Once, my car broke down on the road from Kilmeaden at something like eight-thirty at night. One minute I was driving through the night: smoking furiously and singing along to the Kings of Leon, probably- the next moment everything was pitch black and the dank country swirled bleakly in my ears. Apparently, something moved on the battery and the car just died, cutting out instantly and trickling to a stop in a ditch. That's all very well and good, and I'm glad we all know the mechanics of the situation, but at the time, as my breath froze and darkness slammed into my eyes, I quite calmly responded by putting my fingers to my throat to check for my pulse. Yes; when faced with sudden unanswerable quandaries and shifts in my surroundings, I just assume: why yes, I am dead. That is the only logical answer.
Today, powered only by the shameful thrust of my hangover and litres of toothpaste, I half slumped, half drifted through the day, surrounded by goons and fools, badgering me about the various hundred things wrong with their library experience. For a solid hour, I walked around twenty-five PCs and typed the same password in to them all repeatedly. Futile you may say, and I'd have to agree with you. The public saw it differently though and insisted I keep trying to establish a relationship with the non-responsive Internet. 'But why is it broken?' they sputtered annoyingly, as if I knew the answer. To anything. Ever.
Let me tell you straight off: on a recce of personal days of excellence, today was a write-off. I rocked and I rolled, pointing out the fabulous signage (created by yours truly) explaining the fuck-up in the whole Internet exchange, and finding bizarre, non-existent books without laughing('Pictures of houses of Georgian style, but not actual Georgian houses that were built in a Georgian era nor actual pictures, per say, just an idea because I want to draw my daughter a picture. No no, that will not do: do you not have a book on 'So you want to draw your daughter a picture...?' No??') while still pretending to care about the needs of others. I know. Sometimes I exhaust myself with my selflessness. But the stress! I can't tell you. It was horrendous. I was LITERALLY counting the hours until I could have a vodka. So there I was, serving the public and then... Then- all outta nowhere- a plaintive violin starts up from beneath me and suddenly FLASH FLASH FLASH
Did you feel death over your pale shoulder near the end of the last paragraph? Because, by God, I did. 'Woah', I said to Yvonne, who chose that time to wander the room: I placed my hands palm down on the desk and looked about wildly. 'Did you see that too or did the world just end?'
Yvonne stopped dead and stared at me. She looked at the ceiling, quite seriously. Then she considered the walls, the floor, the windows. 'No' she said, vehemently. 'No, I don't think so.' I checked my pulse, quite seriously. 'Nah,' I said, 'I think we're okay for now.'
Holy cow, but. Turns out it was an exhibition launch two floors down. The plaintive sawing of death was actually the sound of a pretentious pre-exhibition strum; the flashing lights merely the lights of our esteemed local press taking rabid photos.
All the same, I think you can understand why I was perturbed.