Having the Craic


I was sinking fast so I spun a false universe for myself out of the bits and pieces that were lying around, out of whatever it was that was there in my head, and then as quickly as a flash I made out to myself that it was the real universe and that everything was OK. It was a bit of a rush job alright but I pulled it off the same as I always do (the same as I almost always do, at any rate).


Isn’t this great, I thought to myself. Here I am and everything’s fine, everything’s great. No problems at all – everything’s fine and dandy. Why wouldn’t it be, anyway? Of course everything’s fine. Everything is A1, couldn’t be better. Thinking this was I carried on with my business just as if nothing had happened. No problem at all. Just getting on with stuff the same as always. Having the craic. Sure why wouldn’t you? Hanging out with the lads. Having a bit of a laugh. What could be wrong with that now? Why wouldn’t you? Sure, it’s grand…


And yet even as I relate all this to you I have to admit that things weren’t quite as hunky-dory as I was making them out to be. There’s always a catch to this sort of thing. Don’t you just know it. Always a catch. Always a catch. Isn’t that the thing? The more desperate you are to obtain the desired outcome the bigger the catch is going to be in my experience and when you get desperate enough to spin a false universe together out of whatever bits and pieces happen to be lying around, out of whatever it is you happen to have in your head at the time, in a terrible foolhardy rush, with no regard for what the consequences of your action might be, then if there’s one thing you can be sure of it’s that there is going to be one god-awful catch that comes along with it. A killer catch. A real fucker. Not that you care about that at the time of course. After all, you do whatever you have to do, right. What else are you going to do? We’ve all been there, we all know what the score is…


So at the same time I was carrying on having the craic, having a laugh, joking around with the lads, on another level I was as wary as hell. “Where’s the catch? Where’s the catch? Where’s the catch?” the other part of me was worrying. The secret part that is, the part of me that has to stay hidden, the part of me that I can’t own up to – the part that knows too much… You see I know only too well on this level that there had to be a catch and I was desperate to spot it. At least if I spotted it I’d have some type of a chance to prepare myself. I’d know what was coming and I’d be ready. I could head it off, maybe. Do something about it. There’s nothing worse than being unprepared…


“What was the catch? What was the catch? What was the catch?” the deep down part of me was wondering. Hypervigilant, it scanned the environment continuously. Not only did it scan the environment, it went over the known facts of the situation, over and over again, ceaselessly looking for flaws, looking for anomalies. Something wasn’t right – the only thing was, I didn’t know what it was. I didn’t know where the problem was hidden! You know what that’s like – your mind is racing, racing, racing. Turning things over, turning things over, turning things over. Replaying the scenario, replaying the scenario, replaying the scenario. Trying to get the edge, trying to get ahead in the game – as you do. As you have to do, if you’re to stand a chance…


I never spotted it though. Despite all my hypervigilance. Despite all my safeguards. I never saw it coming. It came out of the blue – it blind-sided me. Caught out, I had no choice but to do whatever I could to save the situation. I got out of that banjaxed false universe before the infection could spread and spun myself a new one out of odds and ends, out of bits and pieces. Somehow – don’t ask me how – I cobbled together a new one for myself and then in flash I made out that I had done no such thing. I made out that the new false universe that I had just made was the old one and that nothing had happened. I made out that the new false universe was actually the same as the old one and that everything was A1 fine, super-duper OK. I did a seamless job on it. I did a right job of it and you couldn’t see the join at all. You couldn’t spot the discontinuity. By jingo you couldn’t. You couldn’t see any difference.


So I carried on the same as I always did, having the craic, having a bit of a laugh and all that kind of stuff. Sitting there with a pint in my hand enjoying the bit of banter with the lads. Things couldn’t be better. The only thing was I couldn’t help knowing that there had to be a catch in it somewhere. There always was. That’s the way it works – you don’t get something for nothing, after all. There’s no such thing as a free lunch…







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