This is the completely true story of what happened to me one seemingly uneventful day last October. Something crazy, magnificent, glorious and ever so slightly frightening. Intrigued? Read on...
Looking back, it was a remarkable set of random occurrences that led to that fateful moment. A snapshot in time of pure joy, when the cares of the world dissolved into nothingness and all that was important was some improvisation and a shared passion. A moment, not only of happiness, but also of a mystery that will most likely never be solved. But I guess that isn’t the point. It never was and never will be meant to be solved. It was a time when explanation had no bearing, when logic had no factor. It was simply the time and the place, and all the little things that added up to it.
It started on that day as, unfortunately, most things seem to start in this life of ours: a wild dash to get to the next place, and make the journey as fast and as painless as possible. In this case, the rush had been spawned by bad weather and worse timing. Though, retrospectively, I suppose the weather wasn’t that bad, just a fairly sharp breeze. And the timing, as it would soon transpire, wasn’t terrible at all. In fact, it was perfect. Because, as you’ll soon see, had I been just a minute earlier, you would not even be reading this story, and I would have missed out on one of the most wondrously strange events of my life.
I ran through the estate and down the alley, the violin case banging against my back, the people in the houses around me no doubt suspicious of the young fella in the hoodie legging it down an alley with some potentially valuable musical equipment. I darted down that alley, cursing myself for waiting as long as I did, cursing my friend’s WiFi for being so slow, cursing Adele for having ever written the theme song to Skyfall. And as I burst out onto the path on the main road, I cursed my younger self for having the audacity to think he could read in the dark thanks to a healthy supply of raw carrots, resulting in my present self’s terrible eyesight, and my inability to see down the road and work out whether or not I had missed my bus.
With no bus in my (albeit limited) sight, I strolled across the road, blessing the infrequency of Saturday traffic, and rested at the bus-stop, located outside a carvery named rather oddly as ‘The Morgue.’ “Wouldn’t want to know what kind of meat they serve there,” I thought, and smiled to myself. Riding however high that slight witticism may have brought me, I was sure I hadn’t missed my bus, and figured I’d only be waiting another minute or so. My surety was quickly broken down by the slouching minutes and the frosty breeze that had no business existing this early in October. My patience was soon worn thin, and I relented, deciding to (Oh Horror!) spend 65 cent to access mobile internet and work out when the next bus was due. My bus, the 49, wouldn’t arrive for another twenty minutes. However, something on the decidedly unreliable Dublin Bus website caught my eye. A 15 was due in just five minutes. A few taps and a moment grumbling about the slowness of Meteor’s mobile internet later, I discovered this bus would take me relatively close to home, but at the price of fifteen minute walk.
I was torn, I admit, and still undecided by the time the 15 pulled up. What was it to be: cold and laziness, or warmth and exercise? Normally, I would have gone for the latter, and hopped on the bus, glad for whatever brief respite from the cold the bus would bring. Normally, I would have reasoned with myself, that by walking that distance I would keep myself warm, flimsy hoody or not. But as I have said before, this was not a normal day, and whether it was fate, luck, or my legs’ adamant reluctance to move, it doesn’t matter. The fact is, I did not get on that bus, and was left freezing for another quarter-hour, pondering the terrifyingly ambiguous origin of the carvery’s name. I wrapped my arms around myself, wishing I had taken the offer of a lift, or went to the gym more often so I could have caught the first bus, or that I owned a car. I wished a thousand different scenarios upon myself, not realising that by the time I got home, I wouldn’t trade my current life for any other.