Monday, September 12, 2005


I've been away for a few days, in London, and didn't want to come back. With a glass of wine in one hand, to lubricate my writing, and feeling sorry for myself, I took the following perspective.

Damn this city plagued by insecurities and sadness, alcohol lying like a sleeping blanket, tippex to oceans of regrets, oppression and frustration.

Late at night, the teenagers race to climb into the silent park with their bags of cheap cans. Sex in bushes, awkwardly feeling for skin under acres of cotton. A girl searching for love, acceptance. Him, driven by his dick, couldn't give a fuck about her.

Outside in the houses of middle management women ironing their frustrations into shirts of who was once a lover. Aimlessly flicking through TV channels to find escape, or some message that the life they've chosen contains meaning.

Twenty somethings drinking alongside old men, talking big, trying to suppress the rage they feel at the cost they'll pay to get that job, that house, that car.

Planes leaving taking two or twenty young dreamers away to bigger places with wider choices. Excitement, anticipation. A secret fear or desire that if they let who they were go, then the pieces will never fit together the same again.

Planes return carrying people from other places who want to make some new beginning or extension of their lives in this small seaside town. I hope they'll never realise how many of the locals will resent their very presence.

Its hard to breathe in this small town, where the social norms try to suppress change. Will challenged at every street corner - by your peers, shining lights of pubs and clubs, managers who are afraid of your imagination challenging their apathy.

Where are the mavericks to swim against this tide of blandness?

Someone to challenge you say "turn off your TV, turn up the music, listen to the words, rhythm, feel your body move and sway. Think of your arms, your boobs, your ass. Feel the heat of desire, forget wanting a new car.

Find what your muse is, what makes you feel like you sing well. That vital energy, adrenaline. This is your symphony to conduct, your one chance, your novel. Are you the heroine or a bit player - have you every sung or taken real risks?

When you run out of paper or the words you write are jumbled up, think of the hourglass passing sand from the top to the bottom. If your anger boils up or the darkness descends, remember that if the ink flowed once, it will never really run dry.

Smear your face with paint, walk around the house naked. Never forget that you're real, you're not simply a voyeur of other people's lives, neatly edited and played down your TV tube.

As your fellow Dublin man said, everyone is running to stand still.

You meet all these people, so many stories that you're almost past caring.

If I took away your pen, the words would be scratched with a stick into the sand, and you would never care if the sea washes then into a different energy."

I'm going to Kerry tomorrow. Here's hoping that helps me drift back into Dublin life.

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