Monday, July 23, 2012

50 Shades of Green

How often do you go to sleep and wake up feeling twice your age? I don't know what it was, but wave after wave of whatever it was slowly took any energy I did possess to places outside my person at the beginning of the week. I didn't feel particularly sick. Just aged.
   The stairs felt like Everest and attempts at writing were cast to the digital trash bin. By Wednesday morning I'd given up and took up residence on the sofa down on the first floor of the residence.
   I'd have went to the doctor but I don't think I'd have made it. There can't be many things worse than ending up on the broad of your back in broad daylight (and it would want to be pretty broad around here at times) on a public street and becoming the victim of wild story lines that plot their way around small places.
   I lie. There are far worse things that could happen - and happening.

The house seemed quieter than usual, it's hollowness more apparent as I cut a way through some deplorable daytime TV. I didn't want to eat. I couldn't sleep. When I did I came through, drowned, like a trip outside on an Irish summers day.
   By Thursday, even trips to the toilet were put off for as long as could be mustered from the rapidly declining stock of energy. Sometimes that bursting signal to go, just went away. That can't be good for you.
   Late in the afternoon I felt like my cognition was waining - like I wasn't processing much. Just sweat - by the large bead - cascading from wanton pores. For the first time I felt a little worried.
   As i caught the days happenings on the evening news, a press conference from Enda and Eamon had given caught my attention. After listening to what I thought Enda had said when defending James Reilly's glaring inadequacies when serving his department - in any department - I was convinced.
   I needed hospitalization - and quickly. My world had turned into a freaky cartoon, where the clouds were made of crows. Tall jagged shadows everywhere.  Delirium?
    Who'd have thought? Enda - saving my life.

I don't know what happened. I passed out. For fifteen hours. Woken only by my humming of an old Oasis song, bladder filled beyond capacity. I lumbered to my feet. I could feel them again. The walking wasn't as difficult as it had been the past few days. The relief, when i got there - majestic.
    Noise. Turning the toilet water amber. Whatever it was that laid me out was coming out of me. At length.
   I was glad there was no mirror to ponder into as i felt cold water soothe the worn-out pores of my face. That could have been enough to throw a reversal into the mornings good fortune. For better or worse, it looked like I was on the mend. I was going to survive, much to the lament of many.

Saturday saw a meeting with food again. It felt cramped at times. The final test came late that evening as I climbed the steps of the stairs. Then the more difficult attic ones in search of the last sole place of purpose I still had left. My bed.
   I woke this morning a little after ten. It sounded like a Sunday so I went back to sleep. It made more sense to energize. I'd worry about the stone-and-a-half I'd lost during the week later. Despite those good intentions, I'm staying on the ice-cream diet. For a few more days anyway.
Gus called in the afternoon. Worried. He'd noticed that my curtains had been closed all week.
   'You look like train hit you with a bus,' he said, after he explained all the things he had found 'unusual' in order for him to reach his conclusion that maybe something was up with me.
   Good job I hadn't succumbed to life. Like old Larry had. Maybe even worse. Dying with that Oasis song on my mind might have lead to an uncomfortable death scene for anyone entering it.
   'No, just run down,' I said.
   'Aw. Depressed,' he said.
   'Nooo,' I said, before loosing him as quickly as i could by explaining in detail, using words i didn't even know, to describe a mysterious bacterial infection - cum virus - called 'Knockthebolleekouttaya.'
   'It sounded serious,' he said, before saying he'd call again soon.
   'I'm meeting with Linda,' he said. I knew it already. I could smell it off him. I'll tell him later I was only taking the piss. I'm sure he'll get the humor in it.

I returned to my couch to sit out the return to normality and watched as Adam Scott headed off on his final round at the British Open with our own Graham McDowell. Prowling together behind the ultimate prowler, Tiger Woods, looking to end a streak of nearly four years without a major win.
   They were all jittery to begin with - Woods being the less of the three. As Woods made steady pars, both McDowell and Scott were swapping between bogeys and pars and the very odd birdie.
   The wind was rising on the Royal Lytham and St. Annes course after giving the field as easy a ride a links course could over the first three days. At least that was what the commentator said as I lay there watching 50 shades of green through worn and beaten eyes. Unable to see any shade of white.
   Woods was the first to concede ground, something he didn't need, as he tried in vain to chase down Scott - now caddied by Wood's ex-caddie, Steve Williams. Woods and Williams paired together in 13 out of 14 of Wood's major titles.
   Woods seemed to have a decent approach to the 6th, but plugged his shot into a green side bunker. After skillfully dodging his ball which rebounded off the face of the bunker in his attempt to get it out, Woods got down on his knees to somehow manage to get the ball on to the green with his second attempt - but three putts away. With a +3 on his card there was now serious daylight between Woods and the likable Scott seeking his first major title.
   McDowell made birdie on eight to reduce the gap between him and his playing partner to three. However, G-Mac's joy was short lived. He bogeyed the next three holes and with Scott himself steadying with a string of pars it looked for all the executions in Texas that Scott was about to become a major champion for the first time.
   There was no push from the pack, who mostly all struggled around the back nine. Woods continued to look frustrated as his driver appeared with little effect for the first time in the week. His playing partner Brandt Snedeker was gone by the turn. World Number 1, Luke Donald, posted a -2 total, but when Adam Scott birdied 14 to get to -10, Donald's score was never going to take the Claret Jug.


