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Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Three Suicides/Night Falling Fast.

Night falls after the first thoroughly warming sunlit day here. When you get a day like this you begin to imagine your self in the Summer,  the world expands around you. Not on this day though.  Today life contracted,  unsafe, hovering in sinister (summer) light between here and nowhere you can imagine, nothing you can touch, nowhere you can go.

In the morning I get a phone call to tell me that a young man I know, a boy really, has taken his own life. It was not entirely unexpected. He was afflicted, tormented with illness, devils whispering at his mind's borders made porous by mental illness, trying, clamoring without let up to get in. He was lovely.  A sweet boy, desperate in the end for alleviation, for Doctors to reduce the crippling burden of his illness.  The last time I saw him he was, simply,  frightened, leaking pain, and something close to terror. So that you might at least say, at the end,  well, all that suffering is over.   It's done.  Not Doctor's drugs or  cleverality could alleviate what dying has.

And I listen to the Car Radio coming home under the vast empty blue about a woman, a carer of another woman terminally ill with MS, who is charged with Assisting a Suicide. The second woman took what she was not permitted to take,  her own life,  and incapable of certain arrangements was assisted by the first. That seems so to be the case against the living carer, who every day must make the journey from her house to the Central Criminal Court,  accused. Television and Newspaper  Cameras flash piercing jagged light around her as she walks,  holding on to the hand of a man who walks with her.  For dear life.  The sufferer was not found, taken from the rope, the water. Her dying was organized, chosen by herself in light of her progressive suffering, the incremental loss of quality of life, dignity. That doesn't seem to be in dispute. She sought to protect the Carer from consequences. And she prevailed in dying despite some heavy handed policing of the Law. Now the Irish State is is busy, on the case, to criminalize the Carer. Busy, busy. An utterly pointless prosecution while all the while children, so many of them,  harrow themselves into dropping off the edge of the world.

The boy and his sister come home from school and we sit watching an ambulance, a police car, moving up the road to a house just out of sight on the hill,  through our living room window. On this most  lovely day of early summer.  The Boy and I speculate idly as to what that's about. After a time  the Boss comes downstairs phone in hand, stricken. She is indignant as she asks me "do you know what that was, that was (a boy we know)  up there, that's what that was, killed himself, he killed himself, dead, he killed himself and and he's dead, my friends messaged me, that's what that was"  Oh. Decommission that Mother. Do.

"Aw no,  aw no" is all you can find to say. And stupidly "not actually dead".  Not that absurd, chirpy energetic boy, who is haunting the living room now.  "It's true"  the Boy says somberly, adamant. It's on Facebook now.

Later you tell the boy  to get off the phone, night having fallen, the dark well established now. "Why?" he says,  "why?  we're just, I mean talking about it." "Stop talking about it ", you throw back. "Maybe thats what 's wrong with all this"  he says, "not talking about it. "Oh maybe, Oh probably,  darling boy.  But enough, now. Enough,  talking,  going over and over it endlessly,  what happened why happened how happened. Stop talking. Stop messaging. Posting. Stop talking. Now".

You snap off the WI FI, point him to the stairs, tell him to  find his book, play his music, till he falls asleep at last. You tell your pale silenced girl to pray for them. It's all you've got.  Pray for them all,  for his good kind mother, for especially,  her. In this pitch black hour.

                                     Oh What have you Done, Dearest heart (Dearest heart))

Wind back, wind back clock
before he flew out of the  world.
Leaving the rest to live with that.
Agonising that day and the next and the next
and every day ever after that.
Body splits to bring the child in,
heart staggers under the minutiae of effortful loving to sustain him here.
All hope, all future annihilated 
on the twist of the rope, suffocation  of water, the drugs.
Wind back, wind back clock
to the beginning, the  minute before 
the leap into nowhere,
we can follow.

We would tell him, we would say
it does not go on, the pain
comes and  goes
magic sparks when you have given up on it.
We would tell him, grab him, fast
oh if only, clock wind back wind back.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Awakening the Beast/Everybody Knows.

