• Michael Noctor

Dublin Can Be Heaven

I’ve always considered firsts as special – not a kick in the face kinda first – and last night I spent the first proper night in my new home. I’ve had so many homes, some fixed, some temporary, well, isn’t everything in life temporary, and I was trying to rank them. My car was my home for twenty-eight months of the last five years, but my car is exempt. Don’t get me started about how I feel about my car, Esperanza, and I’m sure most of you reading this will know that’s Spanish for Hope.

It’s hard not to put my apartment in Estepona as no.1. There was a beautiful view of a busy white street below, the houses decked with flowers and an Italian restaurant right under the big bay window. How about this for a view:

I will not be using my car much while I live here, and last night I walked from Rialto Luas stop to my new home on the South Circular Road. That was another first. I saw the Dublin Mosque, I saw Griffith Barracks – I always assumed that was on Griffith Avenue, I saw two black girls dancing on the pavement and smiling embarrassingly as I passed, also smiling. I passed the National Stadium; a building I haven’t passed since I was 17 and went to see UB40. I recently wrote about that in a book that I have on the go.

One of the things that has touched me is how some people have shaken my hand – fuck you social distancing – to congratulate me. It was so genuine. They are happy for me that I no longer live in my car. Needless to say, I’m happy about that, too.

My neighbour just knocked in. He asked me if I knew why there’s no running water. I was relieved as I thought it was just my apartment. I told him I mailed the property management company last night. I think he’s Polish, definitely Eastern European.

I have found a fantastic spot for my LG sub-woofer.

I feel I’ve earned the right to over-indulge in the beauty of simplicity, to be excited finding that setting no. 4 on my new toaster makes perfect toast.

Lou Reed’s Perfect Day has come on. On October 9th last year – the day before my serious illness began – I listened to that song and Walk on the Wild Side over and over, trying to decide which song most suited the day I’d just had. I opted for the latter. Now, I’m opting for Perfect Day. After breakfast, I’m going to walk the fifteen-minute stroll to Stephen’s Green - Dublin can be Heaven, and would you believe me if I told you it's a quarter to eleven? I might blog about it later because a wonderful memory of being there just popped into my head – it’s not the one about Dessie Nolan jumping into the lake to win a twenty-pound bet with a tramp. That was a lot of money in 1980!

The overriding feeling, thought, notion running through my mind is gratitude.

You would not believe the incredible vision I’m seeing out of my window right now. It’s a big window. It’s not like I’m sitting here staring. I’m writing, but if beauty passes by, well, I’m gonna look.

Like I said, the overriding feeling, thought, notion running through my mind is gratitude.

Peace Out