Never fails. Never fails, never. Mark your page, squash the butt into the ashtray, kill the light, offer up a little few words to whoever is up there, bit of thanks or whatever, tuck yourself into the blankets just how you likes to fit there, feet warming up, day done and gone—and you’re needing to piss again. And of course you dont want to get up, no, last thing you’re wanting. So you pretend it’s not a real piss you’re needing to have, but one that’ll go away if you manages to get to sleep first. So you do that thing, flex the stomach muscles, draw the balls in a bit, see if you cant shift the pressure, hold it off. Cause you knows, you knows it’s not a real piss in there, not a real one but some niggling little dribble. But then maybe it is the real thing. Maybe it’s racehorse quality, never can tell. And they says you’re to be drinking all this water these days. To stay hydrated, help work things through, keep everything flowing as it should. A litre a day per fifty pounds of body weight, so they says. Feel like you’re bloody well drowning by the end of the day, like your teeth are letting go from the gums. And up all night pissing. Up all night. Cause if you gets up that first time you might as well stay up. Or hook yourself to one of them bags, them what are they called, fancy medical name on it, pissbags, whatever. Either hook yourself up to one of them or dont go to bed at all. Or go on to bed and be up all night pissing.

See here, when she had her house, that big draughty three-storey house over near the Cross, back then, that time we went and done that water cleanse business, that water detox, and our faces broke out and we were away with the epic rackets like we never had before or after, two of us sick with something like a flu only different, pissing all day and all night, fighting over the toilet, me pissing in bottles up by the bed—and telling each other the whole while how great it all was, to be cleansing, detoxing. Fuck that I said, three days into it, I said gimme a big old greasy piece of half-cooked meat from the dirtiest kitchen in town. I dont care what kind of animal, just give it to me. Give it to me. I’m gonna eat it. Let it kill me, if that’s to be my fate. Everything else offers up an early grave these days. Overdose on bananas for shit sakes. Kids going around with them needle kits just in case someone in the next room eats a Crispy Crunch bar! People’s throats caving in if they eats a bit of scallop or shrimp! Now they’re saying plastic bottles are full of cancer too. And they’re getting rid of the oil paint now, fishermen’s paint, cause where the big city crowd, that uppity learned crowd who never held a paint roller in their cushy lives, that crowd are saying that when the oil paint is drying it’s causing all this extra smog. Ban it from the big town then, why should the rest of us have to suffer for where that crowd chooses to call home?

Moths in the room now too, big stocky stupid bastards. End-of-the-summer fools, big ugly ones that up close looks like alien sci-fi beasts. Choppering along the ceiling earlier, the dog in the bed gauging the distance between the mattress and the ceiling, wondering if he could make the jump. I seen him, weighing it all out in his dopey head, whether or not he could jump ten feet in the air to catch a moth and eat it and land right back in his cosy warm spot at the foot of the bed. Foolish little arsehole. I got out the Raid earlier, ‘for mosquitoes and flies,’ it says on the can, but I drenched a couple of moths anyhow, figured just cause it dont say moths on the can it dont mean it wont fuck the fuckers up. And I thought about it too you know, I thought about, I did, laying there with my book, I thought about letting the little shits just be, coexist here in the room with me, that it’s the end of the summer and their time is nearly up anyhow and that there’ll come a night not too many nights down the road when I’ll be wishing it’s warm enough to be worried about moths making a racket. I thought about all that, how at least they dont bite at you or whine at you like them little mosquito vampires screaming in your ear and draining your blood while you’re tryna get to sleep out of it. At least they’re not that bad, the moths. But then I has a glance over at the old sweater, you know, the old grey one she brought me back from Galway there not even six years ago and it’s all full of holes and not from cigarettes either. So you can only assume it was moths got at it. But that always struck me as this kind of American thing, moths eating your clothes. So I didnt know, and didnt think much about it cause I kinda likes going around with holes in my sweater. I tends to like stuff all rickety and battered and looking like it came through Hell with stories to tell, but still doing its thing, still succumbing to its original purpose. And for a sweater it still keeps me warm and it’s light enough to throw on any time of the year so there you go.

Oh yeah, holes in the sweater, someone out there might take offence, or I might not get the proper service, or someone might think I’m not fit to talk to or not fit to ask over for a cup of tea. Fuck em all, I says. I dont want tea with a dipshit like that anyhow. I dont want service from some shitballs who dont like me cause of the holes in my sweater.

So I catches a moth anyhow, it came down by the lamp all stupid and suicidal whapping its ugly face off the bulb, and I catches it full blast with the spray, full blast, I mean there’s foamy greasy chemical dripping off its wings and this mad crazed dance it does next to the alarm clock. But it dont die. It just goes cracked around the room drunk, an even worse bother than it was in the first place, starting from one end of the room and flapping full speed across to the far wall and just body-slamming the wall like if you tossed a nickel at it for God sakes, that loud, falling down into the corner somewhere out of sight and settling for a minute and then rearing up full tilt again for a go at the other wall. And next there’s two more, like they heard there was a party, that there was mosquito juice getting sprayed around and everybody was getting all messed up and wasted. You gotta wonder sometimes, if little creatures thinks like that. Little small things like that with big complex thoughts just like you and me. You look at the dog sometimes, a little scrap like that, and sometimes he’s looking at you and you’re tryna tell him something, tryna get him to do something you wants him to do and he just looks at you like his head is completely empty. Stupid little arse- licker you thinks to yourself, how can you be so fuckin stunned, dog? But then you’ll catch him at something that makes you think otherwise, he’ll be over in the corner chomping at something and you’ll say c’mere, get over here, what’s that you got? And he’ll tramp over and sit there and let you root around in his mouth but nothing’s there and you’ll half apologise to the jeezley dog, for blaming him for something he wasnt at, but then he’ll go on back over to where he was and start chomping away again. Like he dropped it when you called him on it and then went over to show you he had nothing in his mouth, waited til you felt bad about the whole scene, and then went right back to it. You gotta wonder, little creatures like that tryna outsmart you. You gotta wonder about little creatures. Looked right at me today and pissed on the floor he did. Looked right at me. Piss on the floor and then gets to go on being a dog again, wanting to play and wanting some of what you’re eating. Good crack in the mouth he wants. But no, they says you’re not to do that, them days are gone. They says there’s no sense shoving their nose in it or giving em a smack or nothing like that. Ignore the bad behaviour they says, and praise the good. So, let him shit on the floor and dont say nothing about it, just go clean it up, and then praise him to the high heavens when he shits in the yard. And then go clean that up. That’s what they says anyhow. They. Who the hell are they, out there, getting to say which way is which, what we’re not allowed to have no more of, how to be, how to treat your own dog, what to put in your body? All these commandments coming down from the mount all the time. Fuckin smartass crowd on the radio, scribbling in newspapers, talking on the TV, who wouldnt last a day, not an hour out this way, up here, up the road, up on the hill. Wouldnt last five measly minutes with them big insane drunken clunky moths in the same room. And me worse for listening, yes me worse for the listening. A litre per fifty pounds of body weight! Christ. I will piss the bed this very night.