“You could do with a day’s work, I’d say” said the Captain of the ship, taunting me and I had that sinking feeling. I picked myself up and dusted myself down. Captain, I said, “listen to our plight”. His small dead rodent eyes stared back at me. In an instant his anger turned to discomfort as he reassured me that he felt my pain. He pointed to the choppy sea, said if the storm got any worse we’d be all be sailing together out of the rocky harbour waters, back into the open sea and on to safety.
The Captain readjusted his cap and moved on to reassure the rest of the Islanders that the mainlanders’ thoughts were with them all and wasn’t it a nice day on this fine Island. He told the Islanders the evacuation had been called off and they could stay where they were, as he’d been reassured by the met-service that the worst of the hurricane was going to hit further south. The Captain glanced back at me for just a moment and his smarmy countenance left me in no doubt that his ship was not meant for the likes of me.
Slowly the Captain slipped out of view and then it was like he had never been there at all. I knew then the Captain would never return and that we’d have to face the coming storm on our own. I turned away from the babbling Islanders and their happy chatter, went to the pub with my own crew to plan the next course of action. I went to the bathroom, splashed cold water on my face. I looked at myself in the mirror and decided to carry on, for I too was a Captain of sorts. On Golden Island, my fifteen minutes of pain had failed to kill precious hope. The placebo effect would be short lived.
Shaadi – 25/11/2012
[Inspired by a confrontation between Enda Kenny and an unemployed protester in an Athlone shopping centre]