                                                                Everybody Knows.
                                                                                                                                                           "You're … just... looking at this all wrong" the Boy sighed. " Let me explain to you. Again. They mark harder in the Mock Exams on purpose? Because they're like actually told to do that? Like if they marked that hard in the Real Exam everyone would do badly, eh relatively, and there would be terrible um complaints from parents. So, you have to figure on a couple of grades upwards here?  To see the grade you actually deserved. In reality?"
I work really hard at not getting really furious. "So, right, let me get this straight. Your marks in the mocks are not your real marks? Your actual marks are not actually your marks at all?"
"Right!  People always do much better in the Actual Exam. Everyone knows that. So, right,  I'm not actually saying I don't need to do any more study. Of course not! You needn't worry about that! But there's no need for any one to be worried here. Get excited here. That's all I'm saying. Actually. Ok?"
"So, right, it's not that people, having done badly in the Mocks, up their game and work harder then. In reality the people correcting the papers are told to apply a higher standard to the Mocks, and a lower standard to the Real Actual Thing. In order to…what? Give you all a nice surprise on results day? Though, as everyone knows, how.....?"

                                                   You Know Quite Well You Know.
                                                                                                                                                             As As the above exchange takes place the Boss listens to the car radio.  She asks me, my poor messed with  head brimming still with righteous incredulity, if the people, the children and the other people, on the Germanwings plane knew they were join to die, or for like how long they knew they were going to die if they did know they were"
The noise, she explains, the noise of the other pilot trying to get into the cockpit, the noise of the plane dropping. Did they know what was coming. Like how long  would they have known. Would they have known at all?"
"No! Happened too fast. Definately not."
"All over before they knew it" the Boy added bracingly.
Silence. Minutes pass.
Not true, she sighed. Cos she had just googled it now and the plane dropped for at least eight minutes, so they did knew, and they maybe knew for at least eight minutes and the boy and I knew quite well, we knew they knew."
"Um,  eight minutes, but that doesn't mean they knew,  for eight minutes, I mean what was going to happen to them, I mean what did happen to them Darling"
"Only would have known at the end" the Boy said authoritativly.
"Right" she uttered faintly.
A year ago she would have accepted what I said.

                                             Oh Just Shut Up and Let Me Hear the News.

At home the Beautiful Girl joined them in the kitchen, home for the weekend, shedding all her new maturity gladly in a shouty mocking Sibling Reunion.
"Please! Could you all please, just,  Shut Up! I want to, trying to hear the news, the verdict on the Graham Dwyer trial. There's a verdict! Shut Up! Please."
"Graham Dwyer? Who's Graham Dwyer? What verdict? What's the deal? Mum?"
Incredibly, it seems that all those weeks of soundbites, via  Radio and TV, newspaper headlines, media photographs, have not in anyway penetrated the teenage bubble.
"Even you?"  I ask the boy. "Not a whisper ? Not even OMG on Face Book?"
Nope. Not. Not on his newsfeed anyway.
So I give them a summary, having already let the cat out of the bag.  I try to make this brief, sanitized, but that proves difficult and I found myself stumbling throughout the awful narrative of sadistic sex, BDSM websites, cutting, and a murder without witness or confession. The tale of the evidential items  spat up from the Reservoir convulsed by  a summer drought, the  human bones found co-incidentally, fascinates. The Boy lectures me on the technology of phone tracking.  Later they crowd into the living room to listen to nine o'clock news, being, sadly, all ears now.

"But…she,  Elaine O"Hara I mean,  cutting, I knew, we all knew people at school who did that, but why would she let him do all that to her." the Beautiful One comments in horror, distaste.

"She just probably like needed  attention" the Boss offers, before I can attempt a reply.

"So why d'you think he did?" the boy is fascinated and disturbed both.

