Water Charges.

Joe’s sitting in the foyer of the radio station, thinking: Are they nearly ready for me here? Where’s my coffee, Daybreak job, swirling in the belly. There it is on top of the papers. Headlines about Mortgage arrears, splashed in Cappuccino. Shoulda got a few Hashbrowns, didn’t know that other fella would be in there so long. What’s he talking about?  A Play about the Titanic? Might chance going for a shite. No – fuck it, sure as fuck they’ll call me half way through, happened before. Who’s this fella after landing?
Long beard.
High Viz vest that’s nearly black with dirt. He takes a seat opposite Joe. Leaves the bicycle helmet on the Independent. Joe’ll never read it now. He gets a smell of cheese and socks so he takes out his phone and checks his bank account. After a few minutes the cyclist asks: ‘Is that an I-phone?’
‘Tis. Do you have one yourself?’
‘No, man. Apple are evil. I’ve a Nokia.’
‘Oh right. What are you in to talk about?
‘Water Charges.’
Joe’s bowel does a flip: ‘Is that right?’
‘Yeah.’ Says Lance Armstrong. ‘We’re havin a protest Tuesday. You should come down and speak.’
‘What time?’
‘Three O’clock.’
‘Good man, good man, good man…’
‘No one has the right to sell water…’
‘They don’t I s’pose. Is there many of ye now? Protesting’
‘And where are you from yourself?’
West side.’
‘Is it a nice area?’
‘No, but the rent is cheap.’
‘Cos of the location?’
No, the roof is falling in and there’s mould on the walls and there’s no hot water…’
‘I see. How does that work?’
‘Dunno, Landlord doesn’t care. We never see him anyway, just put the money into his account.’
‘How much?’
‘€100 a month. Each. There’s four of us. We all work.’
‘Doin what?’
‘Is there good money in that?’
‘Depends on the time of year.
‘How do ye wash yerselves?’
‘We don’t. The body cleans itself naturally after a certain length of time.’
‘How long?’
‘28 days. Last night my bed was soaked from the leaks in the ceiling but I slept in it anyway…it’s actually good for your bones to sleep on a wet mattress…’
‘Right. And do you cycle much?’
‘Everywhere. It’s good for the environment…’
‘Tis good man, good man…’
‘Will you speak at the protest so?’
‘I’ll give you a card and you can ring the office about it.’
‘I never have any credit, is it ok if I just call in?’
‘Eh…yeah, or…when?’
‘We’re on holidays now for the next two weeks.’
‘But the protest will be over by then…’

The secretary arrives. ‘We’re ready for you now, Joe.’
‘Can I bring the coffee?’
‘You can of course, just turn off the phone.’
He turns to Lance. ‘I’ll talk to you again. Besta luck with everythin.’


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