Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Above us only sky

Tuesday, March 22, 2011 10
I got a call on Sunday night. From my mother, who was holding a party she didn't want to hold, that I had blatantly lied to avoid. What drunken dialing is this, I wondered, as I ill-advisedly tapped answer. She handed the phone to my catering sister.

'Gerry Haugh died.'

'Oh. Okay. Thanks.'

That was it. I thought briefly about finding out where and when the funeral was, but rejected the concept almost immediately. There is no way, I reasonably reasoned, I am going anywhere near those cunts. And he's dead. He's not going to care. Because he's dead.

And today, two days later, it has finally sunk in. I've been doing a lot of choking back this past hour.

I ran joyously through a forest. He supplied the trees.

I wore a scarf on my leg. He made no comment.

I fell in love for the first time. He was in the room.

I watched the Rocky Horror Picture show. Did all the newspaper water-pistol shit. He felt it needed to be done. I found myself in agreement.

I sat in Dunkin' Donuts for hours, drinking coffee and smoking. Talking shit about books, music. He never came by, but he would have approved.

I lost my virginity to Julie from Ballinskelligs. We did it in a field, I could hear Bon Jovi playing from the pub. He organised the trip.

I read The Razor's Edge. It was on a list he gave of books that must be read. So I read it. I started reading it again last Friday. No, really, I did.

I became an actor. Because he showed me how and it made him proud and what the fuck else was I going to do?

I wrote a thesis on the lyrics of Robert Smith. 'Sign it, date it, keep it,' he wrote. I didn't. I wish I had.

I learned that it was okay for boys to kiss other boys. I didn't much like it.

I suffered a terrible loss. Ballinskelligs again.

I wondered, even in the self-obsessed haze of adolescence, how I too could be endlessly selfless and calm and kind and gentle and smart and well-read and quietly passionate. I wonder still.

He was like a father to me, though I feel his scathing look at such a hoary cliché, and I always assumed we'd get together one of these days and have ourselves a chat about the old days. I looked forward to apologising for insisting that my rejection of everything related to my alma mater had to include him. Sudden illness, quick death. I fucking hate being an atheist. He hated me being an atheist too.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

It's a planet full of traffic lights and traffic light abusers

Thursday, March 17, 2011 1
I don't get it. Really. I just do not fucking get it. What the fuck is it that we're supposed to be celebrating? Our potato-faced obesity? Our well-deserved international reputation for being drunken morons, financial retards? Our joyous national acceptance of physical, emotional and fiscal rape by our perceived betters, whether it be the English or a pack of barely literate gombeens? Woo hoo! We're pathetic! Isn't it fucking brilliant? Crack us open another 10am can of Smithwicks there.

And as for the parade. I said to Common Law, I said 'What even is a parade anyway?' And Common Law said, so she did, 'I know what a parade is but I'm slightly surprised that you don't.' How we didn't laugh. Because really, what the fuck is a parade? People stand for hours, closely surrounded by other personal space disregarding people just to wait for other people to walk past them. Occasionally one of the walking people fucks a stick in the air and catches it. And all the time the non-walkers push and shove and talk and breathe and stink and leak. And as the parade limps to its conclusion and this filthy crowd dissipates everyone moves on to the traditional afternoon of vomiting and senseless violence. No wonder we are all so proud of being born on this particular lump of turf.

The last time the Minute family embarked on this journey was four years ago, and now, the memory having faded sufficiently in Riker's pre-teen skull, we are doomed to walk, nay stand, on this road again. I will take no joy in the inevitable proving of my correctness on all of the above points. I can only hope that I am the victim of a premature stabbing and thus get to spend the day having a nice twelve hour lacerated lie down on the plastic chairs of my local Accident and Emergency.

Have a safe day.
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