• Michael Noctor

Champions League Homeless

My first Autumn/Winter in my new home – a year later, it still feels new – is a total blur. I’m certain that has a lot to do with the fact that I was still in the recovery stage of inflammation on the brain, maybe I still am but I feel as if I’ve fully recovered, am back to normal (as normal as I’ve ever been) and am savouring moments, simple moments, such as being able to flick a switch and within a few minutes there is heat. I live a thirteen-minute stroll to the top of Grafton St. where you can see people sleeping in doorways.

I went for an early morning stroll along Grafton St. a few weeks ago and noticed someone sleeping in the doorway of Lifestyle Sports. The store lights were on, a corporation worker had just cleaned around the shop front, and there was an employee inside sweeping the floor while this person slept oblivious to what was going on. I was shocked to see it was a girl. I fully expected it to be a guy. Her face was clear to see. It played on my mind as I passed and when I did my customary U-turn at the bottom of the street, I took another look as I passed again. I observed the bundle from a distance, knowing it was a human, and once more looked at her face that was exposed. Heartbreaking. Fucked up, even.

There were people who used to tell me I was homeless. Maybe I was, it all depends on how you look at it. I’ll say this – I was Champions League homeless. If you want to see League of Ireland homeless just take an early morning ramble along Grafton St. Bring a flask of hot coffee with you. I was sorry I hadn’t. I haven’t done an early morning stroll along Grafton St. since. Shame on me.