Damn to how the universe operates at times. Damn the way the human body does also. As Stevie Williams and Adam Scott walked from the 14th green to smiles and applause, it was at least concrete in my mind that it was in the bag for the Australian.
   Just like that. Out, I went. I must have fell asleep because I haven't went out again since I woke to find Ernie Els hoisting the famous Claret Jug to the green side spectators who roared their approval at the now 4-time major champion. The second 42-year old to win the Champion Golfer of the Year in a row after Darren Clarke's own fairytale last year.
   Oh no! I was sick again. Back in that other reality I seemed to have been in all week. I jumped up from my stretched out position. Nope. I was like a cat. I wasn't dreaming.
   Ernie Els. Where had he come from?

Els hadn't caught my eye. He'd been flirting with the 'there or thereabouts' all week - but at the turn he was +2 for the day and half a dozen strokes behind Scott. Then Ernie's putter got hot. Apparently!!!
   Birdies at 10,12,14 and a little monster on 18, saw the South African card a 2-under-par 68 for a -7 total. Then, like so many other times in the sport of golf, absurdity stepped in to even tie the tongues of the David Feherty's of this planet.

Scott bogeyed 15. No big deal. He could afford that. In fact he could afford a few of them. Luckily. Right on the next hole he missed a three-footer for par. Another bogey. Lead down to one. Surely not?
   Bogey at 17. All square. Unbelievable. I'm speculating!
   As Scott stood on 18 he must have been barely able to grip his club. He needed to steady himself. A par for a play-off. Having practically lead since Thursday he deserved at least that. Didn't he?
No-one knows who the God of Golf is. All that's known is that he works in strange way and mysterious ways. Much like many Gods. For Adam Scott bogeyed again. For the forth time in a row. You wouldn't write it.
   And I slept through it all. Never did happen before. Only one-person to thank for being able to witness it. After the event! The person who invented highlights.

Els, ten years and a day since his first British Open success at Muirfield, finishes practicing putts for a playoff - champion outright without having to walk another hole. In hindsight all the signs were there. The decade since his first. His experience at winning majors. Same age as last years winner. A second and a third at the same venue in past Opens. His return to form in the past year. How the game of golf writes the strangest of stories. Good punter might have put all that together and had an old flutter. I certainly didn't. There was no book-making for me this week.
   There were none more joyed than Ernie - none so disconsolate as Adam Scott. He hid it professionally as watched Els hoist the famous trophy. Steve Williams wondering how his experience couldn't carry the Australian down the home stretch for what would have been his sweetest major of all. But like so many stories surrounding this strange game, it failed to produce the ending most expected. The times it does that is extraordinary.
'Part of the lure,' as Leon used to say - though he wasn't talking about golf!

I nearly slipped and fell up the stairs as I returned to the attic to write this and gaze out at the clouds as I work on getting a degree of cognition back.
   An envelope. It had slid across the floor and half under the bottom step of the stairs. Bit dusty too. Must have been there a while. I opened it.
   Nice. A €50 note. Was I delirious again?
A letter with directions to Mayo.

Come across sometime.

No date. Bloody hell. That could have been there for... How long has it been since I heard from him? It definitely was this year sometime. Hope he doesn't think I just kept the money and ignored him.
   Why is it whenever I get the chance to get away it is always to Mayo. Not like the memories are the best I have ever had. What if I ran into Enda Kenny down there on his eight-week break from the Dáil with the other 165 TD's.

Love when that happens. Déja vu.
 Enda. Press conference. Dancing jagged shadows. Sweats.

Within five minutes I'd found it. That press conference. The one I thought was in my head when my head was everywhere else.
'Oh my sweet...'
Words do fail me sometimes.

I've come across some statements in my time. The ones from modern 'celebrities' are a source of amusement to some - distress to others.
    Some observant musings can spark a thought - for better or worse. Some too obvious to even consider vocalizing into sound.
Other that still do.  -

'Generally when people speak they use words.' - Enda Kenny

Profound, hey? Gives us great hope for the future. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Or get sick!  
   Though, I must stop projecting. I could have been causing a coroner a few awkward moments. If things hadn't gone my way. At least I've seen it into another week. Might get something done for a change. Maybe even head West when the weather picks up.

Mights and maybes.

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