It’s been a weird and wonderful few days. I was down in Cork over the weekend. I was taken out for dinner in a Valentine’s-decorated restaurant, where I nonchalantly tried to look as un-couple-ish as possible, and had a lovely meal.
In a twilight-zone-type journey back from Cork, it started snowing. In the middle of February. In Watergrasshill. I envisaged burst pipes when I got back to the rundown little cottage. But everything was fine. Also on this journey I got a text message from a former boss, with whom I thought my bridges were burnt, offering me work. And I got a phonecall from Spain asking for my inside leg measurements.
Having given my notice on the cottage, I’ve been showing it to potential new tenants. The guy who’s taking it brought his daughter to see the place that she’ll be staying at the weekends. She’s ten. As she bounced on my bed, had a look in my drawers and wardrobe and criticised my taste in fabrics (I know this sounds made up – it’s not) I finally realised that I really was leaving my rundown little cottage.
I can be something of a catastrophist. Since I was fifteen, I’ve imagined ending up homeless. But as well as being a catastrophist, I have a sunshiney, optimistic, utterly unrealistic core. When I think of me as a homeless man, I imagine that I’d be quite popular. I’d stay clean. I’d beg enough every day for a chicken fillet roll with mayonnaise and cheese and 20 Marlboro Lights. I’d be known throughout the city. Milkmen would greet me cheerily in the morning, and teenagers and housewives would come to me for sage advice in the afternoons. People would bring me books and copies of Heat magazine.
Anyway, I’m not going to be homeless. A friend of mine has offered to let me her spare room at a very reasonable rate. And it’s huge. Her spare room (now my bedroom) is nearly the size of my cottage!
Having quit my main job, and given notice on my flat, I have to make it worthwhile. I’ve chosen to prioritise the PhD. I was absolutely terrified that I wouldn’t get up this morning, would waste the day, and would end up hating myself in a big hate-filled ball of hatey self-hate. But I didn’t. I got up. I went to college. I did proper study. I didn’t let the fact that the heating was broken and that my study space was arctic get in the way. I read. I wrote. I understood everything. For hours. I’m now feeling awfully self-satisfied.
On a final happy note, you’ll remember that my TV and internet were cut off. Before they were cut off, I got a text from UPC warning that my TV and internet may be cut off. And they were – a week later.
I got another text today, warning that my TV and internet may be cut off. When I got home after my virtuous day of super-study, my TV and internet were back on! I don’t know how long this can last, but Yippee Ki Yay!
Nothing’s gonna stop me now.