Sunday, August 30, 2009

Arshavin to score first, Arsenal to win

Sunday, August 30, 2009 9
64 minutes. Glassy-eyed and limp he stares at the screen. Watching their last chance slip and slide and dive. She gazes at the half drunk pint of blackcurrant and then at the floor. He leans down, thinking to kiss her. She looks at her watch through her thick cracked glasses, unaware of his movement and the consequences, wishing merely for the game to end. He stops halfway down and remains in this position as his eyes lift again to the screen. 65 minutes. Their last €200 ticking away. He straightens, stroking his stubbled chin with a slow, deliberate hand, hoping to rub the pockmarked skin away. To remove the face, start again. Still time, though, maybe. Maybe still time.

He has heard that gamblers do not want to win, that their joy and satisfaction comes from losing. The sick feeling in his stomach belies this apparent truth. He spots a blue shirt making a break above, surging forward, dancing through the defence. His heart surges, dances. The shot is pulled wide. Everything sags again. He does not want to lose.

"Is it over?"

"Fifteen minutes, about."

She stifles her sigh, takes a sip. He wants to sit but fears that she will then see the sweat on his brow, feel his trembling and thus know all. He remains standing. The time ebbs away. The sickness in his stomach dissipates, replaced by a full body numbness, a blank disbelief. It had felt fated. He was fearless on entering the pub, firm in his believe. No long shot this. All but certain. And when the ball crashed past the outstretched arm, from, as he laughed to himself, a long shot, there was no relief, just an unnecessary reinforcement of his faith. The first part of the wager fulfilled, he had ordered her a second blackcurrant and an extravagant packet of crisps. It all was meant to be.

89 minutes. No time now, no time for two. One no use. Has to be two. Suddenly the ball is in the net. Hope. Only takes a second to score. Two goals in extra time. Happens. And then the flag goes up. Off field incident and now no more, no more time.

"Alright, so."

"It's finished?"


She drains her drink. He has a final fiver and change in his back pocket. He takes her for chips.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The shackles of language and measurable time

Friday, August 28, 2009 8
Are we feeling a theme? Perhaps when they go back to school I will finally chill the fuck and accept this too rapid burgeoning of body and brain and bits that my babies are bringing to the party. But I fucking doubt it.

There is a poster beside me on the table. It says 'Pop Star!' in the top right hand corner as that is the name of the magazine from which this centrefold has been drawn. At the bottom, in a bubbly rainbow font, is the word 'Robert'. Taking up the rest of the space is an image of a shirtless Rob Pattison. Not Patterson, I have been reliably informed. My daughter, who, on her secret blog, conspires to misspell all manner of simple words that are miraculously letter perfect in her homework, confidently corrected me on this point. On the reverse is a picture of a fully clothed Harry Potter. Did I mention that Rob is shirtless? And that Riker has already decided which side is going up on her wall? Why? Why would my little ten year old nipper want to look at the nipples of this postmadonna ponce? Rhetorical question, folks. I don't want to know.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

We must have really paid the cost

Thursday, August 27, 2009 9
The internet's pretty shit, isn't it? What's it good for, really? You could do without it, right? Pay your bills in the bank with the putrid public. Read newspapers. Watch tv. Communicate with people on an old phone with a cord. A cord and a good stiff rotary dialler like I have on my iPhone. (Why doesn't the iPhone come with a cord? What am I supposed to twist my finger around as I become hideously stressed by even the most simple and brief of human contacts?) What I'm saying is that we could all get along fine without the wuh wuh wuh. We did it before and we can do it again. Which is good, because I'm initiating a shut down. Yeah, I know. No downloading your Darragh Doyle. No stealing all the free shit. But that's the way it is. I'm giving you plenty of notice. Ample time to fruitlessly fight your corner. A week? Maybe two. Fuck it, maybe even six months. Either way, when it all stops working and no one can fix it, you'll know that that was me, typing Google into Google.

I have my reasons.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Like a child you whisper softly to me

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 13
How often do you clear your throat? Stop. Set a stopwatch for, I don't know, two minutes. Count the times. Once? Twice? Many times? Or not at fucking all?

Hans Brinker is a throat clearer, though Hans does not continually clear his throat. He works in bouts. Every ninety seconds or so over the space of about an hour is a popular ratio. But then he'll go maybe two or three hours without a peep. And then he's off again. Reading. Watching telly. Huckch. Pause. Huckch. Pause, pause. Huckch, huckch. It's a beautiful thing. But this is not about Hans. This about this guy.

This guy, he spins. Early forties, at a guess. Good shape, good looking. Probably spends a little too much time on the soon to be illegal sun beds. (Take fucking that, Holy Communion budgets). To all intents and purposes this guy seems normally normal. But when he spins, he clears. He not quite hacks. Loudly, repetitively, almost rhythmically. The music, be it MIA, Meat Loaf or Madonna, at even my favourite ear bleed volume will not drown this clearing out. Tonight a spinning lady who was on the next bike left the class. She could take no more. I saw her point. It must be some kind of condition, conditionally speaking. He doesn't do it when strolling about the gym floor. He doesn't do it as he dries and dresses. But he does it over and over and over again as he spins. So loudly, so consistently. I'm fucked if I'm going to bring it up with him. Soon it'll just be me and this guy in the darkened room, all others driven away by the endless not quite hacking and the ever increasing decibels with which I am attempting to combat it.



Monday, August 24, 2009

Would you get behind them if you could only find them?

Monday, August 24, 2009 8
So speaking of my dubious heterosexuality, I have no idea how you ladies do this shit.all the time. It's so much work. Even if I were to shave the face of one of those actors with the massive fucking heads and teeny weeny bodies, the surface area and indeed awkwardness could not compare to even the most petite of pins. And we're talking about my highly honed, tightly toned tree trunks here. Yes, we are. Yes, I have. I have been shaving my legs. For the Wicklow 200, originally. To look like a real cyclist. If I look like a real cyclist, I reasoned, I will cycle like a real cyclist. And so it proved. Yeah, sure, it might have been all the training, the smart fuelling, the EPO. But I was happy to give credit for that cycling symphony to my hairless legs. And then they started getting all hirsute and weird. So I did it again. And twice more since. But it must end, I suppose. Common Law has been complaining about the stubble (while kindly keeping her opinion of the entire concept to herself) and there's no way I can be arsed trying to reach the back of my knee more than once a week. If my chin only meets the razor every three days, my legs, the inaccessible fucks, aren't going to get the special treatment.

And yet I am already repulsed by this decision. Hairy legs. Yuck, and might I add, bleuch.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Cruel winter chilled the bud

Sunday, August 23, 2009 7
I recently composed what has been described as 'the gayest text message ever sent by anyone, ever.' Observe:

"I'm curling up with Twilight and a big bowl of ice cream. That Edward, he's so mysterious!"

I cannot agree with the assessment. I reckon I've had a lot gayer.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A night that's always brighter than the day

Saturday, August 22, 2009 8
While demonstrating a downward dog to the chick in the gym creche, Data frustatedly informed said chick that: "I've been trying to get this right for twenty years!". Ten days to big school. My little baby is going to school. This bundle of tantrums, this bindle of tetch, whom in pre-Purple days I ferried daily across town, by bike, bus, bagel and Luas. this little bint, is growing way up.

Common Law will cry, I predict, and I will stand there awkward and stone-faced as Data sprints away from us to her classroom, her too big bag weighing her down not a jot. I will save my tears for later as this weeping will be not for Data but for myself and my onward rush toward death and oblivion.

Thank fuck for chocolate.
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