Friday 24 January 2020

My week: Bono


Eilis O'Hanlon

Monday: "Taxi for Paul Hewson!" The driver stares at me expectantly, but I don't know who this guy is that he's calling for.

Years ago, I knew someone by that name, but he no longer exists. The caterpillar of his consciousness opened up and became a butterfly. Wow, you should've seen it. He flew away, skyward, cloud bound, you see things more clearly up here. Sometimes you rise too close to the sun, like Icarus, and your wings melt, you fall, but that's the thrill. The only ones who never crash are those who never take flight.

"Look, mate, do you want this ruddy cab or not?"

I have a plane to catch. I don't have time to explain. "I'll take a ride in memory of Paul Hewson," I declare.


At the airport, he carries my bags into the terminal and stands waiting for a tip.

"Here's my tip, brother. Never stop dreaming. Never stop trying to be the change that you want to see in the world. Be the twinkle in your own eye. The comet in your own constellation."

I then head to the desk as he stares after me in disbelief. I've blown his mind. I see it in his eyes. No need to thank me. My words are glittering gifts to humanity. You don't even have to buy one to get another one free.

At the check-in desk, the woman extends a hand: "Here's your boarding pass, sir." I tell her there's no need to use my title just because I got an honorary knighthood from my friend Tony Blair that time. She sighs and says that's not what she meant.

I tell her I don't need a ticket anyway, I'm going to walk to America instead.

Of course I'm joking. I only walk on water for shorter trips, like when crossing Dublin Bay to the northside to remind myself how far I've come. If I did try walking to the US, I'd only get stuck mid-Atlantic.

Like my accent.

Tuesday: The papers say I'm addressing the Senate sub-committee on foreign affairs today. I like to think of it more as them having gathered to hear me speak.

I'm not nervous. I've wooed bigger audiences. There were 150,000 at a concert once in Italy. I'm bigger than Mussolini there. Though only if I wear heels.

I hold forth on the importance of aid in countering extremism in the Middle East. Money works. It certainly works for me. I'm loaded and you don't see me terrorising innocent people. Unless you count the time we dumped a free U2 album without asking into every iTunes library on the planet. I still don't get why everyone was so upset about it.

Like the master orator that I am, I get most attention for a suggestion that we fight Islamic State with an army of stand-up comics because comedy takes away the power of extremists. Everyone knows Hitler was really defeated by satirical improv, not the Red Army.

I say all this with my trademark wry, ironic smile, as if to suggest that I, too, recognise the absurdity of uncool little old me from Finglas preaching to the powerful. I'm totally earnest, but I want you to think I might be joking so that I have a get-out clause when no one takes me seriously.

Is it because I is starting to look like the little one from the Chuckle Brothers?

Wednesday: I take the floor at a Facebook Q&A session to mansplain to the women there about how great they are. I love women, which proves they must be doing something right.

What I like best about them, I say, is this incredible connection they have with each other. I think they got the idea from the bond shared by The Edge, Larry, Adam and me. We'll always be together. Sorry, but our accountants insist.

"How can we overcome inequality?" women want to know. I realise that I've already used up my comedy suggestion on the jihadists, so, thinking fast, I suggest interpretative dance instead.

"Are you sure it'll work?" they ask sceptically. In my own head, it already has.

Life is a box set. You gotta live it one episode at a time, no spoilers, though you can probably skip the flashback episodes, as they're generally filler. Like most of the tracks on our last few albums.

Thursday: The Dail meets again to elect a new Taoiseach. They reject Enda Kenny. They reject Micheal Martin. Ireland may be too small to contain my ambitions these days, but I'm still disappointed no one thinks of me as the obvious candidate to heal our broken society.

I have everything it takes. I'm a Taurus. I'm as strong as a bull, loyal as a bull, I talk bull, I'm the walking personification of bull.

I've already drawn up plans to start lifting the spirits of patients on trolleys with a programme of experimental community theatre. It'll be cool, trust me.

People assume I'm the one in U2 with the far-out notions, but they forget it was The Edge who said, when we played a concert after the terrorist attacks in Paris last November, that we were "starting the process of resistance, of defiance against this movement".

I love the beautiful way his mind works. It's not right that we're mocked for putting our ideas out there, even if I did say the other day that laughter was the world's best hope.

Friday: I wake, buzzing. Ideas ping in my brain like frozen peas in a colander. Each day is like an iPod. You just press shuffle and hope for the best. Some days you get Dylan or Bowie. Other times, one of Adam and Larry's solo projects. That's what the skip button is for. I put on my shades and rise to face another day with my two best pals, rock 'n' roll, at my side. It's all good, man.

*As imagined by Eilis O'Hanlon

Sunday Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Don't Miss

Editor's Choice