• Michael Noctor

Contemplative Mood Mode Whatever

I’m always in contemplative mood, mode, whatever. The subject matter changes; my mode, mood, whatever doesn’t. For the last couple of days, I’ve been very much aware of the approaching anniversary of my near-death experience.

Five years ago, I set out to live rather than merely exist. There’s no way I could have imagined, as I sat in my dreary one-bed apartment in the dreariest town in Ireland, what lay in store over the next five years. When my dad died in 2009, I lost my zest for life. That feeling of apathy lasted for six years, with the exception of my relationship with my beautiful daughter, which was the only aspect of my life that was not decimated by my father’s death. I had suffered a different sort of decimation when my mother had a stroke, two strokes, that left her brain damaged and almost totally fucked. Forget the ‘almost.’

I’m not the only one who suffered, but I am writing from my perspective.

I got side-tracked as I almost always do when I write. That ‘almost’ can stay. As I said from the outset I am in contemplative mood – I am fucking buzzing!

Where I live

Five years ago, when I set sail from the safe harbour in the knowledge that twenty years from now I would regret the things I didn’t do more than the things I did do, I had no idea that I would have such a perfect week as this. It has been a week – eight days, actually – of one first after another. Tomorrow night I’ll be having dinner and drinks with Katie and David. I’ll stroll from my apartment on the south side to theirs on the north side. I’ve been to the apartment many, many times but this will be the first for drinks.

I was talking with a young man today who is expecting his first child in two weeks, a boy, how times have changed, and people like to know the sex of the child beforehand. I told him how time seems to go faster when you become a parent. I also told him to savour the moments. ‘Savour the moments.’ That’s what I said. I won’t say the conversation made me think about when Katie was a baby. That would be a lie. Hardly a day passes when I don't think about Katie as a baby - she's still my baby.

Where I write

The older I get, the longer I want to live, but not too long.