“Am gonna take my horse out the old Tuam Road…am gonna ride 'til’ I can’t no more.” Song is ringing in me head...written for me that was, written for me...where am I...oh, I’m here so I am, like. I’ve landed. In Galway... Like that Boris Johnson lad, head on me like an explosion in a bloody mattress factory. The clobber on me right out of Peaky Blinders, the kinda clothes me fadder's fodder would have worn like 150 year ago…Sun rises in the capital of culture…ate a clock in the morning…waking up in a crumpled hape…I’d need Hawkeye to see if I made it home at all last night…smartphone alarm beep beeps into me ear...one hand picks up and smashes it again the wall...not so smart now is it…Radio bursts on…Leo and Boris having a row over a catflap or a back flap or something...have I fallen asleep like and woken up in some posh boy's dream...I listen to him and his Tory mates and say in me own mind he shouldn't be fecking with the country that make the world's supply of Viagra and Botox... mess with us boy and there'll be no hard Brexit for ye but plenty of soft landing...the Brits will be pushing a car with a rope...’tis Race Week…where am I...recessed lights in ceiling shine into me eyes...discover me pyjamas have a hood in them and me in skinny jeans…fell asleep in the clothes again...where am I...not Mrs O'Brien's B & bloody B this year… an AiryB&B yolk which is basically paying hotel prices for someone else’s scratcher and someone else’s jacks…decided to mess them about by moving the pictures around and putting all the clocks back two hours...they've another little toilet beside the regular wan, like a bath for your feet so I soak the socks in there all night...need the cure bad...have to look me best...Limerick lads are winning Love Island so pressure's on...went to bed looking like Donal Og Cusack woke up looking like Dunphy...open shirt buttons and spray deodorant under arms one squirt for each oxter and one for the road with a shot for the lads below…ya can never take any chances like at the Galway Races…could be hit by a bus or a quare wan...head for the lift…close buttons, push buttons, and fella in the lift mirror does the same…state of me like…airyB&B and a kitchen with nobody’s food left in it…head for the morning cafe…hipster fella with a beard asks me do I want brunch like. I do in me...whole night I've been starving...says he can do me advocate toast or something strange sounding like that...throw back the lugs and dive in...twas muck...like eating a squashed apple through a sock...try to walk sober like, wan foot then the udder, repeat...I'm Racingman, I'm wide out…I’m part of Galway. I’m Racingman, the boyoh, unleashed for the week…I walk down the street like Travolta in Saturday Night Fever 'cept without the can o’ paint…baby shakin that ass... they're looking at me, the wimmen, can't get enough of me...nawthing like a pair of skinny jeans (no ballroom dancing for me ) and a mismatched jacket and tweed jacket and braces and cap to get them going...down the square check out paddys ladbrokes boyles get the odds... and ends...too early to go out to Ballybrit yet...sit on bench and look at the pretend fountain that's never on…Arts Festival hippies taking down their own festival garden for atin’ hummus and talking through their…are sure it's great for them…sit on steps, legs sprawled……wink at young wan heading to work down town, get scowl but scowl back at her…then I remember MeTwo or what ya call it, so I stall the ogling’…cramps me style though bigtime...Me the man, Racingman...me the man…loads o’ young lads around…Anthony Ryan mustn’t have a confirmation suit left in his storeroom…Reach into arse pocket of me jeans……hand shakes but 'twould by now anyways Wednesday... some forren fecker with a guitar murdering Grace in the Square...where's Lee Harvey Oswald when ya need him…I…get the Racing Post...to look cool like…in the know…and the Star...I stink a bit bad, so dash into Debbinghams cosmetics section and when the posh wimmen staff aren't looking over, Racingman is lost in a spraycloud of Calvin Kyne, Packie Rabanne, and Ralph Lawrence eau de sweat…lash on the lot of them…the cognac combo….then a splash on ur hand to look like ya know your stuff…spray some on that little card yolk… doubles up as a toothpick…smelling grand...looking good, give the crown jewels a scratch…let me get wan thing straight and all that…ready for the road...ready for the course...hop into taxi...sit in front…legs sprawled…I’m the man…talk the talk…big happy head on me…air stinks of air freshener and stale conversation...Then he said something about a rising tide lifting boats…knows his stuff this fella…crabbing on about immigrants taking our wimmen, can't get jobs…and he's from Lagos...three ways to racecourse...green, blue, and red routes…an hour later we take a bit of blue and red and he drops me in a cowshit-spattered field near Castlegar church...walk that way he says... the brown route...and I walk...go to ring the boys but smartphone still smarting from batin' I gave it… walk straight...shoes covered in sheeeite...in the gate...Text the lads but they get back on WhatsUpp app thingy…haven’t used that since the time I WhatsUpped Mixer the story about Murphy’s father knocking up the nurse up the village and didn’t know I was telling’ the whole hurling club like…They’re at the bar they tell me...Get myself a selfie with the new horse statue...made by Brendan Behan they tell me...that fella must be 150 himself...Guard nods at me I nod back 'howya guard' what does he know... probably has a file on Racingman...Maybe a whistleblower will get it for me…the big happy Templemore head on him and eyes red-out from reading Pulse all night…lads say to tease them about the missing breath tests but I told them I will in me ....whole day looking around to see famous faces...no sign of Leo today…he was here Monday with a wallet with him. Feckin’ Taoiseach with a wallet…and maybe even a bank account…twouldn’t be like that in the Bertie day…Rakes of Galway hurlers and footballers around...saw them around the parade ring throwing shapes, ya wouldn't see the feckers up in Croke Park where ya'd want to see them this time of year...shouted up Mayo at them...Bumped into the Comer Brothers, was going to ask them for a touch after they threw twenty million into Galway United...never know which of them Comers is which so just chanced me arm and said 'howya Damien,' and they looked at me as if I was some sort of a feckin eejit...stumbled on...fine fillies everywhere...Saw the Lads, roared c’mon ye bollix at them, the boys from home…saw Ted Walsh too…twenty years since he rode her mother... Lads have quare wans' mobile numbers… they want 200 notes for an hour of the bould thing...lads laugh when I ask for group discount and take out me social services card….an hour I laugh, an hour of drinking time wasted...she says for 400 she'll bate me with a whip ’til I cry and give me a happy ending…told her I can get a batin' for nawthing outside the chipper…and if I want a happy ending, I can watch Frozen…and the lads laugh…Am great for the auld repartee, me Racingman. Me head's in a spin...hops into taxi and shows the driver lad the place where the AiryB&B is…It’s Lagos man again...more stale conversation...he's up from Carlow with all the other taxidrivers…takes me to Newcastle via Athenry…he knows a shortcut. Tells me he loves…drives me around town nine times to make sure before I push in door of AiryB&B and I crash on the couch but then there’s a thump and some fella shouting about getting out of his house and then I sees that I do be in the wrong Airy B&B.…but I love it. I love Race Week...and today's Ladies' Day. So I better have a bath...it's August.
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