For Whom The Bells Jingle…

AbandonHope.jpgFriday, December 19th: At length, I took shelter from the howling wind and relentless rain under a dark canopy on Leeson Street.  It was a particularly dismal spot on this torrid night; a place where nocturnal revellers would smoke cigarettes, gossip and guffaw, and grimace at the cowering vagrants who nestled amongst the wheelie bins, those whose putrid emanations warned: ‘Abandon soap, all ye who enter here’. Yet, there was not a soul here now.  The wind was such that, even under this awning, the swirling rain continued to assault my sodden coat.  In desperation, I searched for an opening, some nook or niche into which I could escape the oppressive storm, but I found none.  Instead, I discovered a bolted door, whose thickness and solidity did not betray or yield to the feeble battering of my half-frozen hands.  It was only then that I saw the notice: DEATH RESTS WITHIN. I turned around, my back slammed hard into the door and I slid despairingly to the damp paving slabs, on to a soggy cushion of discarded cigarette butts.  I had seen that sign before.  Was it in some hideously prophetic dream? Alas, yes; a nightmare so hideous that I woke from it in a terrible, freezing sweat. Only one week into the festive season, during which I had lit up my home with a thousand colourful lights and heated each room to ward off the hideous frost outside, I dreamt that I found, on the floor of my hallway, directly under my letterbox, a large envelope, thickly stuffed with many sheets of paper; upon this envelope, just above my address, were printed those three awful words, in the same, ghastly bold font.  But that wasn’t all; there, on the top right-hand corner, as on this sign (I shudder to recall it), were the identical letters: ESB Networks.  I threw envelope to the floor, reeling back in horror, before slamming into, then sliding down, my living room door.  It was at this point that I awoke.  And, as I sat there on the cold, wet ground of Leeson Street, I realised with an icy shiver that I had experienced, in dream-form, and in the most horrible manner imaginable, a Scrooge-like premonition of the dark, recession-filled future design of Irish electricity bills.

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