                               Don't know for Sure but I Think They were Calling forth Demons.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            I tell him I just don't know for sure. That it seemed sometimes, in listening to and reading the text chat in the news. like a game.  As though they egged each other on, or at at least that she facilitated his need to engage in a fantasy that became more and more intense. "Like you know, it sounded farcical, like they were  deliberate ratchetting up the lurid fantasy. And then, bang! it was here from the dark side, manifest,  became actual, and she was dead."
And you will be glad to know dear readers that I, noticing the greenish pallor of the Boss, stopped there and sent them all off about their business.   Told the Boy I'll get back to him another time about all that.
                                                  Telling Yourself Stories.

Anyway, I thought on this all week. Listening to the radio, reading about the aftermath of the trial in the newspapers full of previously undisclosed stuff that could now be revealed, a constant flow of information, opinion, analysis, as though neither the media or its audience could disengage from this easily.  I was uneasy with the general consensus on his monstrous depravity, her vulnerable virtue.  Just  telling ourselves more stories, it seemed to me,  palatable and reassuring.

                                             What I want my Children to Know.

So how about this? They were both vulnerable individuals. He allowed himself to be sucked in, until consumed entirely in online deviance, with arrogant ignorance as to where that might take him. She wanting loving attention so badly, offered herself to a darkly irrisitable process. One way or another they were both human, and this is a salutary tale, The internet, the dark web, calls up  the willful, foolhardy thrill seeker in us all,  uncovers the dark id. Together he and she  unleashed this beast. We are everyone of us monster,  and victim, if we don't take care.  So take care. And so I will tell my children.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


                                               Devine Ones Bearing Gifts
                                                                                                                                                               On Mothers day all three teenagers lined up in my  bedroom, where I lay considering whether I would go downstairs for tea,  dispatch someone for the Sunday paper, that sort of thing.  I had quite forgotten Mother's day.  Also how tall they had all become. The Beautiful Girl carried a tray, the Boss  bearing gifts, the Boy bringing only himself.

They stood looking virtuous, pleased as I unwrapped some very good chocolates,  a silver spiral heart on a slender chain, flowers in cellophane. "Wonderful'  I breathed,  "you've done me proud this year Darlings.  There was an dipping of heads,  in acknowledgement of that.

"Hold on, there's more", the beautiful one walked swiftly out on the landing returning with a vase of tulips. "From me.  Also."  she specified.
                                                 So  how do you Fit all that in a Heart?

"Do you like the chain, I gave you the chain, do you see what its says on the, that's a whorled heart, inscribed on the heart,  d'you see?  It  says a mother holds a child's hand for a little while but she holds her heart forever".  The Boss watched me expectantly as I strained to read it, asked her how all that could fit in a heart. But yeah it did say that,  the  silver worked,  twisted, whorled, ribbon like.  Cunning.

"You know" she said  "the lady in the shop? She read the words and she said how like delighted she would be to get a thing like that on Mother's day. And everyone in the shop could hear?  I was soooo …..embarassed.  So are you? Delighted?"

                                    Never mind Chocolates and Hearts, what about Gerry Adams?

The boy sat on the end of the bed then. "Uh,  the food?  the breakfast's from me too.  You'll be getting something else also,  soon,  soon as I have some uh spare, like, cash?  Though anyway you have enough chocolates there,  three boxes of chocolates there,  I mean you won't be eating all of those chocolates yourself I  expect.  So anyway, Happy Mother's day.  So what do you think of all that stuff about Sinn Fein and the you know abuse. What  Paudie McGahon said.  D'ye think Sein Fein knew? Would you say Gerry Adams knew. There's like lots of stuff on Facebook.  And it's in the papers today. Would you say Sein Fein, the IRA, they're just like….it's just like the Catholic Church? What do you think"

"Right, well, I will want another cup of tea in say, ten minutes time?  So go away now Darlings and let me eat this. And then we will ah discuss Gerry Adams when I have the,  I mean,  benefit of two teas. And honey! Where's the honey? For the tea?"  They filed out,  the Boss returning with the  honey a good ten minutes later. "Cold"  I said, "this tea is cold!. You'll have to get the second cup up straight away. And where's the paper! There's no paper?  Jeeze!!!"

