Archive for February, 2008

Wake me up, before you go.

Why do you elude me sleep?

Is it because I had Guinness for breakfast and Sambuka for supper?… Or was it all the other things taken in-between. Quite possibly …Reasoning is a little monkey who sits perched upon a tree branch just out of my grasp as he flings his poop down on me with a grin, you little fuck! You have to come down sometime …I’ll be waiting.

I’m just back from Dublin and a post funeral wake of slightly epic proportions. It was one of those heroic nights, when you can drink like a man who’s thirst is so great that he must have been licking sandpaper in a desert whilst simultaneously setting himself on fire. It was an interesting day… Didn’t turn out how I expected it would. There was a certain person there who did their utmost to fuck with my head, and everyone around me knew it… But the night was not about me or the issues that haunt my family (Or my dickhead father) It was about Stephen, so I ignored it, tuned it out and enjoyed myself. I spent the night with friends of friends, a decent and varied bunch, my cousin Peter was also there… The dirty bastard relentlessly told me what I should be doing with my friend when she arrives from Canada, the man has three children and claims to have only ever had sex three times, not sure I’ll take too much of his advice to heart, as immensely funny as he is… Though it has to be said, my generation were given a good spanking by the oldies tonight. They made us look like the old farts and I think I even remember my father shouting out in a speech to the hushed Pub that “You’ll have to carry me out of here!” which I’m sure they did, at that point of the night I was gone, victim to a long day of substance abuse, I think I might have slept for two hours on the couch in my friends house, it was his father who had died. Woke up at 5am, found Richie was not sleeping in his room and so I rolled us a Joint and made two cups of tea, we talked in hushed groggery as a dull light started to penetrate the dark outside, eventually went to lay down again only to find my Dad knocking on the door reeking of booze (7 am.He did sleep a few hours in a ‘friends’ house, but he certainly was in a poor state for driving) and got a lift home.

It’s a dense grey morning, a type of musty dull cloud cover so low it sweeps the top of the treeline as we drive away from Dublin and all of its coughing cars and congestion, out into the countryside again. We spoke almost no words on the journey, didn’t feel like talking to him, I let my mind wander as I watched that Industrial strength greenery blur passed, speckles of sheep standing, looking as they do… Like horrible mongoloid balls of wool… Little flocks of birds cruised alongside the car …Appearing to be static as they matched our speed. A scene from Hitchcock playing itself out as we reached Longwood… dozens of fat haggard looking crows swirling in the sky above us, it all looked a little more beautiful today, alive… Maybe it’s the funeral yesterday that sharpened those particular senses, there is no greater reminder that you’re alive more than death and the scars it leaves upon the living, so fresh and finely carved into the soul that they sting every time the world reminds you of its relentless march onwards.

I’m out of words, the mind is finally willing to bend to the desire of the body, sleep has finally come.

I can’t take much more of this fucking grief business.


Near the Midnight Hour.

Near the Midnight Hour

The clock has stopped near the midnight hour, his Sunday night is over
The life he loved has ebbed away and he’ll be no more a rover
But let’s remember who he was and the things he liked to do
And the gentle ways of the gentle man known well to me and you

His name was Stephen Rankin and he came from Dublin town
A quiet lad and honest dad who put nobody down
A tradesman in the building game was how he made his crust
But the highest standards was his quest and craftsmanship a must

He liked to walk in the countryside when he could get away
Observing creatures great and small as they went about their day
For he knew the way of nature and the path of earthly things
His guide was the creator, the four seasons where his wings

We still can see his smiling face as he walks into the bar
A valued friend to everyone from close by or afar
He played it down the middle and he played it straight and true
And that’s the way he liked it from the likes of me and you

He shot the ‘game’ and he shot the ‘clay’
On the driven-shoot and competition day
But i never thought that i’d see the show
When he’d break the gun and ‘shoot the crow’

But gone he is to the other side
Where the grouse are plenty nor the heather too high
Where in Winter and Summer and even in Lent
He can shoot all day to his heart’s content

The Clockless tower is spilling out with his comrades at the ready
Awaiting the arrival of his cortege nice and steady
They swell out to the car park trying not to push or lurch
Each vying for the chance to hoist their friend into the church

They lift him high and lift him proud upon their shoulders sadly
They bear him slowly up the aisle, his cross they carry gladly
But let’s remember who he was and the things he liked to do
And the gentle ways of the gentle man known well to me and you.

Kevin Thompson
Feb 12th 2008

Rest in Peace Stephen Rankin, I’ll do my best to look out for your lads.

If you’re going to eradicate Catholicism, Ash Wednesday is the day to do it!

Now Hear me out…

On Wednesday Morning I was sitting in a cafe with my dad having some Lunch (Ballivor, County Meath, Small backwards town, inbreeding rampant) Vegetable Soup I think it was, quite delicious, but anyway… I remember looking across from our table and spotting this old lady sitting down at her table facing towards me… She seemed to be watching me a little too intently for my own particular level of comfort, but I noticed she had this dark spot at the centre of her forehead… Darkish brown, almost black. “The Poor woman” I thought to myself with a sympathetic half-smile in her direction “Having such a horrible growth right on the middle of your forehead, feel free to stare you poor freak of nature”.

