More on our new home. You know about the kitchen. The neighbours? Instead of trumpet playing to the left and pyschotic born again bitch bully to the right, we now have a cute elderly couple on one side and a slightly odd but nonetheless charming hippy gardener on the other. The elderly man never speaks. His wife is perfunctorily polite. Most of odd but charming hippy gardener's charm comes from his rectitude. I have moved to next door heaven from hemmed in hell. Other advantages? Acoustics. A downstairs bathroom. Heating that appears to actually heat the house. I need to search extensively to find a downside to our new living situation. But search I have, long and hard, for you. Because I realise, I know that you hate the happy stuff, the weak attempts at humour, the kitchen praisings. You want the filth, the degradation that is the daily drudge of my life. And I've found it, here it is, personified in the scowling face of Marty Whelan.
I loved Marty Whelan. His morning show on Lyric got me through the bailout, the election and the lack of revolution that these events inspired. His soothing voice, his bad jokes, his occasionally awful taste in music all aided me in my slow coming terms with spending another day in this brutish country, leading this banal life. But today, today he parked in my space.
We used to have a driveway. And now we don't. Like Stewart Lee longs for a time when having a regional accent was considered a professional disadvantage, I pine for an era when this would have made precisely fuck all difference to my life. To that carfree time of bus and Luas and Dart, but mostly of bike, with Data asleep at the backseat wheel, her helmeted head dangling perilously close to the passing and often honking traffic.
We now live reasonably close to a Dart station which is of no particular advantage to me, because any time my legs are ouchy, or it's raining, or there's even a vague hint of the possibility of rain, I climb aboard my comedy purple car and drive. But this reasonable closeness also means that any fucker who fancies it can use our quiet street as an unofficial Park and Ride facility. While sometimes irritating, this fact has never caused my anything resembling serious inconvenience. Until this morning when I found myself having to walk what must have been almost 50 metres from house to car. Not good. Not good at all. If I'm going to be a fat lazy cunt, I want to be a fat lazy cunt who doesn't have to do any superfluous strolling. Seething, I parked. Livid, I walked. And what was parked in front of my house only a big fat Beamer. And you know who was sitting in the driver's seat, casually reading a newspaper.
To be clear, I started listening to Marty In The Morning long before this move was mooted. His mother, I now know, lives a few doors down from our new home. There can be no doubt that we have been drawn together like this by the Fates. Before now, I assumed that this fatal artistry would lead to a progression from nodding acquaintance through casual conversation to the eventual destination of a unspoken yet deep spiritual bond, which I thought I had already begun to express itself in coded mellow morning messages. But it now appears that our destiny is one of a different hue. He looked up as I approached the gate. Our eyes met. For a brief moment we held a gaze that spoke sparingly of a love that might have been, soured now, to an enmity from which we cannot flee.
I turned away and walked into our new home. The kitchen was cold now. The countertop unacccountably grubby. A stench reached me from the downstairs loo. Whelan, I felt sure, had been here too.
Through the wall I heard the hippy cackle.