When anyone asks how long I’ve lived in Dublin, I automatically respond, “six years”. I forget it’s actually ten.
I’ve lived mostly on the Northside of Dublin except in third year of college, when I lived in Crumlin, which let’s face it, may as well be the Northside.
A couple of weeks ago, Johanne collected me from the City Centre to drive me to her place for a chilled out evening. En route to her apartment in Clontarf we passed through Fairview. Fairview might not be the most pleasant place in Dublin, but I retain a fondness for it, having lived there for two years during my college years. I liked Fairview for the fact I could walk into town in twenty minutes. The rent was relatively cheaper than City Centre. As a student it suited me.
Despite the fact Best-Friend and I routinely swore/swear not to live together, we have shared (and continue to share) flats and apartments. Fairview was one such location for our shared home. Our first place in Fairview was miniscule; there wasn’t room to swing a kitten. Despite this, I have great memories of Best-Friend and I sitting up until the wee hours, chatting and watching music channels. We were happy in our hovel. During my car journey with Johanne, as her car took a de tour down memory lane, I experienced a flashback that reminded me of the splendorous flat in Fairview.
The story centres on a bar of chocolate. For some reason any time Best-Friend and I live together there is always an abundance of chocolate. Best-Friend tended to buy large bars of Lindt when he returned from his travels. It was a good relationship we had; he bought chocolate and I ate it.
One evening we happened to meet one another at the door to the flat. I returned from my evening shift at the cinema. He had just finished college. I went straight to my room to throw my coat and excess clothing on the floor in my usual haphazard manner. I entered the living room to find an irked Best-Friend.
“Why did you eat the chocolate? I was going to give that to Johanne.”
His sharpness caught me off guard. “I didn’t eat the chocolate.” Or did I? I thought. With two steps I was half way across the tiny living room, next to the table where he stood.
“Look at the corners of the chocolate,” he said, pointing to the large bar of Lindt.
The chocolate bar sat in the centre of the table, presented in a fashion that made it ready for the filming of an advertisement. However, the scene was not picture perfect. The foil at two corners of the bar was torn. Small chunks were removed. Crumbs were scattered around the crime scene.
I examined the scene. “So …,” I said, “you think if I were to eat your chocolate, I would chew on the corners of your bar and hope you didn’t notice?”
Best-Friend did not respond. He knew I was going somewhere.
“And if I were to chew on the corners of your bar, do you think I would leave small shits on the table too?”
“Shit? What are you talking about? There’s no shit! ” He was most dismissive of me.
“Look!” I pointed to the small black dots that happened not to be chocolate. “That is mouse shit. We have a mouse. That is unless you think I went to an elaborate plan to dupe you out of the corners of your chocolate and sprinkled mouse shit on the table.”
“Oh right. Sorry.”