Twenty minutes later I  stamped into the kitchen, "Oh," they said, where they sat at the kitchen table eating, chatting,  "your tea was like brewing?  We, um, forgot about it.  And yeah the paper is like over there, we meant to, we were going to take it up to you. Um, so,  go back, up?  we'll do it now,  if you like,  go back up?"
                                                      A very Fine Tantrum

I told them I would do it for myself , tea,  paper, and the eating of the chocolates. I told them that I'd   make a better job of Mother's day myself with  one arm tied behind my back.  Better in fact left to my own devises in future. They got that knowing patient look, I recognize from my own armory of reactions.  And, yes, actually that was the best fun I had all day on Mother's Day, stropping, entitled,  getting on my Prima Dona. Being them,  on Mother's day.

                                                            Them's My Words.

"So anyway, about Gerry Adams",  I told the boy "Yeah, I think they knew.  In actual fact I bet they figured they were doing great things for the child, with the brutal remedies. And yeah it's like the Church,  macho power values, but I say the people made them, and when the people are ready, they will unmake them too.  Just give that enough time. You can't pluck  all this out of time, demand of them  understanding  they didn't have.  Awareness of  the depth, the effect,  of damage done, the systemic undermining of a human person, raped. They didn't even have the words for that.  Or words for the irony of children being raped and destroyed  in "safe houses.'  I  mean the guy on the run was "safe" wasn't he? The movement was intact wasn't it, they were the people, weren't they. That other stuff was, ok, troubling. But nothing,  nothing really, to do with them,  the movement, the congregation,  the point. What happened to those children,  it was  all about  timing, blindness,  imbalance basically.  A perfect storm in time,  at that point where machismo,  ideology, power,  meet, explode, and devour the vulnerable in its path.    And we evolve,  the victims find the words,  now,  in the quiet aftermath.  Shedding their victimhood, in effect,  from first whisper to the roar of Maria Cahill, and now Paudie McGahon.  We evolve, we judge, we sometimes fail to understand,  to own our own nature  in the process." I reach for the tea. "So, that's what I think, dear boy, about that."

"Hmm, hmm'  the boy said sagely,  edging towards the door,  turning back to tell me that he really was getting me a present so he was, and was I, he meant,  having a good one,  and had he said?  happy,   happy Mothers day.

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Fifty Shades of F***kd Up. How Not to be a Woman

                                                   Pornography for Nice Girls.
                                                                                                                                                               "So Godamn and Blast who knew Selma would be so popular" I hiss to the boy on Saturday, having slipped in to the Cinema on the last minute, to be confronted by a tide of folk between us and the  Ticket Office  "I mean at this rate there will be no time to get Ice Cream.  Here, you go get Ice Cream" The boy sniggered irritatingly looking up the long line of  cinema goers.  "Ha, they're for Fifty Shades.  Just released  today.  Dontcha know?"  "So many?" I say in wonder. "I mean who are these people anyway? Why would they want to??" And they were a mixed bag  my friends, young couples, giggling girls,  middle aged girls, mature twosomes.   I wondered had they read the books. Maybe the older ones I decided, the children only curious, open to a bit of titillation, following the herd. Mommy Porn.  A contradiction in terms.  A nauseating notion.

                                                   On the Highway to Hell

All week long and in the week behind it you are bombarded with an endless stream of sensational detail in the Media about tragic Elaine O'Hara,  in a macabre dance with the breathless promotional soundbites for the Release of Fifty Shades of Grey. Reality and Fantasy. The O'Hara case is grim, dark,   with the relentless sensational newsflashes about mental illness,  bondage, domination, sadism, mascochism. The case built by the prosecution was based on circumstancial evidence. There are lots of circumstances.  Bringing us on a trip down BDSM way . Master and submissive, testosterone and estrogen monstrously inflated, bent out of shape into a hellish sexual exchange. The moral clearly being that a tentative flirtation with light kink was a stepping stone on the road to Looser Hell.  Murderous Sex. So, maybe someone should tell the breathless Fifty Shaders to put down the book,  step away from the screen:   ill-conceived squirming  and the fabulous wealth of the Master won't help you down in the woods.

