I choose reality; for Claire was only ever to be my bad-ass sad-ass fantasy …

Had a good time in Dublin.  The best of all I guess.  The other times were fantasy; this was real.  Fantasy is nice; very nice in truth.  But reality is better. 

And the last times I came I didn’t have any real friends in my life at all.  And the friends I made here from Bloomsday onwards were – ultimately – unhappy with what I was.  

And living with the idea of loving people who aren’t happy with what you are is what I lived with from the night I was married.

And I almost ending up killing myself in 2003, partly because of this.

And this finding-fault just kills my soul, always.

And so even if Claire had become something so cool, fault in my being and doing she clearly would have found – for fault she found with the me that I am, even over the few months during which we barely  messaged.

It was my idiocy, of course – and so that I unreservedly apologise for.  

Let me explain how and why.

Yesterday, whilst walking back to my AirBnB, I got a fair old drubbing by a very Dublin cloudburst. 
But unlike on other occasions, I feel really positive – and actually goddamn proud – about the things I have done, and more importantly not done this last week in Ireland.

And there will be downsides in the future, and they will hurt, and life will sometimes be a bed of thorns, and roses don’t always smell at all; but all in all, I have learnt the value of choice. 

And love, too, is a choice. You don’t have to give in to it in a mad and foolish way.  It can still be gloriously mad and foolish – as impetuous and spontaneous as you need – but you don’t have to go to the edge of abusing the gentlenesses and kindnesses of another.

You can decide whether to follow your emotions, sometimes quite visceral, or you can decide whether to use sensibility and sense. 

And whilst I spent eleven months – on these very pages – following fairly blindly those emotions, I’ve now learnt the real value of understanding that love is not blind, but very very savvy. 

And just ‘cos you love another, you should never take it upon yourself to interpret their silence as a sign to act with presumption.

Silence is never a yes.

It is always a no.

The only yes that matters is the yes that continues its march gladly, joyfully and absolutely – utterly – explicitly.

And that is always how it should be seen.

And so I was wrong all this time.

And so that is what I apologise unreservedly for.

And those apologies are for Claire.  For Claire, my wonderful second cousin.

So now I have a real future, and the future is driven by academia. And I have real friends too, from that space and rhyme, and from those signs and sounds, who listen and respond and allow me to help them; are everything I ask in a friend and everything I want to be in a friend. 

So that’s why this time in Dublin was the best time of all. 

In a lovely way, I’ve proved myself to myself; and to others as well.  And that – that is the best feeling of all.

I will be back soon, you can count on it.  And one day, even, maybe for good. 


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