Galway City Tribune - Opinion Piece
I’m a control freak, not an arsonist or alarmist!October 18, 2012 - 8:00am
The ear plugs are in, the double whiskey has been digested and I’m finally dropping off to sleep in the Premier Inn.
BWAHH BWAAAAAHHHH BWAH BWAH BWAAAAAAAAH
Bloody hell! What’s that?
Wrenching out my earplugs and blinding myself by hitting the full row of light switches beside the bed, I leap up and . . . well, stand there.
I don’t know what to do. It sure as hell sounds like a fire alarm. At least, it would do if it was a constant noise, or even a dopplery crescendo siren, but it’s arhythmic.
BWAAAAAAHHHH BWAHH BWA
Whatever it is, it’s happening and I want to stay alive. From my top floor eyrie window I can see the whole hotel, and there’s no sign of smoke, fire or any apparent danger.
A small crowd of people are milling around outside the hotel entrance, smoking fags.
BWAAAAHH BWA BWA BWAAAH
But really, am I going to get back into bed and try and sleep? I’ve got to get outside. How much of a plonker will I look if I’m rescued by firemen in 20 minutes?
Dammit dammit dammit. I so needed a good night’s sleep before my flight from Luton to Knock. I know what I’m like. I can make this journey home feel like an Antarctic expedition if I put my mind to it, so I’d already wrestled with my conflicting instincts.
When I was a youth worker, I heard my boss point out to a 16-years-old that self-knowledge, on its own, is worthless. We’d been trying to make the lads start to think about what they did, become aware of the consequences of their behaviours. But as my boss explained to the confused teenager
“You can understand all your behaviours but that means nothing unless you do something about it.”
‘Cor, that’s good!’ I thought to myself, slightly embarrassed to have only just learned what I evidently needed to know as a spotty yoof.
So now I’ve not only become more aware of my unhelpful and destructive behaviour patterns, but I also try to do something about them. Not all are matters of life and death. Indeed, many just help eradicate pointless self-made stress.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve made this journey, from Edgware up the M1 to Luton; refuel the rental car; return the rental car and take the shuttle to the terminal; check in.
Hardly Shackleton, but invariably I massively overestimate how long it’s all going to take, because there might be a 24 truck pile-up on the M1 or my car might blow up and I’ll have to hitch to the airport and you can see where this is going, can’t you?
For more, read this week's Galway City Tribune.