                                                    How to be a Looser.

And remember who get's be the submissive here. Who get's to be the one who's beaten, peed on, humiliated.  The woman, that's who.  And the occasional looser man. You wouldn't actually like it dear heart. And if you would, well you're damaged little head is just good with the dark stuff,  no judgement.

                                                      And How Not.

And I read about the retired politician Liz MacManus in the newspaper, my heart gladdened, my faith in womankind restored at her account of the University creative writing course, the book published, the family reared. Oh, and the love affair, he firmly in place  in his house and she in her's, living her life,  her own woman. You wouldn't catch her at the rope end of someone's fevered fantasy, or the other end either. So, do you have to be sixty plus then, to know how to be a woman. Do you?

                                                   Little Red Dancing Shoes.
"I'm just going to bring them, in my bag I mean, in case my feet hurt too much like
 later on.  Just like,  in case" the Boss remarks as she shoves her Vans into her shoulder bag  on Wednesday night. The mid term break, the  Teen Disco. Suprevised! Alcohol free! So you shell out fifteen euro and drive the three quarter  hour journey to get her there.   I am the designated driver for six of them  going  and in consequence am asked to take the perfect pictures for Facebook in the Hall on the away out. They line up in their tiny shorts, wisps of skirt,  the boss wearing a whole dress, elongated laughing girls in their vertiginous heels, sharply sloping wedges, cruel stilettos, solemn now for the official Facebook picture.

                            I refuse to be Hobbled, I will not  Bored,  where's my woolly Hat???

Later on I return to find the Beautiful Girl's black suede shoes lying randomly on the kitchen floor. Another girl on Mid Term, leaving the house earlier to party,  precisely balanced on high wedge heels. I find her  lying on the Sofa, legs draped over the arm,  pyjamed,  a book balanced on her chest, her grey woollen hat pulled down snugly over her ears. Her indoors, chillin' uniform. "Back early?" . "Yeah, hey, I 'm reading this.  Have you read this. The Monk".  She is like a deep sea diver with  the college reading list, she emerges with the kind of Books I could never tear her away from the web to read heretofore.  "D'ye like it? It's dark."  I offer.   "Yeah dark, it's cool. I was so you know bored? I came home. I'm not hanging round if I'm bored. Yeah,  love it,  it's great".  Yep, I think she's on course, she's on the road, she'll be  her own woman.

                                                  Not drowning I'm Dancing.
"Was it wonderful did ya dance all night were there lots of boys how's the poor feet" I ask the boss in the morning.  "Um, well I actually changed into my Vans in the car on the way there?, I was going to put on my actual shoes when we got there.  But then I just..didn't? Yeah. It  was great, it was laughing, and dancing.."( The boss goes to Discos to dance,  as well as to electrify boys.)  "....and you know all the girls said they like really envied me? later on when you'r  feet really hurt cos you're dancing I was able to I  could.... dance...I like danced....I could dance... all night".  So, right, she's cracked it,  she's nearly sixteen,  she knows how to be a woman.

Friday, 23 January 2015

The Wife's Tale. ( With Apologies to you, Stephen Hawking.And God)

 Did he actually change his mind...

"So right, if the world actually began..... then it was created? and I mean the Christians,  they want that.  Right?"  "Yes darling.  Right.  But then he,  like he said himself,  changed his mind.  So now, no boundaries, no beginning,  no end, no creation, no God. And the thing is he persuaded folks with his Brillance.  Either way".  The boss and I mull over the movie The Theory of Everything on the way home from the cinema.  She,  preoccupied with black holes,  space time continuum,  mathematical equation, and I guess there was  not enough science in the movie for her. Quite enough for me however, burrowing into the velvety executive seats at the very end row- they were empty!- losing my self in the lovely visuals, the engrossing human drama.

