• Michael Noctor

A Rainy Day in Dublin

I got a message from Facebook saying they had reinstated a banned comment. We got it wrong – that’s what they said, but there was no sign of the banned comment, so I have no idea what it was. There was a photo of this fella:

He’s the lad I used for my first Forty Day Challenge back in November 2016 and as I write that date, I’m thinking how quickly the last five years (almost) have gone, even if we have had a period of time seeming to stand still.

That tongue-numbing, stomach-warming, brain-warming, idea-changing, mind-altering (Sorry Mr. Hemingway) liquid alchemy has been a friend to me during the pandemic. At first there was a feeling and a fear that we were all doomed, so better have a drink, then there were bouts of loneliness, so better to have a drink, then the confining 5k feeling, so better to have a drink, then … and then … and then … any excuse.

I don’t know where the idea came from to do another Forty Day Challenge – the Facebook image reminder, perhaps – and I don’t expect to go forty days without a wee drop or three, but I’m going to give it a go.

Failing is always an option.

Yesterday was the first day of the challenge. A guy almost killed me as I walked into Stephen’s, that is, my green … through one of the small gates at the same time he was cycling out of the park and I immediately thought ‘have a drink’ for the shock, like, and later that evening I walked away from the self-service area of Tesco Express leaving behind one Euro and twenty-four cent in the till and I thought ‘have a drink’ I mean two shocks in one day, like, and I’m still getting over the horrific news that the Bretzel are no long doing turnovers – In fairness, I heard that bad news over a week ago and I did drown that sorrow.

Today I got caught in the worst, most torrential rain I’ve witnessed since I was in Málaga in the early Spring of 2018. It doesn’t rain often in Málaga, but when it does it’s usually very heavy. One of my brollies is in my car and the other one in my apartment and I now know my new black jacket is not waterproof. I had to abandon my trip to the gym in Tallaght, soaked to the skin and ready for a wet t-shirt competition. I never got soaked like that when I lived in my car, but I was thinking on the way home that it’s good to have a home, a real one, like.

The pleasure receptors in my brain are already starting to hop around. Those little alcohol receptors have become used to regular supply. There are loads of them – into the millions, probably (no pun intended) – and I am going to put each of them into a coma.

It’s normally the other way ‘round (again, no pun intended). Isn’t it strange that when I decide to take a break from alcohol so many words are synonymous with alcohol?