I went up to the attic in search of bedding for the beagle. Given the fact that he usually eats his own bedding I was careful to try and pick out something durable but there was nothing there apart from a nice long cushion that I bought in the Celtic Tiger days, an Italian number, with shades of Autumn, vines and leaves. I had no choice but to haul it out, place it by the heater in the kitchen, bring the senior citizen of a canine in and point to his new home. He looked grateful. Practically smiled at me. Sniffed the potatoes baking in the oven, asked if we had sour cream to go with them and then fell into a deep beagle like sleep.
Oh it is so nice to be a dog in a middle class household. You get to have all the accoutrements of life as it should be if your owners are kind to you. You get to eat Basmati Rice and sometimes mashed potato mixed with Celeriac and you get to go on walks with your owners in nice parks and get to pee on nice manicured trees. It is ultimately the dream of a dog to live with proper people in proper houses who say proper things on all occasions, who fit into the realm of what it is to be nice and fitting people, who never screw up, who never say the wrong thing no matter how much they want to say it.
I was in Galway today. This morning to be precise. Early. Avoid the crowds I thought. Get in and get out as fast as I can. Galway is nice on an early morning in December. First you get to hear the gulls. They swamp the place. Zoom in over the car park, screeching their guts out. Defying why you are where you happen to be. You get out of your car and you stand to watch them. Territorial devils, the gulls. They make this place. And then you go shopping and now you cannot remember for what you shopped but it seemed important at the time. And you are walking down a laneway and it is one that you have walked down for years and there is a woman and you have walked by her for years too. Ignoring her. Despising her, maybe if you were honest because she always has her hand out for money. But you stop this day. You stop and say to her, how are you? Are you not cold? Why are you here? And she says to me, I am fine. I am not cold and she takes off her gloves and says feel my hands and I do and they are like hot toast and I say that is amazing, how is it possible that you can sit in this lane with such warm hands and she says I don't know and I give her some money and I tell her maybe she can get a cup of tea and then I walk away from her. I keep walking, passing all the shops with the tinsel and santa hats and bells and lights and all I can hear is the sound of the shrieking of gulls, swooping down into the litter of tomorrows, the debris of yesterdays.