Art, Life, Short Story, Uncategorized, Writing

Good Vibrations

“Did you ever just not feel it?”

“What?”

“Like, you know sometimes when you’re properly chilled out listening to a record, you feel the music. You get the story of the record like an album, and you can feel your blood pressure rising with the rifts and sink with each acoustic bit?”

“What are you even on about?”

“Music”

“I know that”

“Now do you get me?”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about”

“Music”

“Jesus Christ! I’m on about music, the good kind. None of that shit they throw on in the club. But, proper music. Real Music. Music where you feel it”

“Ah I see what you mean”

“Thank you! So, what I was saying was that… well, it’s eh… did you ever hear of The Clash?”

“Yeah?”

“That’s fucking punk! Guys up there beating there chest and rallying the troops for the little man…. really makes you feel man! Goin out there and wanting to change things. Johnny Rotten too in the Pistols going on about that bitch over on her high thrown and the state of the Union and how holidays are like prison; that’s punk! People out there singing about stuff”

“Too bad there all dead”

“Yeah”

“What I’m trying to say is this, and please by all means try and knock me out if you think I’m making this up; but I think we got happy. People got money, fancy cars, went off all over the gaff to places I can’t even pronounce and then got fucked on wine and whiskey. Even people on the dole got good dole. None of the piss poor stuff, you could actually live like. People got to go to school. Nobody went on strike. What was the point in complaining?”

“I’m not being rude. We did mess things up”

“Yeah… let me finish will you? That was when we fucked up. That’s when we completely got screwed over again and saw the high stool was wobbling, and before we could finish our wine we were out on the bar floor too drunk to stand up. By then, people were out on the streets protesting; giving out that the world was unequal and we were all going to go to hell. The world went to sleep and people got so fucked on TV and their smart phones nobody had time to make music anymore”

“Your man Guetta makes tunes. I don’t know what you’re taking about”

“All on a computer! Real music died. People like making stuff that’s easy and as easy to listen to and the idea of playing guitar and singing about the world became boring. For fuck sake people got all emotional and sad so we put people on stage to depress us even more. If you weren’t scraping by for a slice of toast or broken up with you were listening to your misery”

“So what are you trying to say?”

“I forgot myself now”

“Something about punk?”

“Oh yeah. Punk’s dead. End of story”

“Sad”

“Yeah”

“Pint?”

“Alright”

“Can you play music like? Cause your always on about it?”

“Fuck you”

“Can you?”

“I play guitar like. My buddied and I do a few gigs here and there”

“I write”

“Ah cool”

“Want to do a record?”

“On what?”

“I don’t know… The world?”

“Like the whole world?”

“Yeah”

“That’s fairly big. Could we?”

“Could try?”

“Sounds good”

“Let’s try and up to something sure”

“The shootings and the racist people?”

“This thing writes itself bud!”

“Where to else?”

“Starving children… and and and human rights and all the wars over in the Middle East and the whole thing of England and all the immigrants from places they were in”

“Maybe the worlds not as cool as we though”

“Yeah”

“Think we can help it like?”

“We can try?”

“Alright”

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Uncategorized

The Life and Times of Eleanor Rigby

Eleanor Rigby, she was born she was raised,

A life of tea and waiting to be saved,

Between the pot and the sink,

She was one who never wanted any praise.

Am I the only one?

Am I the only one?

Of course not,

Well, this isn’t any fun.

Summer, autumn, winter, spring,

She was never one to have a fling,

Always alone, never to complain,

Just sitting by, waiting for the phone to ring.

Am I the only one?

Am I the only one?

Of course not,

Well, this isn’t any fun.

Years seem to pass her by,

Mr Perfect, he was never the right guy,

But she never gave up hope,

Eleanor could feel it, her time was coming nigh.

Am I the only one?

Am I the only one?

Of course not,

Well, this isn’t any fun.

A life most basic from start to middle to end,

Hoping that something would break this trend,

Endless nights waiting,

Could she not even have a friend?

Then one day, for all her prayers,

She was found at the end of the stairs,

With not so much of a smile,

But in some far off land, they were walking off as pairs,

Eleanor Rigby had found a friend.

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Writing

Reapers and Robbers

In life you have two kinds of people; those who sit by and watch life go by with a hint of malice, and those who are partaking in the life and giving the middle finger to the other guy sitting out in his garden. Most people fall into these two categories; from your friendly neighborhood police officer to the nice man who takes in the bins on a Friday morning with that nice northern accent, everyone, no matter how much they persist and poke hole in the great grand spectrum, tumble into one or the other. However, every once in a while, under the setting sun in between a few virgins while the seventh son of the seventh son wonders for the one thousand times why he hasn’t any powers yet, a person defies the social spectrum and sits nicely in both categories of existence.

