Yes even though it has gone deathly quiet around here, I’ve been sleeping better, you remember the deal here right? Still It don’t mean I’m blind – I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t (well maybe you would) believe.
This one is about leaves, dead leaves on the dirty ground, they seem like a special kind of leaf to me, like a maple or an oak leaf. But more than this they seem to weep as leaves.. Like in the last desperate throwes of the autumn shift they ooze their last breath not unlike bees at the bottom of a sting. I seen these on the street and through some slight sad feeling attached my plight to them, shifting, aching, elder, changing, maybe this is it, all of everything on the floor laying down.
The year is gone again and moving on these ones leave a mark to say its so.
Maybe then it’s something in the water of the rain.
I’m sure others feel the same, we could start with those comfortable people in the cafe today, like the place was there years! but until recently Earlsfort Terrace previously housed classrooms and what seems like a classic Georgian college, UCD. I’ve seen signs that point towards medical studies, engineering. Silent now I can feel learning still in the walls, there is a scent of it in some places and confirmation too looking out the windows.
I have been reminded though about my own days in school, not good days, strange days of silence and bully stares but even so I know that amid these ghosts here we haven’t seen, they must be impressed by all this intervention, the ideas, the gestures, razor wire, ferris wheel, writing on the wall, the Squids ink. Blown away I walked the long halls seen every rooms offering and wonder only one thing – I deserve this, I’m from Dublin, a great town and I deserve this now in my days. Why can’t this be for all time? why do I think everything else is boring?
Always looking for a place to rest, work out the problems of my day, I’ll have to go back many more times and still I’ll only scratch the surface.
Some may know that for a good while previous to today I usually scorn leather wallets in favour of those old Hi-8 tape boxes from the nineties, I’d happily cover these in stickers and scratches but found sitting on them doesn’t work so well when I’m trying to maintain their lifespan and keeping the contents safe. So in an effort to move things along I had a slight brainwave in the recycle department!
I did pick up a tin box at the airport that still has the scent of blackcurrant pastilles and after scoffy scoffy I sprayed the poxy design over with Montana White and scanning simply a favourite postcard I cut it to fit the face of the tin, I like my new Ladybox wallet.
I could be mistaken but I think that the troubles are over. The games up when a belief system hampers any community from making money and in turn surviving. When local taxi drivers don’t have the answer and ask you how things are in your part of the world, you know they seek comfort in the sadness we all seem to face. It’s okay if the light at the end of tunnel isn’t visible, we can’t see it either, it doesn’t matter what side of the fence you’re sitting on if we all suffer a fate that’s what makes us equal for once. Hope on Hope St as the blue white and red of the curbs fade away like those old black and white photographs of heroes who stood for their rights and principles, struggles that they made to get the chance to earn a living and survive in a world rife with fame fortune and misplaced remembrance.But I Was wrong.
There was an autumn for eight or so weeks when my fathers brother Mick would drop off bags of groceries mid strike in the factory, we watched the miners being charged by Thatchers horses and felt bad. Vinny would be mumbling and I suspect feeling fairly useless but we cared less as long as we got fed and the tension would be replaced by those funny times we had in the summer. The money was short and it took its toll on the household, I was not having a good time in school, I was weird and mean to everyone especially my sister, I hope she forgave me.
But through the toughest times In the front room Vinny would be escaping, he would lay down and sing badly at the top of his voice his favourite ballads, ring out his chords to the fields of Athenry and a hundred other hair raising anthems bleeding through his own personal Walkman. If it was Saturday or Sunday he would religiously go see a game, Dalymount, Croker, Parnell park. I suspect any excuse to relax out of the house, bring me and distract himself from the awful life a trade union dispute would have brought to his doorstep. After shifts of 14 hours when it was sunny he might cut the grass or do some fixing about the place, he might sleep some days – “Don’t wake him” my mam would warn, barely awake at the table he’d eat quietly his hands always looked swollen from work. He once taught me how to use a hand saw and a trick of applying soap to the blade which would ease the length through the wood, he shouts “I told you it works” – he never thought I would be a worker, I never knew till later he probably seen my efforts at labour and just folded his arms with a sigh.
Inside furiously Mam would take up his jeans if they were too long, nothing fashionable always those workman essentials, a blue blue denim that wore longer than his rolled up shirt sleeves and frayed collars, the long used pure white cotton that finished just below the tidy cut of his hair at the back and near his presentable sides. My mam says I look just like him now, he would have been 69 this year if the morphine hadn’t had finished him.
One of the strangest photos I’ve ever taken was a snap from the top bedroom window down to the front garden, where he was happily pushing his electric lawnmower around a patch of 12 feet square grass, he needing to be doing something as always took pleasure in sunny days. Then if he wasn’t doing that we would sadly laugh at him dozing off on the sofa, the last hours of the day the fire burning, helping. We were stupid.
