Rocks & Rain

I bought the wrong size track pants… When boys shop, we only really have Small, Medium or Large to choose from, so I was doubley annoyed at myself.  I rang to check if they had the correct size, the guy on the phone said they do but he emphasised that they only had one pair, I replied that sure I only have one pair of legs so that would be perfect. Once again reaffirming that I live in a world where I’m absolutely hilarious to just myself.

 So I made my way to the closest store in Belfast, West Belfast, a 3.3 mile walk according to Google, Google also told me that walking was faster than going into the city for a bus. So off I trek into the West where I haven’t been since I was a boy.  I walked up some familiar streets and was quietly content that not a whole lot has changed.  It’s smaller than I remember, I am twice the size I was to be fair.  Got to the place, did the exchange, all’s good in the hood, for I was once again back in my hood. 

I start heading back and reluctantly remember that I havent spoke to the da in a few years, and haven’t seen him in longer, but I should really check in. We aren’t as close as I would have liked and when I did call he seldom replied in a way I would have preferred.  But sure he’s not one for many words unless there’s an audience, I remember that much.  Went to go visit him and ofcourse I forgot where he lived, he probably wasn’t up for giving me any clues that’s for sure. 

So I’m walking up and down the narrow laneways and all is dead quiet, not a soul about. Not too much to keep my interest either aside from a random dog walker, the crunching of autumn leaves, a muddy squelch here and there and a light rain. 

Rain never bothers me if I’m honest, for I enjoy a jaunt in all sorts, whether the weather is behaving itself or whether it’s being otherwise kinda silly. But if I had to choose a rain, it might be this one.  A fine spray, a measley mist, whilst the sun sets, the one where you are constantly putting your brolly up and down to test out how heavy it is, always keeps you on your toes and it’s just abit teasing I suppose.  A tinker of a rain, an Irish rain. Sure you’d never leave the house in this wee country if ya listened to what the sky had to say.  I was out looking for long enough that I gave up jumping over puddles anyway. Sure when you’re wet you may as well be wet yano, you’ll dry up over time.

So I found the place, funnily enough in the same place I left it years earlier, as was he. Now as far as talking to people I’m slightly uncomfortable around, I am what one might describe as, socially horrendous. Mostly for my own pleasure as I do like to test the conventions of human interaction, usually because I rarely talk to them so I may as well make the most of it, seldom would it be a genuine, unintentional car crash of a social situation. If it is, sure its always wonderful to hark back to when the craic might die in bar. But in incidences like these, I really do never know quite what to say, I’m certainly never sure where to start or how long to hang around. I’ve also (in my opinion, and to summarise oh so haphazardly) had an eventful go at things to date, and he hasn’t exactly been in the loop for much of it.

‘I could have used a lift to get my tracksuit exchanged’

I started with that. I was being honest and a little selfish, but the lift would have been handy. It’s kinda his job to help with these sorta mundane errands, and I’m annoyed about that.

They were Gaelic football track pants. He bought me a bright purple GAA tracksuit when I was like 8. I don’t even watch GAA. I don’t know the rules. It looks wonderful, really, I’m sure it’s great fun. He took me to the park one time with a ball and he started toe tapping it like you do in Gaelic, but I had no idea what he was doing.  I lived in a different place where such a game didn’t exist and I started kicking it around the grass instead.

And I let him know I was annoyed, and he seemed to listen well enough.  Then I told him some other things that annoyed me and I was essentially pointing the finger for a good wee while.  I’m not sure how much of it was his fault, or my fault, or anyone’s fault really. I dont know if I’m not told enough or if I didn’t ask enough, but I was just annoyed.  I mean I didn’t miss him. I just felt annoyed. Or I feel annoyed. Or I might feel annoyed.  And I’m annoyed that I can’t even grasp an appropriate tense to speak of what it’s like to have an argument with a feckin’ gravestone. 

Here’s a good one, I spent 2 hours walkin around the cemetary looking for my dead da, tripping over other dead da’s everytime I saw his name in the distance, (turns out I have a very popular second name), or if I saw any plots that had green stones.  And as wonderfully bleak as the situation had turned out to be, I felt abit like a lost kid in a supermarket and the novelty was wearing off.

I don’t miss him.  Im just annoyed sometimes at the situation. Or I certainly felt and feel annoyed at certain times for certain things.  I didn’t even realise how annoyed I was until I felt my face feel abit wet long after the rain had stopped. They were medium track pants, they arent purple but.
But it worked out well, I learnt how to shave fine, I’m very good at catching a ball, and I know all too well about the birds and the bees (I think).  I’m pretty awful at toe tapping a gaelic ball though. But that’s grand.  It was time to go. 

 Rain never bothers me, sure you’d never leave the house if you listened to what the sky had to say. If you’re wet you may aswell be wet yano, things always dry themselves with enough time.


4 thoughts on “Rocks & Rain

  1. Your way with words is so unapologetic and randomly bittersweet . Your life so far is filled with observations and thoughts worthy of a scholar about to embark on another adventure. You say it and I cry and laugh at the same time.
    Never ever stop being you. I am in awe of you . Truly xxxx


  2. Excellent story, I didn’t realize your father was in the cemetery until you mentioned it. At first I thought you were at your Da’s house and giving him heck “in person,” and I thought this is not a good visit, at some point his Da is going to fire back with his own words… then you mentioned the cemetery. 🙂 I’m sure he appreciated your visit!


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