Tuesday 23 October 2018

A chink of light and Scut goes to Canada

Scut Kelly lives in a town somewhere in the midlands. For over 30 years he drank. The kind of drinking that has nothing to do with craic. But Scut has been sober for six months. Read on as Eugene O'Brien gives the latest instalment of Scut's life

Illustration by Tom Halliday
Illustration by Tom Halliday

Eugene O'Brien

I'm walking to the gate and me heart is pounding. Flight AC 149 to Toronto is boarding in 10 minutes.

I haven't boarded a plane in 30 years. Not since I went on a Ryanair to Luton in the 1980s. Went over to work on the sites but didn't last long. I was a withdrawn, nervous kind of a young lad and was home inside a month. Probably the worst thing that I ever did. Going back home to me folks, roaring and shouting and throwing Trocaire boxes at each other. The coppers exploding against the wall. They would both be described as dysfunctional alcoholics in today's language. Back then we just called them stone f**kin' mad! Now I don't want to start ye off with sadness and loneliness although there was a lot of that, and ye know, full on… batin' like. Let's not pretend otherwise. Hiding under tables as a child not darin' to breathe until they'd both passed out like and then you could creep up to bed as quiet as a mouse. As a little Scut.

Anyways the brief time in London is where I first discovered serious drink. As in drinking every evening late into the night. Getting up and looking forward to the cure that evening again. A cycle. A loop. And the hangovers are grand when you're that age. And the shyness went and the ability to talk shite to strangers was like a new super power. Like superman could fly around the world and Batman could fight crime and I could talk utter nonsense for Ireland until I passed out. I ended up doing that for 30 years at home in me own little house. Parents died and I went on existing. In the dark. In a blur. A kind of twilight world of self medication and depression and sickness and… Ah look I'm sorry. I really don't want to be brownin' ye all with a story that would depress the head off anyone who has the misfortune to read it. It's a Sunday morning. You're having your breakfast maybe or relaxing after Mass and there's enough shite in the world without some drunk lad talkin' a load of me hole rigmarole short hand.

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