30 August 2010

I don't believe it

There is nothing so discombobulating as a disturbed morning routine.

Six days a week I awaken, rise, ablute, encaffine and write, normally in something approximating that exact order, giving myself a reasonable approximation of a lie-in on a Sunday due to both the absence of delivery-trucks in the adjoining lane-way that usually serve as my morning alarm sometime between 5 and 7am (depending on the day), and also as a result of the equally-adjoining provider of caffeine keeping holy the Sabbath and remaining firmly shut, forcing me to go further afield for my morning necessity and thus requiring slightly more effort being made in my choice of sartorial elegance (While the rest of the city might be comfortable walking around the streets in their pyjamas I, alas, am not. Perhaps it is a generational thing, perhaps it is the picture of Dr Zoidberg without his shell that now sits uncomfortable atop my own mental self-image thanks to a recent conversation with a friend, its just not something that the good citizenry of Dublin will ever be subjected to).

No matter, the point of this meandering is to firm in your mind the notion that I am something of a creature of habit, at least as far as my awakenings are concerned. I try and structure my work day so that no meetings occur before 11am, giving me plenty of time to arise, dust the cobwebs from my brain and deal with the twin withdrawals of caffeine and words, intaking one and expelling the other, repetitious actions mirrored across time and space by countless generations of unwitting hosts whose sole purpose is to facilitate the reproduction and transmission of that most insidious and parasitical liver-fluke of the mind, the meme.

Much like the fungus that steers a hapless zombie ant, information does indeed want to be free and will use whatever tool is at hand to disseminate itself across as wide a net as possible, poking and prodding the ganglia of a captive human transport only dimly aware of their role in the propagation of these insidious brain-worms. Thus I know not what compels me to write each morning, only that I feel strangely on edge with a fiery itch in my cerebellum that distracts me from all other activities should I fail to complete my morning ritual.

Alas living in an urban environment the harsh reality is that those self-same city streets that provide such wonders of 24-hour convenience, entertainment and sustenance are not always the most conducive to activities of mental reflection. While I have grown to accept to the apparent lure of the aforementioned adjoining lane-way as a public urinal, its quiet yet reassuringly well-lit environs a seeming siren-call to inebriated revelers both male and female the length and breadth of this fair city, nothing could have prepared me for the discordant cacophony that is the English Language School at rest.

It is no doubt a blessing in these turbulent economic times that large groups of teenage students from sunnier climes still see fit to travel here each and every summer as their parents did before them, and their parents' parents, all in the fervent desire to achieve a level of mastery in the English language that can only be described as "bleedin' ra-pid". It is unfortunately something less of a blessing that an academy for such eduction exists less than four doors down from me, and climate change has conspired with geography to provide both an incentive to take long and boisterous breaks outside and an ideal lane-way in which to lounge and relax, assuming you can ignore the pungent aroma of the previous evening's human contributions.

Which evidently the international youth of today are well able to do.

While the triple-glazing on my windows is strong enough to block wi-max signals, alas it is no defence against the mass chatter of excited teens. While my natural inclination is to lean out the window, shake my fist in an exaggerated and exasperated manner, and yell incoherently but menacingly, such actions would sadly reinforce the already pervasive impression that some of my friends have of me as something of a grumpy old curmudgeon.

As nothing could be further from the truth I instead took the enlightened decision this morning to shrug off such inconveniences and take my caffeine away with me the short distance to my studio, to relax and luxuriate in its inspirational surrounds and commit pen to paper, bit to bite (or whatever the digital equivalent may be), feeding the inner demon that commands me to write.

Only to discover that a horde of workmen had descended upon the building in which my studio resides to completely refurbish the common areas, offices, toilets and almost every part of the building that is not actually my studio, necessitating the near-complete demolition of almsot every space 20 meters away from my writing desk in at least three dimensions over the course of the next four weeks (so technically the destruction will occur in at least four dimensions). My studio will now remain an ocean of squalor in a sea of gentrified commerce, providing an ongoing musty odour that no doubt will be the source of many a water-cooler conversation in the offices above and imparting me with a hint of Bohemia as I pass by future occupants of the building's soon-to-be more salubrious areas.

Between now and then, however, my studio is no longer usable at the exact hours when my creative urges burn the most painfully. Thus my memes go un-propagated, and they have no qualms about showing their displeasure.


Time to reconsider the merits of grumpy fist shaking, methinks.

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