O’Connell Street.

Parked at the Lilac Centre. No point fucking around with all that weird on street parking shit. Always that feeling that there’s some fat clamper hiding behind a tree waiting for you to park one inch too far across his imaginary line, and he won’t let you go for any less than a month’s rent. Did a fast u-turn at the Dealz and spun towards the car park fast. Stopped to let a blind man cross at the entrance and then got the ticket and drove up two flights and parked between a Range Rover and a Merc. Good company for the 1.4 Petrol from Mayo, with the Galway registration and 300 thousand miles on her 15 year old engine. Went for the lifts, burnt the floor number into my head, floor one, floor one, cos I knew I’d forget it later and spend half the day wandering around the wrong level suspecting car theft and awkward phone calls to guards and a haype of forms to fill out and no way home.

Emerged at Cassidy travel, people everywhere, souls purgatorial drifting through the commercial river. There was a place selling a can of coke and a pizza for 6 something but I kept going. Out onto Parnell Street, passed Chapters and around by O’Connell Street. People like lost stars in the cosmos, floating around, waiting for buses, people, something. Spotted an all you can eat buffet for 12.99 and made a mental note to attack it later. Passed out the GPO where Liam Neeson tried to blow it up one time and decided to go to Easons. Haven’t darkened their door for about 20 years. They take over 52% from the price of a book just to stock it on their walls so I was in a sorta boycott mode. Then again, I could be missing something crucial, some access to great literature unavailable anywhere else. I had an image of a warm shop, with some kind of government chairs where you could read, research, enjoy the smell of papyrus and dear coffee from an overpriced machine.

There was a woman smoking on the steps on the way in, white shirt, black leather pants, curly raven hair, maybe some picture of a film she saw one time and here she is now living it out in the big city. The doors came back with a cheap whoosh and I was in, underwhelmed and confused. Where’s all the big shtuff ambience? Isn’t this the flagship store? More like just another newsagent that sold books in fancy shelves. Not too sure where the 52% was going. Asked the security guard was I in the right one. He told me there was two more. One on Nasaau Street and another on St. Stephen’s Green. “But this is the biggest one…”


Gave it another whirl around and said fuck this. Back to the Chinese. It was busy with gluttons trying to look fancy, like they had culinary taste and experience, but they really just wanted the brown shlop with a fistful of chips and the ignorant fried rice. I paid your wan and got a plate and stocked up.Not sure what kinda mongrels they were cooking but twas dire stuff and I ate anyway. Nearly time to get the car now aswell. What floor did I say again…1 or 2…..?

Notes on the real artist.

He works in a small town and decides he’s got a voice and wants to be an artist. Things the kid wants to do, things the kid wants to say. Most nights he drinks to stop him thinking and hopes to sleep but can never quite get there. Some voice, some emotional turmoil, something wrong with the way things are. A distant hum in the ether of reality, a curve in the emotional space time. A door to be unlocked and the key is somewhere out there. Just needs to be found. Friends laugh, family don’t agree. Hey, what about your job, another recession coming. Gotta get that house, build on that site, settle down with that nice girl. S’all the same, no matter where you go. Gotta do that engine Tuesday. Gearbox gone in that Toyota. NCT due on the Opel. We know what that guy’s like, real particular. Real cheap too, finds something wrong, he won’t pay. Thinks we’re all animals here. Thinks we’re all dumb mechanics. Always on the phone, doing some job, some kinda Wall Street, clean shoes and that expensive suit and those rings. Educated type, uses big words, asks if we got a website, asks if we do e-mail. Ain’t no e-mail here. Had an e-mail once, lost the password, waste of time anyway. Gotta spray that transit, guy wants to sell it, make it look good, springs coming up through the boards, let’s nail them down, pass me the drill. Keep it going for a while, same with all these English cars. Salt on the road, see. Comes right up and causes rust and then they sell them over here when they’re about to fall apart. Let’s get a drink tonight. I can’t drink tonight. Our hero’s working on something, some story, some play, some book. He’s thinking about a film, that song he heard the other day. He was changing the oil filter on the Insignia and it came on, moved him somehow, meant something. Would look good in a movie. That collection at home. DVD’s up to the ceiling. S’all Netflix now but the broadband around here is too bad. Good thing too, he thinks, more substance, less choice. You gotta watch what you got and watch it right and learn. Learn what a story is, learn how to add a song, learn how to write what people say. That girl with the Ford Focus, smelled nice, in some college somewhere, studying something. Something to do with points, forms, applications and those damn e-mails. Maybe could ask her. Ask her how. Ask her where. Ask her when. Where does a guy start, telling that story, putting those thoughts in order. Breaking through. Here’s the girl with the focus now, speak of the devil, she knows all about it, says there’s that big festival on in the city. here, you want a brochure, I got one last week. He takes it off her, brings it home. Reads it that night. Too many big words, too many big ideas. Culture, diversity, inclusion, stability of the organic societal perspective from an artistic standpoint. Man just wants to tell a story. Doesn’t want to send e-mails, drink the wine or wear the good coats. Just heard the song when doing the Insignia, can see the scene, just like the stack of DVD’s that all came before. Man’s got ideas but he’s tired now. Too tired for culture, and diversity and artistic standpoints. Needs to finish that Passat in the morning and the Peugeot’s back with a rattle in the bearing. And that guy with the suit, they say he’s some kind of director, on some board, film board maybe, what’s the film board, who knows, probably more inclusion, and e-mails and metaphors and big words like archetypal and fostering the rural imperative in the Post Celtic Tiger era. Here, pass the WD40, there’s a squeak in the window, Almera nice car. Doesn’t let you down. Japanese. Great culture there I bet. Supposed to check out that festival tonight, what’s the point, won’t fit in. Can’t understand a damn thing they got going on. Let’s get that drink instead. Six cans in Tesco and a binge of Scorsese.

Mick.