I dream I am in my favourite pub...

Author ALAN MCMONAGLE shifts between dreams and reality as he contemplates life in Galway city during the Covid-19 restrictions

Author and short story writer, Alan McMonagle.

Author and short story writer, Alan McMonagle.

Days and nights play out like a loop. It begins with a dream. I am in my favourite pub. Tígh Neachtain, Cross Street. Writers, painters, actors, singers, the whole lot of us, locked in and making merry.

The ringing telephone wakes me up, it's a hoaxer telling me money I don't have is gone. I hang up, jump back into bed and spend the life-long day trying to crawl back inside that dream. I play and lose at Scrabble. I read short stories. I stay up late and watch movies from Hong Kong, South Korea, Turkey, and Japan. The farther away the better.

Though I cannot honestly say why. I listen to the neighbour hammering, sawing, drilling, digging. I listen to the music he blasts out of his kitchen stereo. Occasionally it's good. Mostly I wish I were deaf. I overhear someone say life cannot be one continual orgasm.

'A walk on the Prom. A glimpse of a heartbreaking sundown. I post a photograph my better half has taken. A Facebook friend wants to know why I am wearing a dress. I think of a witty reply'

I reach for the red wine. I put on my headphones and listen to the same piece of music over and over again. I buy a bar of soap. It ends up in the fridge. I buy a bottle of Rioja. It goes well with Turkish drama.

A wash of the hands. A queue at the shops. Receive an email from a good friend. She has planted 750 potatoes. 500 onions. Too many other things. She says she likes counting. I have a sneaky suspicion I am becoming interested in numbers. A walk on the Prom. A glimpse of a heartbreaking sundown. I post a photograph my better half has taken. A Facebook friend wants to know why I am wearing a dress. I think of a witty reply: When I wear a dress people keep their distance. That's the last I've heard from that friend. I dream I am in my favourite pub...

Alan McMonagle's latest novel, Laura Cassidy's Walk Of Fame, is out now from Picador.

 

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