The wind has turned from the north to the west. The penetrating icy chill that caused shivers at the stadium has been superseded by a damp and persistent breeze. It is not cold, at ten degrees it is little cooler than a summer’s night in Ireland, but it is wet. It is that soft wetness, the wetness that envelopes everything and dampens the mood.
Opening the fridge, this afternoon’s failure to remember to buy milk means there is a need to venture to the supermarket. There is the option to drive, but retrieving the car from the complex’s underground car park and then negotiating the sequence of traffic lights would take more time than a brisk walk.
It is December tomorrow, but Christmas seems a distant prospect.
A pair of massive cranes loom above the Long Mile Road, their presence a testimony to the continuing property boom that renders impossible any hope of buying a house.
The tail end of the rush hour traffic rushes westward out of the city
The flashing lights of Christmas decorations, some of which have been up since Halloween, only serve to remind that winter still has a long course to run.
The mood of Brook Benton’s A rainy night in Georgia seems to have been embodied at this junction of Walkinstown and Drimnagh.
It is a song that has always been there through the years. It has been a soulful accompaniment to many memories of winter evenings.
“Neon signs a-flashin’, taxi cabs and buses passin’ through the night,” could describe any town on a winter’s night when the only thing for which anyone would wish is to be at home. Who would choose to be out in the cold and the damp? Who would want to go anywhere?
The song tells of one who has nowhere to go. He takes refuge in a boxcar and plays the guitar he carries to pass the time. It is a moment of desolation and realisation,
How many times I wondered
It still comes out the same
No matter how you look at it or think of it
It’s life and you just got to play the game.
“Play the game,” it is a sentiment echoed by Tom Stoppard in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead. “Life is a gamble, at terrible odds – if it was a bet you wouldn’t take it.”
A gamble at terrible odds is avoided. The lottery jackpot is €19 million. It has been capped at €19 million for months. There has not been a jackpot winner since June. The nice young woman behind the till apologizes that the sale of the tickets has closed for the night. I have saved €3.
A Number 18 bus is sighted. Like policemen, they are never around when you want one.
A rainy night.