                                                   or was he just.........

The thing I particularly liked about it was its delicacy, I tell the boss. The drama showed you where Mrs Hawking was going,  it didn't drive you there with whip and loudspeaker.. And the tale she had to tell was worth the ticket.  "Yeah... yeah.... but.... were there new treatments for Motor Neuron disease  then.  Like...why did he not die? And... what was that scene with the pencil at the end.... and also I mean  a world without boundaries?, what kind of answer was that to how he lived without the comfort of believing in I mean God.,  is he still  looking for  a single equation for like everything,  like he said he would find???"
                                                                                     screwing with us.........

I tell her that I figure he lives yet through, yeah improving treatments, but basically by virtue of a will of  iron, and a vast appetite for life. And as to boundaries, that he, in his mind, stands tall and walks to pick up the pencil the pretty girl drops, and somehow his body finds a way to follow.  We dine then on fish and chips, no cooking/ Sunday evening fare, the kitchen silent, empty except for the dog, listless and longing for the the excitement of noise.   I dispatch her to locate school uniform, the school bag tossed on the Friday before.


"Oh hey" she calls  " Googled him!  He didn't actually say he doesn't believe in God, he said God was not necessary to science. Aha.  Right."  Well, he  has been known to change his mind" I offer "Hawking I mean. Not God. ????"  "Yeah, and his books are for the Lay Man, he wants to make this stuff  like  explicable, I mean hey!  will we buy that book.  I, you know,  haven't decided yet whether I'll do Maths and Physics  or Maths and Art in college anyway.  I haven't made up my mind!!" she adds,  flying down the stairs phone in one hand, unwashed grey skirt in the other.  "Yeah we will. We'll buy that book" I say.

                                 but  why was he going to America with the nurse?....

And later, just when I think its all over, the boss's humming hard drive on standby...  "So.. but... like why was she crying. When he said he was going to America, with the nurse. Why was he crying too, and...why was he going to America with the Nurse,  and why did she let him, what was like happening?, I didn't really get, you know..... I tell her that the Hawkings were each acknowledging the end of their marriage, mourning, looking the end square in the eye.   And that it was at the heart of the movie. "I kind of thought that.. yeah," she said, "that the marriage like failed".  "Not failed,  no, simply over" I amend. "Yeah, right. And anyway,  he was only supposed to live for like two years" she finished sagely.
                                                                                                and myself struck to the heart (a little) ?...
And thereafter I couldn't shift to standby either. The absolute finality at the end of a marriage, the arid space between you where enchantment was, haunting me a little.  The ghosts of loved up she an he lingering on in the marital space. The  harsh comfort  in mourning, acknowledgment,  rough gratitude for what was.  If you can bear to feel it.   Before you take yourself  back out in the world,  alone like you came in,  to wherever you can manage,  imagine, reach.  Maybe even America?.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Kill them All . Devil Speak and Angel Song.

                                                 Love Hate. A Solution

"And anyway, I don't...... I mean WHY don't they just go ahead and shoot them  NOW. I mean WHAT are the Cops waiting FOR." The boss  makes Christmas Cards to sell at the Christmas fair on the rug in front of the window. Has been for weeks, a happy engagement,  turning out improbably good things. The Boy and I  catch up on recorded episodes of Love Hate. A revelation to her, who does not watch the show by inclination.  "Of course they can't just....they have to.....  prove it!  build a case! set them up! It's called SURVEILLANCE" the boy replies roundly. It's called Television, I amend. And also um Due Process. Which I go about  explaining at the end.  She gets it. She's quick. She's not impressed. "What does it matter actually" she says, "Better dead before they do any more harm..... for us".