These people usually take form in the ever present and always pleasant form of grave robbers.

By nature, grave robbers can either be out risking their lives against the elements for the sake of a few pence, or draped around the house waiting for someone to die, it is all up in the air sometimes, not a very stable job. But, as a life rule goes; there is no business like death and when you deal with the eternal darkness day in day out, you are always guaranteed some form of business (three things you’re guaranteed in life: taxes, death and the half-price sale).

When a caller called on a bright and cheerful June morning in between the mists and the eleven o’clock news, Jimmy knew that he was in for a good dinner tonight. Being the grave robber that he was, Jimmy accepted the business and signed a rather professional looking contract with the old women, to he then broke bread with.

That night under the midsummer chalky sun, Jimmy hopped the cold brick wall of the cemetery, dusted himself off and went about his business. Things where good. All he had to do was dig up some poor gentlemen who had the misfortune of being buried with a rather valuable family heirloom, put the muck and dirt back, say a prayer and return home to his apartment for dinner and tea. What more could there be? After all, it’s not like the dead come back could they?

In amongst the headstones, Jimmy crouched and squatted hoping for a gap. Any second now something or someone would go by and shatter the peace. It was eleven o’clock after all. 3…2…1… sirens sliced the sirens on queue. After a brief commotion over whose side of the hedge was whose across the lane, Jimmy hoped along the cobbled pathway to the late James Murphy.

It was a nice grave by all sorts, as graves go. There was a prayer, head stone and grass. What more would you need? A plot with a view?

Singing away, Jimmy threw back the dirt blissfully basking in the smug thought that he was getting paid tonight and better still… with an actual good meal! Not the cheap stuff he had to go by when business was slow. Oh no, tonight there would be chips and burgers and fish to go around with cans of beer and even if he was good a nice cream cake.

That stuff isn’t good for you, you know.

Jimmy paused mid dig, did he just here that or was it his imagination?

After a brief second of hesitation, Jimmy carried on.

You’ll hurt your back digging like that…

Jimmy shrugged him off, confident that he was merely over tired and hungry and not going insane from some voices.

Look, can you stop for two seconds? I need to talk to you for a moment Mr. Collins and-

Jimmy spun around on his heels, a shot of adrenaline taking over and with the shovel at bay he greeted his intruder…

See, this is a lot more polite isn’t it? Sorry, but I hate when I’m talking to someone and they keep looking away or doing something else. Wrecks my head.

“You’re… you’re…” the words crackled and clamoured their way out of his mouth between a set of stiff teeth.

The tall, looming figure as dark as a winter nightfall outstretched a skeletal hand from seeming nowhere. Graciously, Jimmy returned the gestured, out of fear that his time may have come.

Yes… now introductions aside… to business… You seem to be a respectable man Jimmy by all means. Don’t worry about me, I’m not here to get you all hot and bothered with life and to make you want to clean your act up. Well actually I am, scratch that last part but you still know what I meant. I don’t want to go all Christmas Carol on you.

“AM I DEAD?”

Perish the thought my friend. I’m merely calling to ask a favour off you.

“Yeah sure no bother Mr. Death!! Thanks for everything, see yeah later, goodbye!”

Jimmy, calm down! I’m asking you to stop.

“But what about dinner, I’m supposed to bet getting a watch you see and then a nice dinner with a cup of tea and two sugars-“

Jimmy, every time you open a coffin and pry open some persons eternal rest home, you invade whatever legacy they have left. I don’t care for work or employment of any of that. You’re job makes mine a lot more difficult. Do you think I want people running to me scared when they die wanting to know will they be okay? I’m only a crossroads and nothing else, not a counselling service. Do you understand?

“YES!!”

Now, I’m not going to ask you again. Cover up this wretched excuse of a hole, run home to your little flat and think about it. You can anger the tax man all you like, you’re parents may still wretch when your name is brought up over dinner, but when you anger Death with your life style; things don’t end as quite as pleasant. 

“But Mr. Death, I do need a job like! I have to eat!”

I don’t care. I honestly don’t. Go away, find a job, do whatever it takes. 

“Is this really happening?”

 Death clicked his fingers,

“Oi, get off my grave you little brat!!” escaped the coffin.

“I’m cold” said Mrs. Feeny from across the way.

“No, this is a mistake! No please! Let me out!”

Would you like to join them Jimmy?