So… I got back to “eating” my soup and thought no more of it until I looked up again only to find I was surrounded by old people sitting at tables with the very same mark upon their heads, all of whom stared at me at various points. A range of possibilities entered my mind before the obvious fell from the apple tree and enlightened me.

1. It was some sort of Outpatient meal deal thing for people who suffer from huge moley growths on their foreheads.

2. A secret Guild of Elderly Assassins had finally found me for some Heinous crime I had committed in the past under the influence of some sort of Narcotic/Alcohol and I was about to pay for it dearly (Although in hindsight, this was a ridiculous suspicion to have. Firstly.. A secret guild of Assassins would never wear such an obvious mark to identify themselves… And secondly, I could have easily mangled them all while still eating my soup and enjoying my delicious mocha)

3. I had stumbled into some sort of cult which demands complete conform/uniformity from its adherents and any “Outsider” was to be treated with suspicion at best and mild contempt at worst.

I almost wish it was option number two, that would have been exciting at least, hand to hand combat with elderly killers coming at me from all directions, I even pictured it at the moment, grabbing one of them and then using him as a sort of human club as I swung him around by the feet… Finally throwing him through the plate glass window at the back and onto the Street… Walking cane and dentures fracturing into thousands of little pieces along with the glass in sloooooooow motion… Far more interesting than the closer to the truth Option 3.

I think it’s mostly the older generation around here in these country parts, but it seemed to be a big deal that I didn’t have this ash smooshed into my fuckin forehead… What a loopy religion, I’m sorry to all Catholics out there, not for my opinion of your religion or anything, I’m just sorry you’re Catholic, a religion that needs to go the way of the Dodo bird, as a friend of mine pointed out, should we ever decide to eradicate Catholicism, Ash Wednesday is the day to do it, we would, after all… Have great big juicy bulls eyes to aim at on their foreheads.

Anyway, that’s what Ash Wednesday means to me, I wish I was back in school and I could hand that in to the teacher for my Essay of the same name, about what the holy day means to me, oh what joy it would be to watch the colour slowly run from her face… Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Mrs Walsh.

Stuck in work, high on coffee, writing Cheques for this weeks wages, I don’t feel comfortable with this stuff, I had to mark some guys wages down because he had missed two days to attend court, it doesn’t feel right to me, I’m too soft for this money making lark, I fucking hate money, which strangely makes people trust me with large amounts of it. Anyway…straying from the blogs original purpose, which was to Schelack the Catholic Religion, job done.


Yet more Grief…

My Dads friend Stephen, who I’ve known for quite a few years now, is in the final stages of Liver Cancer (FUCK Cancer), we both went to see him in the Hospice he is staying in, it was difficult to say the least, I’m getting far too familiar with seeing people I care about succumb to that shitty disease. He was very heavily medicated when we saw him, a lot of Morphine or I’d imagine the pain would be unbearable… The place he is staying in is beautiful I have to say… Walking in you are greeted by an eclectic mix of old Victorian and modern buildings welded together in neat ways..the grounds are immaculately kept, flower beds, marble statues..this Serene Calm quiet that you know is unnatural because this is a place people go to die.

Walking down to his Ward I think I recognised one of the Nurses working there, I went to school with her, or she was a year below me, we both gave each other a longer than expected look as we tried to figure out where we knew each other from, but I didn’t stop to ask… It was neither the time nor place for such small talk… But I really think those nurses (End of Life Care Givers as they are known) are Heroes with a capital H, they wait hand over foot for the patients, looking after every single need with a smile, it must take amazing strength to work in a place like that… Seeing so many fade away, young and old. I know I couldn’t do it, a job like that would break me in half. Anyway… when we got to Stephens Ward, it was upsetting to see how far he had deteriorated, another very old man in the ward was constantly wailing in pain as well, a really anguished sound… Which upset us all I think… So Stephen asked to go and get something to eat and drink in the Canteen.. So we got him a Wheelchair and I pushed him up to where the staff, patients and visitors alike all eat together, the food was cheap, but well made… And Stephen, although he struggled with his speech from the medication, was as sharp as ever… A rogue to the end, I love rogues of all sorts, they are my kin. He thinks he is only in the Hospice for a few weeks to recover before leaving, I don’t think… Given how much Morphine he has to take for the pain.. That he has accepted that the end is coming, or if he has, he’s keeping it buried under this pretence, which means both my dad and I are forced to play along with the illusion, which really fucking breaks my heart, I hate having to do that, a white lie they call them?, they still feel as rotten, I would rather have just been honest about it, but we all deal with the end in our own way, this was Stephens and I respected that.

I’m going to stay with Stephens two sons at the weekend for a night to see how they are coping with all of this, I can only imagine what they are going through, they’ve become good friends of mine over the last few years, Salt of the Earth Lads who always have your back. I will be with them when the times comes, more scars for the heart.