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From a needle to an anchor

From notebooks

Snippets from physical scribblings....

From a notebook, April 2006; Wexford and Kilkenny, Ireland —

"He'd talk the hind legs off a donkey." — An Irish expression


He looked as if he'd had a late night breathing paint fumes or something dirty -- and wild staring oddly-colored eyes. [at the only hostel in Wexford town.]


I began to panic -- not because being stuck in Wexford from Kilkenny is so traumatic (I can hitch) -- but because I have developed a tendency for panic attacks, and this was a distinct trigger. I was in a spot of bother, and by my own doing. I'd left a 50-euro note back at the house. I'd bought a card for the camera when I could not afford it. And, I knew in my heart that I wasn't going to go without a bit of drink that evening.

Toil and trouble


I went back to Argos, because I had to -- had to try. The compulsion to make the right move dictated it. That's a prerogative of the panic mechanism. If it says try, you have to try. She told me that they weren't able to refund a memory card because the factory wouldn't take it back. [once the package is opened.]

Unfortunately, there was nothing she could do -- and I knew that that was true. There was nothing I could do.


Stocktaking at dusk.

I have 9 euro twenty cent in coin.

I have an apple and a banana.

I have a bottle 1/3 full of Kenny's-Well water.

I have my telephone, battery dead.

I have my camera. Two memory cards, 16 and 128 MB.

Tobacco, hash, skins. Lighter.

I have one bottle of Guinness, and a half.

I have the Saturday-Sunday edition of the International Herald Tribune, and I have a copy of the Oliver Sacks book "Uncle Tungsten."

I have my notebook and a pen.

The clothes on my back.

The Gatehouse B+B
No page is an isolate.

I dreamt last night that I hurt K_'s boyfriend.

He was lying on a couch, covered over the head by blankets. It was morning, K_ and I sitting together on another couch. The fella said something and sounded real bad. I asked K_ what happened to him, though I'd had my suspicions. K_ tole me you beat him up. I asked her when that happened; she said last night. I told her I didn't remember -- she'd figured that would be the case. She told me "I haven't slept since then. Do you want to come to bed with me?" I said aw, K_.


Then he pulled up beside me, got my attention. He said "You're stuck for bus fare, is that it?" Yeah. He said go back to the shop there, I've told them to give you five euro. That will get you to Eniscorthy.


Regardless of its outcome -- which, so far [as of Spring 2006] has been disastrous -- the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a war crime.

ah. Slow down. Relax. Have some breakfast. Do some writing. Do, be, do, be, do.


There are only two reasons that an insurance company would decline to pay for a necessary operation on a progressive health condition. Both [Together, they {these}] triangulate and pinpoint the brutality of a capitalist health-care system.


Looked like he'd been twisted between two oncoming trains.

I texted K_, said that I'd turned my phone off because I was preparing for an important meeting in the morning and needed to concentrate on that.

About a week 1/2 ago, I'd gone to Dunne's with Bryan. Sinead was there. I talked with her. I told her that I had been shortlisted [in] the Big Ideas Competition. She knew what it was, having gotten the same post from the Enterprise Board.

When I turned my phone back on today at about noon, I got this text from K_:
Good luck, i heard some good news from Sinead about y business plan.i am to y soon then.liefs K_

This is a moment to savor. Do nothing.

Sent text to K_

Bobby Sands, TD

Synod. Perspex.
Delapidated lapidary


Stop the predatory. That is not in accordance with the balance of your psyche. Stop it completely. Finesse conjure.


9 May [2006] Tuesday Crotty's Coffeeshop. The coffee is dire; the service begrudging.
Outdoors in the sunlight.

... That the capitalist health-care system is grossly inefficient.

incubates cruelty.

This point is wasted to a conservative crowd whose primary [...] uh. yeah.

But inefficient?

In a recent study ... England spends 40 percent of [what] the U.S. [spends.] Americans are much less healthy.

The reasons unclear not addressed by the study. Hypothesized reasons are several, and likely all somewhat applicable.

[A] likely primary reason -- well, the one that I favor, and the one that sharps out in stand relief and primary colors -- is the {very} capitalist nature of the health-care system. This basis of a national system of health care upon the private business insurance adjusters ... engenders cruelty. Cruelty and inefficiency.

... [P]rone to cruelty -- how much would you pay to be well? The demand is unlimited the price can be set by the supplier.

But, clearly, the system is also inefficient.

Inefficiency is a damnation of conservatism on its own terms.


"everything from a needle to an anchor."
— [An aul Irish lad, describing a small shop out somewhere in west Clare.]


The capitalist basis of a health-care system, arbitrated by the concerns of business, is neither practical nor humane....

A page derived from this notebook entry.

My father has recently discovered that he has cataracts.

Diagnosed, he has discovered that his insurance policy will not yet pay for the corrective surgery, because his condition is not yet serious.

The cataract is a clouding of the cornea that derives from genetic and aging influences. [There are other factors; diabetes, etc.]

It is a progressive disability, advancing from a sort of "dirty-glasses" fuzz and other associated subtle visual effects. Its ultimate natural progression is total effective loss of vision.

The corrective surgery for cataracts is relatively simple.


T+H Doolan, Waterford. [The] Guinness is okay, not great.

My goodness is not the cause of my loneliness and celibacy. I need to draw the issue clear.

Wait. When she smiles, talk with her.
Believe in yourself, Steve


(15 May 2006)
I saw D_ down at Dunne's Stores.

Sweet woman. Deeply beautiful


I ate a half pill before noon; another about 2:30. It's about 3:00 now. I've had a couple of beers, or three. Near end of third.

I need to find satisfaction. Easy breathing. Business. Writing. Sex, love.

Contemplativeness. A peace within my own thoughts. A self-contained peace.

Women, the temptation, the tease. The missing accountability.

Anger, fear. Love. Need.


I don't want company right now.
I want to be alone.

I need my natural space and a bit of time.