New Ireland

Sean, our protagonist is an IT boffin in his late thirties and is shattered out of his skull. It’s 5.05 am and he’s waiting for a taxi to pick him up and get him to the airport so he can catch his flight for his business trip to Barcelona. They’re workin’ on an EU – wide project and he has to sort out the monitoring. God, did this stuff actually use to be challenging? YAWN!!

He’s planning to meet Susie, his fiancee of six years for a week’s holiday after the fact and boy do they need it. Why are people so adversarial these days? Why does it feel like he’s got to constantly thrust and parry just to remain where he is? Why does he always feel that he has to watch his back? Ya have a feckin’ drink with someone and seem to make real progress in breakin’ the ‘ol boundaries and next time you meet up it’s like nothin’s changed.

Well thank God he’s not in sales; those poor eejits have to justify every damn minute of the day and they’re all alcoholics. Last time the guy he was talkin’ to; what’s his name? Ah yeh; Vladimir was trying to convince him that the more ya drink, the safer yer drivin’ is. I ask ya…

Cut to interior of cab with Sean in the back seat and lots of holiday luggage (such as golf clubs sticking up, etc) quiet cool progressive jazz on the radio as background music and Anthony his driver is monologuing. Sean tries to be polite but feels like a Hassidic Jew at the wailing wall; he keeps drifting in and out of consciousness, with his head flopping down and then having to jerk it up again.

Reminds him of that anemic French guy who used to come to project meetings and would keep drifting off…You’d suddenly see just the whites of his eyes and his mouth would open and that would be that. He’d even drool a bit like Homer Simpson; really made the meetings worthwhile.

Meanwhile, Anthony is rambling on: “And whajya think of dis stuff about Bertie bein’a liability; sure, I was positive he was made outa teflon. Anyway, after the missus made another fifteen dozen Kaiser rolls and twenty-two donuts I lost track of the fact that the only one of our kids who didn’t have a place which we bought for ‘em yet was Niamh.

Y’know she’s already 14 and since then we bought a place for her in Booterstown and y’know she hasn’t even bothered to decorate the place yet I ask you kids today and they never keep shtum they just keep talking and talking now Billy was so top of the game that he’s already got 8 Brasilian tenants in his place and….”

And now Sean is off dreaming that he’s in a giant SUV and they’re floating over a picturesque waterfall and there are plants and vines and so many different palm trees and toucans and coati mundi which you, yes YOU mustn’t feed, no, not ever; and butterflies of a myriad colours and the water droplets and steam are rising and the swallows are darting in and out behind the cascading waters and they’re not hassled by the tourists with their digital cameras cos they’re just in the moment and then he awakes with a start from the CLICK of the cabbie turning on the radio….

“And now, with the US problems piling up, there’s a gloomy view of the prospects and implications facing not only the Irish and UK economies, but those of the rest of Europe as well from our spokesman, William Metz of Smythson and Grober …” ”There ya go, mate”. Sean grunts and blinks, he’s at the airport and the vision of a quick check-in followed by one of those chocolate twirly pastries with a double americano and hot milk on the side is more than beckoning.

David C. Flynn 15 th Jan 2008


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