Tuesday, June 6, 2017

St Mary's Lane, Cork, Ireland (2008)

One night in 2008 I met a man on these stairs. I lived in Galway then and had made the four-hour bus journey back to Cork to spend the weekend with my friends.

It was after midnight and I was walking back to my friend's house, alone and buzzed from a few pints of beer and not at all concerned for my safety. As I walked up the unlit St Mary's Lane that connected Lower John Street to Upper John Street, I saw the shadowy outline of a person standing halfway up the stairs, on the other side of the railing, on his own personal platform.

He was slightly hunched over, a child's inflatable guitar clamped under one arm, trying to roll a joint. He looked up and we both paused.

Finally, I said, "Nice axe."

He laughed and gave it a squeeze, eliciting a pre-loaded jingle and several keys lit up.

He was Irish but not from Cork. He told me his name but I don't remember it. He was at a party but had ducked out for a few minutes of quiet. He offered me the joint and I took it.

We stood there in the dark laneway, sharing his platform off to the left of the stairs, talking and laughing and moving closer together with each pass of the joint, and I remember thinking how perfect the moment was. How wild life was, that I could be away from home on the other side of the world, totally alone, with a new circle of friends who had known me for not even a year, and how life could be so incredibly lonely but one turn down a dark alley could lead to one of those perfect moments when you're hit with the clarity of how perfect the moment was while you were still in it.*

He handed the joint back to me, our hands brushing and our heads so close together they were almost touching. We were going to kiss. I could smell the beer on his breath. He asked "So how about a kiss" and the bubble burst.

"Don't ruin it," I sighed. I picked up my bag, continued up the stairs and turned left onto Upper John Street and toward my friend's house.

*The weed hit hard and fast.

Friday, November 4, 2016

November 2016

Last night I dreamt that all my fingernails fell off. A few weeks ago I woke up and saw someone standing at the end of my bed, looking at me. She had my face; I was looking at myself. I screamed so hard my throat was sore the next day. Almost every night, I wake with a sharp gasp, dreaming that there are people in my bedroom.

I catch movement out of my peripheral vision when I'm home alone. Your guardian angels, a clairvoyant told me. My beloved Nana? She's been gone from us for four years and not a day goes by that I don't think about her, don't miss her, don't wish that I could give everything I have to see her one more time. A couple of weeks after she died, I dreamt I was with my family at her and my grandfather's house and the phone rang. I answered it and it was her. I remember saying "But you can't call me, you're dead" but she was calling to let me know she was still around me.

I'm feeling it again, the restlessness. That feeling I need to be anywhere but here. Anywhere far, far away. I can feel my soul being called. I have to ignore it for now, responsibilities and obligations - financial, the hardest to argue - make me feel trapped and like an observer of my own life that's going by far too quickly. Money is fluid, I tell myself, it comes and it goes, I won't be stuck here forever.

I saw a clairvoyant earlier in the year. I sat on her couch and her dog curled up next me, 'He never does that," she told me as though I should feel special. I gave her the rings I wear on the middle fingers of each hand, both diamond rings, one my parents gave me for my 21st birthday and one I had made from the money my ex and I made when we sold the house we built together, and held them in her hand before she screwed up her face and said "My head is sore, have you been unwell?" I'd had a headache all week, the first I'd had in months. And we're off, I thought.

She told me plenty that rang true, including when she said "I don't see a boyfriend or a husband." You won't find him her, she continued. ("Not shit," my friend said when I relayed it, "I could have told you that.") Not in Australia, not in a country so young. I need to go to Europe and find me a man with some culture. France, in particular. Possibly Germany, maybe even Denmark. Anywhere but here. She surprised me like no other clairvoyant has by asking me if I minded if we watch some tv. She said her guides had never told her to make some watch television before but months ago, she had recorded an episode of Long Lost Family without knowing why at the time but lo and behold, I was the why. She fast forwarded, stopped, played, fast forwarded, stopped and played until she found the part she was looking for - a Frenchman who had lost contact with his girlfriend and baby a lifetime ago only to be reunited 28 years later. "This isn't your man, but they want me to show you what kind of man is out there for you." You can watch the episode here if that's your jam, or fang through to 21.20 to see the moment he opens the door and I let out an involuntary "Oh hello" and decided right then and there that I needed to learn French.

My days are the same. I'm working more hours than I ever have. When I last posted here, I said I loved my job. I'm still telling myself that even though sometimes it feels like I'm making myself suffer, like I'm making myself a martyr for a cause unknown. I wonder why I'm putting myself through this stress, stress that is surely causing me to dream I'm watching myself sleep at night, and I can't figure it out. I don't know if I enjoy it, I don't know if I hate it.

I've had an entire bottle of Prosecco tonight. The wind is howling but yet I keep going outside for a cigarette. Wait, I don't smoke. So what am I doing out there. I remember saying to an ex boss that I turn self-destructive when I'm bored. Bored, restless. Same same.

I miss blogging. Why don't we blog anymore, gang?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Trust in the timing of your life

Image via Pinterest, original source unknown

My last post has been bothering me for months. Ominous in its tone, it makes me sound depressed and like I was one bad day away from taking a long walk off a short pier.

But it only takes one little thing for it all to change direction. One phone call from a friend who says "I hope you don't mind but I recommended you for a job." Turns out there were two positions available. I had an interview, then another interview but didn't get either job. "I would like to hire you," he said, "so I will keep you in mind for when something else comes up," 

Sure you will.

But two weeks later, he phoned me again. So we had another interview. Then I had a fourth interview. And I got the job. One so much better than the first two. I've been there three months and I can honestly say it's the best job I've ever had. I love it. I have a great boss, I love the people I work with, I have the freedom (and most importantly) the trust to use my initiative. Excitedly, I'm starting to think about the longer term and I'm considering options that were previously on the Cold Day in Hell list. It's not at all what I thought I would be doing - not what I wanted  to do - but that's the beauty of life, isn't it? The happy little surprises. 

Life is good. Storms don't last forever. Happy 2016.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

One can only hope

Pinterest, original source unknown

This is not the life I thought I would be living.

This is horseshit.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The friends you need

One friend to keep you away from him because he is bad news.

One friend to keep your secrets of self-destruction.

One friend to encourage bad decisions in the best way.

One friend to act as a scout.

One friend to share commiserations.

One friend to give no bullshit advice, solicited or otherwise.

All the friends who don't know when to say when when it comes to being the best friends you can have.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Sunday Feelings

I wish I hadn't deleted your number

so I could have the satisfaction of deleting it again.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Exceptional Circumstances

You want extraordinary things to happen? Okay sugar, we'll give you something so extraordinary that you can't talk about it. You'll see it on the evening news, in magazines, all over the internet, but no-one must know the connection. It will be so extraordinary that it will alternate between driving you to drink and smoke and curse, and adopting a zen-like que sera, sera feeling. It is huge, life-defining, television mini-series extraordinary. And yet you must not talk about it. Do not talk about it.