“No sir!! Sorry sir!! I’ll be off… eh… eh sorry Mr. Death!! Sorry! Sorry! It will never happen again! I swear!”

Death nodded, and Jimmy found himself alone in the graveyard.

Goodbye Jimmy.

***

Jimmy walked home, poor distraught and hungry, when inside the local funeral parlor a sign caught his eye.

HELP WANTED.

Jimmy wandered in, a smile on his face.

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Uncategorized

The End?

I’m going to tell you a secret. Don’t worry; it’s not going to be some large Earth shocking secret which will shatter the Earth to the core and cause a Crisis on Infinity Earths or lead to a hundred people queued up outside my front door gunning for my head.

I don’t like endings very much. They’re rude and nasty things which plague us in the dead of night and ruin a good cup of tea. Since I was younger; I’ve hated endings. Whenever it was leaving primary school or the ending of my favorite cartoon (Batman: The Animated Series) I always longed for one more, something to go back and capture the taste and feel one last time.. no.. not one last time.. that was too little!! If something was going so well; why end it? If it’s not broken don’t fix it!!

All jokes aside; something about endings always seemed to scare me; as if: NOTHING WILL EVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. You spend years building and building; the spot on the carpet where you spilled tea when Alonso scored the equalizer in 2005 or where you curled up with your Batman toys trying to ignore the growing pains around you. Then suddenly, one day, they burn the rug in front of you.

I know you’re saying; that’s life, but at the moment there seems to be a lot of endings…

Today; the 13th of May 2015 was my last day as a Repeat in the Cork College of Commerce. When the clock hit four and me and Mairead wondered out of business, something about me to go back into the room, sit down, and go numb. No Leaving Cert, no worries  insecurities or Cork City’s waning title chances, but to take it in, from every fine detail around me. At the start of the year I hated the place. By the time I finished up I didn’t want to go. I’d dug in and settled roots into Morrison Island,  having a routine which I rather enjoyed. Whenever it was Subway with Mallow Girl and talking for hours, bantering with my own Agent of Shield and Jones, or even talking through Translations with Road Girl, I had a system and enjoyed it. Things all seemed to fit into nice little boxes where I knew where everything was.

Even ignoring the College, on Monday fortnight will be probably my strangest goodbye. After 9 years of drama with the Wolfes, I’ll be having my final drama class. At risk of sounding overly sentimental;  I grew up there. When you spend countless hours laboring over Laramie or burning serous on the Bard; letting it go will be hard…

Not only is it the reason I can annoy you daily stutter free; but it also gave me a sense of identity and place to call my own in the social wastelands of Cork City.

I’m also saying goodbye to Cork City FC’s title chances. Yes. This is probably the hardest to swallow.

But, looking back and looking forward (just encase I walk into a poll or something, you know me) I’m still getting up in the morning. There is still breakfast on the table and opportunities will always present themselves. I’ve enjoyed my time in places, but I’m not going to have a big moral to all this; because really? Endings aren’t real. They’re boring. Quoting 7 year old Dylan:

“To Be Continued…”

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Uncategorized

A Thinking Man’s Thought

Imagine actually having time to think, do people really do get actual time to think? Do they really get five minutes to actually get to think and thought upon the great inner most mysteries of life? What do they take out? Between getting up in the morning, making sure that you have the best possible out fit for the day ahead, doing a good honest day’s work and coming home to dinner and television, where do you get five minutes to think and ponder on life’s dilemmas?

Maybe it’s a college thing, guess that’s what it has to be. Forget doing real busy people work. Just drink, smoke, have sex and above all think. That’s what students do these days. Never mind actually studying for their degrees and worrying about getting a real job, while they piss about in some coffee shop that no one gives a shit about when they also try and make it with a broken guitar and a band who really are only in it for sex. Nobody cares about the art anyone in it, about making good music. If you can sing Wonderwall and get your hole; it has been a very good day.

After I retire I might think. When I finally don’t have to worry about some balance sheet or some non-existent current account and I get to stay in bed all day. Those will be the days when I get to think and get to “open my mind”, like really when you look at our lives today, and I’m being really nice about this, when you look at the people around me in their small cubicles, do we every get actual time to get to split and break apart from this? I’m not saying go all American Beauty or anything like that, those people can drown themselves in their designer coffees and over prices shirts, but do they ever get to sit back and think?

My son asks me to all the time. Dad, who do you vote for? What do you think of the same sex marriage referendum? Fancy the Liverpool manager to keep his job next season? Does he really think I have time to think about that? Will stopping all day and pontificating over a man who will never know that I even exist while he earns three hundred grand a week.