He would always take great delight in other times when the thunder and lightning of the night would drift over our house or the joyriders so famous in our parts in the eighties would screech around in the maze of streets, listening he’d predict which street, open the new aluminium windows at the same time, smile at the guards, always too late. He would shout tirelessly at the TV as his red devils on saturday would dance around the grass, weeping at eulogies for heroes of the game, he liked Brian Clough. Probably would have adored Berbatov, like his coffee slices and the Mirror newspaper.
He was a big man but not huge, strong and never had a problem with helping someone’s dead car needing a start, he’d just shoot off and give them a push, you never see that now. Because his brother Kevin and Brendan drove the 12′s and 22′s he knew everyone on the buses, we never paid for fares back then, frowned on now he would stand up front and talk to the drivers about anything, he would absolutely talk to anyone, make friends quickly, I imagine when I wasn’t looking he was amazing talking to women, charming, funny and always had an answer standing there smelling freshly shaven and looking for an In. He knew everyone anywhere he walked. He was from the original group of men who came up with the phrase “Work hard – play hard” and it was very easy for him to be this way.
The other side at this time was a little darker. There are numerous family photos of himself with many empty glasses of ale beaming smiles and red eye, this was the time of hotel ballrooms bars with shutters down and work functions, full breakfasts, old bars in Phibsboro and Finglas, no seatbelts. The money came from somewhere to pay for those pints, god knows exactly where. This was the time when if you didn’t drink there was something wrong. This state of mind still exists in a male society driven by tribalism, that machismo rife in working class places, men = men and where’s my dinner? Curry, empty bottles and laughing downstairs.
He was sadly drifting away from me, it was my fault too being separate from everything, I didn’t know but I was not adjusting to anything and didn’t want to and all the while I was still under the roof of someone who had been the greatest at adjusting. Those early Days started to become the change days, you can’t stop getting older, hard trying to either emulate or break away completely from a force and wishing for the chance to turn that time around I would have been less selfish and said more, said more than I probably should have, probably for the better, for the feeling that it was said and not later on when it was nothing and far too late.
Wasn’t it Rudyard who dropped that if you could keep calm whilst all around are bursting then there was a fairly good chance you could make it through the fires of Egypt crumbling. I recently spoke at a conference that celebrated the help that online existence can do for your chosen field, it can expand your idea by allowing others to appreciate your work. Amid all the very well dressed delegates it became obvious to me I was the only one individual who was wearing a hat. I felt a bit out of place but at the same time proud, uneasily I also thought that I seemed to be the only person concerned less about making money and more about ideas, I thought for a minute that this whole thing was about getting along with people, Like Gil Scott recently, he said if you’re in a position to help someone then you’ve been chosen, you need to do it whatever you’re gift, that’s not something you can keep to yourself, for your soul you must share, it helps you in the end.
So at the conference the stout lady proclaims her existence, her sustainability it’s got to be cost effective or die and I know I’ve been matched with my polar opposite onstage, a dragon in a den, brilliant at self promo and no time for Scott Heron Dalai Lama shit here. Contribute or Shut Up.
Part of the reasoning why I write to myself here ( few pay attention ) is that I can try work out what the fuck I’m doing on this planet, I see models become dj’s and earn far more than I have in previous leaner years because we want our icons glossy and less authentic, in turning I work hard at being reliable and less angry, a road with weeds, I take the chances I get and turn them into legendary nights of great music or recordings that are memorable, I’m at a disadvantage because I’m insecure, I don’t completely believe my world of luck, I know it’s ridiculous but I want you to like what I do for it’s idea and that way I survive this awful time and be remembered for being AK.
I don’t sleep well because people who talk about me miles away wake me up with their whispers. I hope the words are round and kind.
I don’t want wealth in great amounts I just want to believe in my wealth, do what I believe is right, fight for it because I have little else and eventually win through, tiring and stressful that that may be.
I’m urged to make more of a success of myself and for the first time I don’t think I can do anymore, I can’t sell this feeling off to anyone for a price, I just have to hope that the world will unfold naturally and unlike my mother says be visible instead of invisible, be worth something to someone.
At least it stopped raining and we could start fires in the outside fields, walk the two dogs and hear cracks in the black woods, they stop and growl at the ghosts, but gone with the smoke into a clear night sky the heavy moon mid song about all the love in the world, wind away and down the glen down. It’s the Black of the night that hides all these men’s secrets and all the girls desires. They roll under their slumber sleeps not a whimper not a single peep. Breath dogs breath.
Following on from the deception that is my chocolate phone cover (I had to get one for my dear sister or there would have been war) I do like seeing other deceptions around the place and bumped into a stylish lady who had a purse that looked like a letter to her lover, ‘A penny for your thoughts’ caught my eye “Is that a wallet?” – “No it’s my purse, it’s ancient like me” I just about got the second shot so you can see the letter continues on the inside, class act to follow no matter the vintage.