I walked past the old workplace. On a cool, blustery wet winter’s Saturday evening it looked cold, kitsch and uninviting. I kid you not. Tall, sterile glass facades… even kitscher plastic Christmas trees and other assorted decorations unadorned the place. I recognised the security lad behind the reception desk… I even recognised one of the two folk who walked out into the winter’s evening. Yes, the place is busy, even at this time of the year.
You may ask why then did I walk past the place? Indeed, just why? Long story but lets just say I had about 2 hours to kill so before the last train home departed, as I’d earlier acquired a ticket from the station just past I thought it prudent to hop off at that point and walk the old route, looking for festive season photo material.
Another reason? Junior Son was working his first day at The Aviva Stadium where Senior Son is now a veteran. There was I, walking against the flow… the crowds streaming like an uneasy torrent down an unfair incline… in the opposite direction… trying to wash me off my feet or even swamp me. Then came one of Dublin’s famous rain squalls… I couldn’t even get the umbrella us as I would have to then fight the flow of humanity while trying to manipulate an umbrella against the elements. Not easy.
Even the stroll to Connolly Station didn’t fill me with the anticipated joy. It’s as if the experience of walking past the past had stirred a feeling of discontent. The camera seemed to sense my mood and wouldn’t cooperate as expected. I changed setting to little avail. The Samuel Becket Bridge and the Convention Center were there for the seeing… the three-quarter moon darting in and out of the cloud cover… all scenes easily captured on other occasions yet, on the evening it just seemed to balk at the idea of a good photo.
Oh well, at least I made Connolly Station is good time and found a seat in the usual spot. The last seat in the last carriage. Out came the little notepad. The only reason why the little job had taken the trek with me was because I wanted to begin a new short story. However, the story line is churning in my head at such a rate that soon it may be a novella… one to add to the three or four others still on the go. You never know, soon I may have enough material for a compilation. There’s even a few working titles churning. If it’s four tales then how about The Two Pair? Five could be either The Straight Flush or A Full House. All a bit of a gamble, don’t you think?
Once the fingers began their work I realised it wasn’t the new tale taking on its first signs of life but rather this account. Shows how the mind works. Anyway, as the opening paragraph took shape and the warmth in the train took hold my mood lifted a tad. I was soon joined by a rather charming gentleman and then even this tale took a rest while we chatted away. JM, he of the wilds of Birr in County Offaly, regaled me with tales of history, life and an assortment of facts about his hometown… but I think that may be a tale for another day.