• Michael Noctor

It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

When I started my job as a Writer for Rathcoole Community Centre, I spent the first 20 minutes sitting in reception. I was told later that I didn’t say a word to anyone. I remember walking out of reception and going for a lie-down in my Honda. I was awoken by a black priest looking over the shoulder of a woman and saying, ‘We cannot have people sleeping in their car here,’ so I moved around the corner and slept there.

There was no woman. There was no black priest.

I drove to my sister’s house – I don’t remember the journey – and went for a lie down. While lying down I could hear a friend of mine chatting to my aunty Gaye, which was strange because I was in Tallaght; they were in Spain. I told my sister I heard my friend. She said I couldn’t have, but I did. Then I could hear people talking in the beer garden of Scholar’s pub (a half mile away), and then I could hear people who were inside another pub in the estate, even though there is no such pub, plotting to ‘get’ me. Later that evening there was a car of young guys parked outside my sister’s house, waiting for me, so, I went to the off-licence and bought some cider as I figured it would be better to get the hiding over and done with.

When I went to bed, the room was invaded by a gang. There was also a restaurant attached to the house and to cut a long and very strange story short I was involved in some freaking show that was streamed online. When it finished, I could hear my daughter and her boyfriend discussing the show, which was very strange because they were in the States.

Back to Rathcoole. Even though I didn’t speak to anyone I had managed to steal the false teeth of the writer I was replacing. I mean, come on, he had left them in the bathroom, so they were up for grabs. I told my sister about the false teeth at the same time I told her about the digging up of several hundred graves in the Tallaght area and that there had been a horrific accident in which many local people were slain.

Eventually, she called her friend who worked for the Fire Brigade/Ambulance Service. While she was on the phone to him, I came into the room saying, ‘Have you seen the little Indian girl? She said, ‘Michael, there’s no little Indian girl.’ Her friend said, ‘Ambo on the way.’

The ambulance came, but I refused to get into it.

I could (and probably will) write a book about this stuff. Just as I was starting to get back to normal, the virus came. I be like – Ah, no way, not after what I’ve been through. I got a video message from my pal about lockdown and the final words on that scary clip were –

What does lockdown mean? It means you don’t fucking leave your fucking house!

One of my parents’ favourite movies was It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, and it is!

I have had so many near-death experiences in the last few years, well, I’ve had three and that’s three too many. I was overjoyed listening to Leo Varadkar talking about lifting restrictions, for so many reasons. A day closer to seeing my daughter being the main one, but the fact that we are going to return to some sort of normality and I can get back to the life that I thought I was about to lose when I was lying on a trolley with all sorts of things stuck into me – and the medical team not having a clue what the matter was.

Tallaght - Me Bollix!

My 56th birthday is fast approaching, and my 57th year. Since coming out of five days of hallucinations and my brain being so messed up that I could not recognise my daughter, I have felt overjoyed to be alive. I feel I’m on bonus time. People who have read my blogs for a while will know how I was obsessed with the temporary nature of life and the finite nature of death. I don’t think like that anymore. I’m aware of them but not obsessed with them.

That’s probably enough rambling for now.