I carry someone back to the flats. The shrilling of evil is all around. One kind friend guides me by, towards the entrance. Another cheerfully leads the way. She has only a clean robotic mechanism exposed across the shoulders and nothing above. But the dreadful shrilling of evil is all-pervasive.
In the night town, it is pitch dark. An endless column of people stand in the road, each row of women followed by a row of men. As one, each of the men pins a little padlock brooch to the side of the waist of the woman in front, quickly and easily. I try to pin mine to your waist but tear your dress a little, and so it fails. It’s late. Now the last few from the crowd are dispersing and I’m in an empty car park above the park gates, but I can’t find you. There is a steep, grassy hill which will be a shortcut down to the railings and the main gate, where I can almost catch up with the crowd. I edge down the narrow beaten track. But halfway, I think I will lose you completely this way, so I go back up to the car park. I think about taxis, but there aren’t any at this hour. It occurs to me that I might contact you by phone. At first I try my smart phone. It has a wonderful but incomprehensible display of clockwork wheels and cogs, and I don’t know how to work it. Then I try a tiny phone but it’s dead. Walking home from town, out of the corner of my eye, a dark figure flits by on the other side. I make my way to some small, unfamiliar Dublin streets, where I’m not sure if there’s anyone around.
It’s always in a crowded place, last time a concert, this time a meeting. I am always a little late arriving. When I get to you, I lean my face against yours, so you can tell me something in my ear. I notice you have blotchy skin, and are quite thin. You tell me something, but I can’t make out the words.
I am anxious about my habit of always going naked at gatherings. I went to a small coffee shop to see the star. When I have taken off all my clothes, the place fills up. It’s only a small shop. Soon we hear the sound of the star playing and singing, as Donovan appears. He hasn’t changed much, a short guy. Everyone in the crowd is encouraged to get up and have their pictures taken. I feel a bit embarrassed. Where did I leave my clothes? They are strewn over two chairs. I put on underpants. “I’m an old hippie,” I say.
Upstairs in this place. I’m going to take a string of pearls away with me. It’s mine anyway, so that’s okay. But then it’s much longer than I thought. Twice round the neck is not enough. And apart from pearls in a row, I find it also has those chunky, fashionable glass and acrylic shapes. I’m worried now that it might not be mine, after all. I take it off and put it in my coat pocket where it barely fits. Down a flight of stairs and J…. is working on the landing floorboards, by an open door to a grand, empty room. Without ceasing to work, he makes his usual self-possessed and good-humored banter about me leaving. Normally I would stay a while and go into the room, but I’m too worried that he will notice the pocket of my coat bulging with the huge necklace, which I try to keep turned away from him. Even though it was mine, I feel like I am stealing it from the house.
In a hotel room. The small picture is doing something terrible, something it doesn’t want anyone else to know. What it was is about to vanish from my mind, so I put it on the corner of the bed, and try to capture it by filming with my phonecam. But it resists by creating a deafening sound and starting to burn, the more I try to get an angle to record it, the more intense the burning. It burns like magnesium, only crimson. There’s someone at the door. I answer, though all will be lost. A person is there and there are many other people looking out of their doors or near their doors in the corridor. “Your music is very loud.”
I am in a friend’s place, chatting with her husband. He asks, “Are you close, intimate, you two?” I say, “A bit.” Just then she appears in a full length flannelette nightie on her way to bed. She’s indifferent to our conversation but looks like she might be thinking it’s a bit late. I add, “Not really.”
Running here there and everywhere, very lost in New York. Nearly midnight in a big industrial yard where they’re closing up. Run up the hill and call to the guy closing up, can you help me, I need to get a cab. A strange hotel with miniscule rooms. Two girls next door seem cheerful. From my room I go back down to the lobby through a tube that is quite claustrophobic, surprised not to be more anxious but I fit through. Then in Dublin running for the 19 or is it the 19A? in Parnell Square. The bus is a hybrid of a bus downstairs and a floor of a building upstairs. I am on board, I made it.
Walking down a small street, a busy street, with -. It’s moving to think this is where some historic figure was when he heard something. She clings to me. A very loving feeling. We stand together that way, looking down the street as others go by. Then turn to go back still embracing. This is not who I thought would love me. Another passes & smiles to see how we are now so close. It’s the same one.
Military figures, like statues, need care taken.
A very impressive classical building, huge, with everything of the finest quality and the highest possible ceilings etc. Go to lead friends there. Meanwhile a vast ceremonial parade going there.
Take friends there but it’s a different, no less impressive, building next door. It is busy. Amid office desks there are Irish military officers, all tall, straight, slim – so impressive – showing Ireland in a good light.
But I haven’t found the statues that need care yet. And I realise I’ve forgotten my jacket. I have to go back for it, and so lose contact with my friends.