Back when I was younger alright I was into it. But back then the players would be playing with passion, throwing themselves into tackles and putting their heart and souls on the pitch to try and win the big honours. The FA Cup was something Godlike, something wish you dreamed of reaching. These days it is all about the money. Me? I prefer rugby mostly, something where likeminded people who you would recognize from working in the offices and around the city can meet up and talk about lives most inner most issues while hopefully Munster can get a result. That’s what I enjoy over your Premier League shite.

I even gave my paying for my box for the television. What was the point? The only thing it was good for was taking up space in the front room. Recently I discovered the internet so all my favourite shows and whatnot are online, whenever I want to see them. Absolutely fantastic idea if you want me to be honest with you.

That’s one of the few things I can say I do really enjoy about the changing of the times. Footballs gotten shit, my phone has gotten bigger and harder to use, and my wife is certainly harder to please, but every night when I go home I know waiting for me at nine is the new episode of Blue Bloods on my laptop computer and all I need to do is flick a button.

Medicine is coming along just as well too. I remember when I was younger when my Granddad (God rest his soul) was sick and told to cut down on his smokes that things where against him; he was basically being told to go off and b a coffin. Now there days they have tablets to make you feel better and to make the whole thing as easy as getting up in the morning! Amazing if you ask me! In fact, my GP was even saying during my bi annual check-up last month that they may even have found something to solve my hair problem.

As much as I love my Granddad, really wish he didn’t give me his hair! I’m only 45 and I have the hair of a Muppet, I think Dr Bunsen or something along those lines, never cared too much for cartoons growing up. Al my family loved them, my Nan too, Saturday nights would be spent down in the front room all of them watching television, laughing and joking about the mishaps of some poor man while my Granddad deck after deck of his smokes.

My Granddad, there was a man for you! He would be up at six, even on the coldest most frosty winter mornings with his tool box doing bits and bobs for my Nan around the house. Against the harsh winter rains e would be out cleaning and fixing things for my Nan. Originally he was an army man, braving himself in the army, in the Congo. He never talked about it though. I tried to draw it up to him, for some project back when I was in school, but he just shrugged me off saying that he wasn’t a real soldier at all. My Nan told me shut up about it and don’t bring it up anymore. Being six and seven, of course I pressed for the tiniest pieces of information.

Eventually when he was old and grey and even he himself knew that the gutter wasn’t going to get fixed he told me. All my childish dreams and thoughts couldn’t have prepared me for what I heard. There were no heroic adventures of killing fourteen evil soldiers or saving a small family from a burning building under heavy gunfire; just a small story of a burned out hut and bodies sizzling under the midday sun.

I never had an adventure like that. I was never off in a far off country away with a machine gun and set of rules to keep myself alive. The closest thing I came to that was when I was in final year of college trying to get out a nightclub when I knew I had too much to drink. Regardless of all that though, when my Granddad was dead and buried and everything was laid to rest, my then girlfriend Angela asked me through her rattling teeth in the graveyard, “Do I regret not being like him?”

In all, it is a question which I have thought a lot about. Whenever I do get a chance to think my mind drifts back to that question over the headstone. What do you want me to say? That it was nice being safe? That everything was worth it in the end with a well-paying job, knowing that I never had a decent story to tell and I could never fill the room with a great tale of death, destruction and heroism.

In truth, every time the thought beckons, no matter if at Christmas or Easter, I could be after winning the lotto and my head swimming in euphoria or away relaxing in the west, I crash. A shovel tears through my middle class cushion I have built and struggled for over the years and I can hear him laughing at me and sneering. I have spent a lifetime playing it safe. While he had a lavish collection of medals to his name, what do I have; a growing collection of bills and a bitch of a wife who doesn’t give me as much as an inch.

But I tell you: things are going to change. You better mark my word. When the weekend hits, I’m going to go out there, find a nice pub or spot and meet a girl. Maybe even get stuck and actually hit someone. Going to take a few pints and not show up for work in the morning THEN come in and tell the story. My wife will wonder, but they’ll be another story there for her. Things will add up, my son will try and snap and give out about something that I surely don’t care about, and do you want to know what I’m going to do…

I’m going to…

I am going to…

Show up for work. Do my little bit, collect my pay check and go home to a loving wife and son and forget about this whole insurrection. Why should I be like this in the first place? Stupid television, thank god I got rid of it.

But someday I’ll have a story to tell and when I have grandchild of my own, they can look up to me and say with glazed eyes, “WOW” and instead of being a satire on everything, I’ll be hanging up on my fridge with a little drawing. Like my Granddad was, before the funeral and growing up. Before turning 45 and when I could think.

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