                                          The thin end of the Wedge.  Again

I remind of her of the movie Animal Kingdom. She kept a weather eye on that on Monday as I watched,  declaring that  she was not really watching. Only making cards, didn't want to work alone in her room. The boss likes company, in a houses of instinctive solitaries.  We were both numbly riveted by the body count, the casual dispatching on both sides. The instant disposals on the part of the Cops. "The thin end of the wedge", I tell her,  "after the criminals, go the rest of us, instant disposal, sooner or later".  We all stare, stunned,  now at King Nidges bloody runners.

                                              More  Accidental Television

On Thursday she accidentally watches the movie  Martha Marcy May Marlene  with me.  Christmas cards done and on her way to bed, she gets involved, as do I,  until realizing she is there beside me as the credits roll. "Over!!  It  CAN'T be over! Not yet... until we know....until they... I thought she was imaging...what will they do to them???  OH.  Now that was actually  frightening" she says. I agree, more than Love Hate, more than any tough hardcore  horror,  that was actually disturbing. Lingering in the mind, haunting quietly,  puzzling.

                                                     Killing the Boy

On Friday the boy announces harshly that he has lost his glasses. Yeah he brought them with him to a concert in the O2, the first one with a tiny girl and not his sheparding family, and  came back  again without them. I cannot take this equably. I do not try. His phone has gone the same way a week ago.  The glasses, the eye test  took time and money.  I berate him roundly. I am harsh as he.  Each of us capable of a bruising anger. I keep going until this...  "Don't you think I know??  Don't you think.... I'll  pay you back.  I KNOW I'm loosing everything, I don't KNOW why??  I don't KNOW whats wrong with me.  Don't you think I've said all this to myself".  His voice  a grating wobble and  the kitchen is silent at last.

                                                       Killing the Dog.

I go out to the garden to regroup. Apply myself to cleaning up the dog turds there. Bad idea.  The boy's words, his tone of voice harrow me, the dog barks on a loop, his large stomach-churning turds refusing to slid smoothly onto to the plastic spade I keep for this purpose. The dog amuses himself habitualy with Demon Dog Barking at any thing that move within a very large radius, despite sanction, so that I suspect  the neighbours have taken to creeping about the back, to avoid the sheer discordance when he is on a roll. His dog turds are as large and labile as his personality.

"Re-homing!" I tell the boss. A large place out the country for him. Somebody (else) would love him*. "But..." the boss struggles here " he is our, he is part tof our.... You cannot...he is FAMILY. You  CANNOT... You didn't mean? "  I tell her that of course I didn't mean.. I resort to muttering that  maybe in my own case someone would take me,  as she turns away in a sorrowful blue study.

In the kitchen where I go to make a cup of hot strong tea I am brought up short at the sight of the boy, all six foot one of him  accordioned in around the dog in a silent embrace.  He strokes his head gently. His eyes are closed. The dog's huge black eyes gleam in the shadows of the early winter evening.

"Yeah, I was not even slightly serious" I tell the boss,  sipping tea, thinking of the awful raw dysfuncionality of teenage boys,  the mysterious, the invisible wires of connection in family. "Re-homing! It's the thin end of the wedge too. After the dog, we all go. Nah"

                                                            Christmas Came

And then it's Christmas again. Officially started at the Boss's christmas concert, where she stands on the podium with the others, singing with her entire being, a young woman now where last year she was a child. I drive through the dark, the road works, icy cloudbursts,  from Dublin,  stressing about not getting there on time, listening to the endless gnawing discussion on the car radio about the Prime Time programme the night before,  the treatment of disabled women by their female carers in Bungalow Three, Arus Attracta, Swinford, Co Mayo.

                                                       Killing the Disabled

The  Childlike People, degraded, kicked, slapped, by the carers, secretly filmed for the programme. The brutal tones of the women linger in the mind, as though it was not only what they said, but how they said it that was the killer, the degradation.  " Hang down your head!  Hang down your head and look at that wall!  At that wall!   Back!  Get back, Get back in that chair"  the carers chorus.  For three hours, five hours, eleven hours get back in that chair.  "Get back in that FUCKING chair And Hang down your Head and Look at that wall. At that wall!". Don't look at ME. Don't.. ever... look at ME.

