of false teeth top and bottom.
He'd a head for pints and was veering at an obtuse angle towards an Undertakers in a Bullring for large bottles, staring out the window on a high stool, having the craic.

Gluing a €2 coin on the ground to see how many will stop for it, and then mortified pretend to fasten their laces.

God be with the days.

The days are escaping me now, last time I looked it was Halloween.
I don't remember Christmas as all I was doing was endlessly running the lines, discovering the meaning in the text.

"I wonder would you consider delivering it in the beautiful way you wrote it" enquires the famous Director rending his hair.

"An actor knows every word of the play, but not necessarily the order they come in!" I rejoined to buy time.
He has to wear me out to get any good out of me at all.
A reviewer remarked "Barnes greatest challenge must surely be curbing the energy of the scourge herself, like lunging a horse before hacking out" 

I offer the following as evidence of the week I have had and inflicted on others.
Mea Culpa

Monday - Get up at 2am to meditate. Then try to light a smoke and realise am wearing the gel cushions that have bleach on them on my Irish Teeth. Irish Teeth have always been quare. We either have too many or too few, they're too crooked or slanted, they are never white white, there's one gone right in the front from the belt of a hurl , or going headfirst over the bars of a Chopper in Bride Street Church Car Park. 3 decades of caffeine, mania and penury meant I rocked up to the dude in the blues morto. He's on it like a bonnet and before you can blink there's a model of my own teeth cast in plaster on the table in front of me.
How poignant I think, that these are the things that keep me alive.
And I see the state of them.
The mute teeth seem to have their jaws clenched.
 I can see the missing space where the dentist in the opening scene of the play begins.

My 90 year old Father, Tom, has sent an accordian to a post office in Milton Malbay, unprovoked.
The recipient remarked on the beauty of the packing, and the sealed bubble wrap. He hands me the receipt across the hotel table where we are lunching in the lashing rain and says Track that. I tell him it's in Athlone, and it has been in Portlaoise. It's been bouncing around in the back of a van up hill and down dale is what it is.
 I tell him the definition of perfect pitch is hurling an accordian into a skip from 50 feet.
I jest as my friend Angie used to rustle up an accordian after a feed of gin and tonics and in a cloud of Samsara throw back her head in a flat in Selskar and begin
  "Twas down be the Glenside, I met an aul wummen, a plucking young nettles, she ne'er saw me comin' 
I listened a while to the song she was humming, Glory OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO , 
Dad drops me to a pub to  collect a giant powder blue case that weights about as much as a teatowel.
There are roars and shouts of good luck, break legs, honna the hun.
They'll be ragin' when they see me again tomorrow.
Irish people don't want to be saying goodbye every 5 minutes.

Tuesday Wake at 3am to a gale blowing a bag of cans around the street. One of them will not blow into a corner and thus will become my nemesis in the red eyed night. I walk my dogs with all 3 of us in layers and hoods. I have been staring at a house for 6 months, drawn to it, feeling the stone wall, smelling the lavender on the path, staring so hard at the blue door and the closed blinds that I willed them to open. I meet a famous playwright marching up the hill as I am marching down. We stop at the gate to talk for 47 minutes, about plays, and writing, and New York. He told me a corker about calling for a line after freezing in the white space, but that's his story. As I was laughing the blue door opened and a lovely English woman came out. I knew by the head of her. "Happy New Year" she says in her lovely English voice. Oh my days.
There is a feature about me in the local paper that says New Year, New York.
And a portrait of me by a genius in my attic with dogs and wigs.

My Da Tom causes consternation in a cafe called Cream when he twists the grinder off the saltmill and leathers the crystals all over the No 1 Breakfast, Tea, White toast. No sauce. Yes marmalade. It is replaced instantly. He slides a little wad of fitty pound notes across the table so I can get stuff that I need desperately, like fabric softener for Vonnie Dooleys hair.
I googled it.
I go to a traumatic wake of a man I knew and worked with. He was lost off a trawler, and his friend is still missing 5 days later. The thread I composed about him was pinging and pinging for hours. He's from Saltmills.

Do a press interview with The Irish Echo in New York.
Then do everything else.
Find a bag of groceries I have forgotten  mixed in with the logs in the house so small you couldn't turn a sweet in your mouth. 

A woman in a salon perms my eyelashes by gluing them to the lids with pads and putting a lotion on them, I know right? She does brows lip chin and neck while we're waiting for the potion to dry. I feel like I'm in A Clockwork Orange. My little blonde twin has given me a fur hat that is so huge I could have used it as a carry on. It's gotta be a foot off my head. And I love it.
A man in a cafe tells me his lovestory over a cold Latté.
And makes me Latte for walking my Da's dog Sid.
Who is beside himself and assaults a pink pig called Miss Pinky Leeta.
Sid, not my Da. 
I do an interview with The Mail with a woman who rang me after reading my tweet.
I run the scenes in my head like a meditation, forcing myself again and again back to the never ending word.
A guy who sounds like he's out of Goodfellas rings me with a pure Noo Yoik accent.
And for a moment I allow myself to think, em ......... this could actually be fun.

Watch this space.
                                       mdm -                                 Photo Elizabeth Studdard 

The Scourge is an official selection of the Origins 1st Irish Theatre Festival at The Irish Repertory Theatre on 22nd Street on 22nd January

Box office @irishrep.org 


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