November Song


The rain hissing like a big monster against the riverside window won't let me sleep.  There is no daylight in the window yet.  The memory of the sound of the joy riders across the bridges during the earlier hours still aggravates.  I heard a suped-up engine, the pedal to the metal, driven by testosterone-fueled teenage boys, hell-bent on denting the fabric of the nothing life.  I have held the newly dead mackerel in my hand and seen his slapping, futile struggle end against oxygen and the murderous hook still in his jaws and I have pondered the mystery of his recently, supine athleticism turned to rigidity.  Everything is frightening.  In November everything is even more frightening.  And on rainy nights in November the moon won't appear in the window.  My alarm clock goes at six-thirty a.m.  and the long finger will drag me out through the door, rain or no rain, my creaking bones down the stairs, into the car, the traffic, rushing round all the obstacles once more to the edge.  My neighbour lost an eye in an industrial accident.  He saves himself from despair by thinking about money.  I think about money, he says.  It's the only way out.  There is no other way.  It's the only thing that will save me.  I must think money at all times.  Friday in the rain, think money.  On the way to Dublin for the match, think tenners.  Bored in the pub, think money, and above all immersed in the mire of the doldrums, think moolah and all these little consoling wads of rainbow-coloured bills mount up.  What about love, I say, innocently enough?  He barks like a hound who has stepped on a screw.  He points to the black patch that covers the empty socket where his left eye was.  I'm fifty-eight years old with one eye, only the prostitutes of the Golden Mile love me.  Driving my car through the obstacles and the rain, listening to the radio, I try to think money.  It doesn't work.  Anyway, I'm a lone wolf, I have two eyes.  Strange, this being still alive.  The girls I see are not statues, their eyes are not mute, their limbs not stiff or cold, no, they're warm and animated and capable of unpredictable behaviour.  There is always hope.  
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