He was a lad of about 16. Let’s just say he was 16 for chronologies sake because this story took place around that time in his life and it was all rather like a dream and he wasn’t so sure what age he was, wasn’t so sure if he had any age at all because everything at once was so timeless.
He left home at 16. He left a big house with parents who were fighting and had pretty much all but left school where there were rich kids who played rugby and smoked and used drugs from around that age and he fell in with some of them, played some rugby, smoked some drugs and never really knew where he fit in.
All he knew is that he could sense things. Things he thought other kids his age maybe weren’t attuned to. All he knew is that his senses were sharp and he could smell this mystic thing. This magic. It hung in the air, it buzzed in his ears and drummed in his heart and he went to investigate it most nights, on the streets of Dublin, alone, a boy of 16. He would wander the streets with no money in his pocket. This troubled him. He figured he should find some source of steady income. He figured he should find a source of income to keep him nourished on this adventure. He felt he should give it a year. A year of wandering, in order to find out what was really going on behind all of that veneer he saw his parents try and go through, that his brothers were bobbing through. He felt so connected to something outside of all of that, outside of the system. Things were happening in Dublin at that time. People were earning more money, he had heard, and there were permanent cranes on the horizon, their necks oblique like these big mechanical giraffes, he thought, and he used to stare at the head of these cranes and imagine their big blinking red lights at night like benign eyes that would guide him to wherever he was supposed to be going.
He found he was a very good musician at a young age so he borrowed his friend Patrick’s guitar and if Patrick didn’t mind, which he didn’t because Patrick was a very good natured young boy of 15 and a half and Patrick would allow him borrow this guitar to play blues music on the streets and in the bars (the bars that didn’t mind him being around their sometimes coarse clientele) at night in order to earn a couple of euros that would keep him nourished during his quest to find what was straight pure and true in this world beyond the veneer of deceit that he perceived in mainly his father but at times other member’s of his family, mainly on his Paternal side.
He knew little of his family history other than he was a middle child of three and that he felt very different to his other brother’s at a young age. He would play soccer and swim and play tennis and rugby, and was told he had potential but he never really liked that word and considered it part of the veneer and instead chose to leave his comfortable bed in a nice part of Dublin and rather search in pursuit of the truths that you might not learn in school. His mother missed him of course, and he missed her terribly, and he knew he may never see his father again but he knew that this had to be done – he could sense something beyond what was going on systematically and routinely and knew was he to stay there he would be swept along on that monotonous tide.
His music was self taught and he would go to Patrick’s house regularly to discreetly shower when Patrick’s parents were at work and occasionally sleep on Patrick’s floor and they would talk all night about girls and football and stuff. He used to be told that he was a natural at music and that he should enroll in the Royal Academy. He remembered sitting an exam where he played a piece on the piano and excelled and was given an honours grade. He missed the piano. He lamented the fact that pianos were not portable. He thought that maybe somebody should invent the pocket piano so’s you could erect it underneath the stars in a clearing at Three Rock Mountain and sleep beside it on Summer nights, woken by a fresh avalanche of new melodies and what artists called divine inspiration. This to him was being. Away from all of the fighting in school and at home. He really didn’t dig any of that old shit. That divine inspiration is what seduced him into the life of the wanderer. He had only read one book in his lifetime, The Catcher In The Rye, and he remembers how the kid in that is of a similar desire and how he wandered the streets of New York City in that and he wondered how similar New York City was to Dublin and would the water taste the same and would women’s arses be the same shape. He had never touched a woman’s bare arse and had only ever touched a tit once and thinking about it made him stiff in his pants which excited him and this was a recurrent thought process and he was constantly getting stiffies. He’d sometimes check his kecks and there’d be all this silvery goo in it and this made him blush. He remember once after this girl had come up to him following a rugby match and asked him to go to Eddie Rocket’s sometime with him he got so excited he could feel his mickey all twitching inside him and he just said “Yeah sure see you there” and ran off!
The girl thing consumed him. He thought being a musician was pretty cool and that they would dig that and he might get one someday that was really soft with a gentle smile and nice eyes and a good nature. He loved those people. He and his pals used go to a disco in Dublin called The Wezz where girls would come and wear fuck all and he and his mates Paddy, Colm, Séan and Donagh used to pool their resources and drink cheap liquor behind the changing rooms before, in order to get enough Dutch Courage to talk to birds and maybe get a feel of their bare arses. One night, he and the lads were necking their Jameson and listening to rap music on Paddy’s discman and rapping along to the verses of Raekwon and Ghostface Killah. He always knew every line and would always impress his mates at his memory and timing and mimicry from accents and he would always get a laugh. He liked that. He loved getting the laughs from his mates and loved laughing himself. Paddy was a funny cunt and any time he would go to school he would sit beside him and they would be in fucking kinks at the state of the place and the state of some of the teachers. There was one teacher, their Business Studies teacher who Paddy and more often than not himself would rip the absolute piss out of. They would imagine the size of his cock, imagine it this really small shrivelled banana yolk and before he would raise his hand he would rapidly say under his breath to Paddy “yeayou’veatinycockiknowsirbut!” and then ask the question. There you go. That was him in school. The influence of Ghostface Killah obviously had a real impact on his ability to fire out words really quickly. He loved school only for the laughs, sometimes for the rugby and never the fights.
He got himself into a lot of fights. He had a big fucking mouth. Those rappers really spoke quite heavily. Used blue language and were generally just not cunts you’d mess with. Ghostface Killah, he thought, would have made a pretty devastating blindside flanker. He identified with these lads. Mainly for their use of language but also for their confident attitude. He had been suspended three or four times. His report cards were shocking and was in detention more times than the fingers and toes could count. He was the self appointed class clown, and this was a role he found comfortable for a while but that sweeping sense of something else going on kept drawing him outside, out into the parks, into the mountains, into the woods and the big beautiful busty bosom of Dublin herself.
They used to go to this hip-joint called The Hideout to smoke fags and talk to the moths from Loreto-on-the-green don’t you know and talk shite until everybody else would fuck off home and he’d continue to mope about with his guitar playing in JJ Smyth’s or some other jazz or blues bar and deepen his craft.