                                                     The devil spoke the Angels sang.

The faces in the choir are raised to heaven now, singing in transport of ecstasy,  as one. The Devil he spoke in Mayo, over and over and over. The Angels sing in the School, year after year after year. Ding dong merrily a Child is Born Santa Claus is coming in a Winter Wonderland, on the Twelve Days of Christmas Hark the herald.....Oh Rudolph Rudolph in the Bleak Midwinter.

Sunday, 26 October 2014



"Yeah. But ....should YOU not be worried why are you NOT more worried?... it's.... it's...spreading. The World Health People are worried....I mean do you not think that maybe we should like stay home for  a few weeks until it all like blows over?"' The Boy snorts "Oh HELLO! It's not coming HERE! Child!.  we are Very... Low... Risk. Miss  DEMPSEY you know says its just actually body fluids?, its like actually been here before? and so it will actually burn itself out?" "But.... what about all the....all the.. People... more than ever before.... dying. And its getting Out of Africa, it's coming to.... coming to..." "Huh!" the boy dismissive "That's because of their like Poor Health Care. That's different."  She looks at me, appealingly.  "I mean I can't you know stop thinking about it.  Why would it be in The News?,  all the time?  Cause it's NOT going away. That's why.  And, it's actually still..still...coming...and so shouldn't we be even like be taking out temperatures?..or ..or"   "No! Angel No!. Really. We shouldn't"

                                                   Luckily, we have the Irish Health Care System.

I raise my hand against the boy's next pronouncement. Tell the boss firmly that Ebola is never penetrating the obscure fug of the Irish Tribal Carapace,  ask her to think instead  on how scared the People trapped in the midst of the raging epidemic must be, before she indulges in ramping up her own terror gauge, consigning us to quarantines which would have to include the Boy!!  etcetera etcetera. She shifts from harrowed to rueful. You know,  she says the guys in school start coughing and rubbing their foreheads when they see me now, because I asked Ms Dempsey, if we shouldn't be taking like precautions and you know pray for them..."  Hmm.  Lucky Smart Arsed entitled Irish.  With The Health Service Executive between us and all harm..  Really.

                             Not Entirely Getting what she was Doing with the Whiskey Bottle

We go to see  Gone Girl on Saturday.  I want to coast for the evening. I have read the book.  It's one of those books where you find yourself sticking with the second half having being engaged by the first bit.  Despite a constant "oh, come on!!!"internal chorus not quite causing you to fling the book across the room . Anyway its popcorn cinema as I expected it would be. I am bemused on Sunday to read an article criticizing the writer, being disturbed, concerned about its depiction of Bitch Woman, finding anti woman riffs in the antics of the ludicrous heroine.  "You needn't think I 'll be going to that " my husband felt called upon to tell me, as we watched an add for Fifty Shades Of Grey at the start of the movie. I tell him that he needn't t think that I will either. And for good measure, if I want to indulge myself in a read about Sexual Shenanigans from the Dark Id, there are actually some really good books... eschewing the swooning syrup. No, really!!!
                                                   Extremely Ravishing and Pointlessly  Gorgeous.

And all of this, Ebola, Silly Sex, my daughters tormented vision of a stalking,  advancing virus, plays out a against the prettiest most painterly Autumn. The leaves kaleidoscoping  pink to red to orange gold  on the garden tree in front of my living room window, till scattered artfully on the grass by the wind, glistening with raindrops from sporadic showers till taken up again to dance by the sudden,  benignly humming, gales. The shivering red orange fairy trees on the green. Darkly plum leaves layered on strained green and gold in the lane. The berries every shade of dark to blood red in the bush as thought the painter decided I can't decide, oh what the hell, I'll do the spectrum! Old yellow apples, clustered, dying devine overhead.   All gorgeous pointlessness on its way to decay, I tell the Boss, extravagant pleasing color just for the hell of it.  Really.  Lucky... we.