The Itch

      You have been waiting all day long for it. Just itching to get home, get some time to yourself. All alone, just you, in your bedroom. Could have done it at work, I suppose, popped into the bathroom for a bit. Not really the same though. It’s best in the comfort of your own home. Familiar surroundings, no distractions. You want to enjoy this one. You will.

Personally, I like to do it slow. I want to feel it, you know? Really focus. Get into the rhythm. Let the sensation gradually wash over me, inching towards the finish, until the climactic release. The jolt. The little death. Maybe you would prefer something a bit more sudden? A sharp moment of intensity. A flash of feeling. An instant that really shakes you. We’ve all got our ideal approach.

So, slink away from the raucous world that exists outside your front door. Skulk up the stairs and into your safe, silent corner of the house. Set aside all the time you need. Shut the door softly behind you. Leave your troubles, fears and concerns outside those four walls. Unbuckle your belt. Let your trousers slide down to your ankles. Oh yeah, baby. It’s finally time. Time to peel that fucking plaster off your leg.

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A Night on the Town

You are stuck at home. Maybe for the summer, perhaps on a more permanent basis, could be just a fleeting visit? One thing’s for sure, it’s Saturday night, you come from the dullest county in Ireland and you want to get absolutely rat-arsed drunk.

The night begins in your humble abode. Make sure you look a little more upmarket than you do during the day. No need to get too fancy, the reek of fags coupled with the alcohol-induced haze will do more than enough to mask any imperfections. If you’re anything like me, getting all dressed up for a night out stretches about as far as putting a shirt on over whatever the fuck I was already wearing. Don’t tell Gok Wan though.

But hang on, before you waste your time dolling yourself up, we have the bulk of the early evening preparation. Sending out the text, making a few calls, using Facebook as a means of conversation and not just a tool for creeping. You can’t go out on your own, it’s a fucking war-zone out there. You need accompaniment, for a variety of reasons. How many of your trusted stooges are you going to embarrass yourself in front of tonight?

Depending on the occasion and the collective desire to drink, you will need somewhere between one close friend and every acquaintance in your phone-book to join you out on the lash. You certainly can’t do it alone. Pre-drinking on your own will stir up concerns about a developing dependency on alcohol, standing in the corner of a nightclub by yourself will lead to a worrying observation of society at its most primal.

Now that you’ve rounded up a few of the usual suspects, you’re going to need a stage for tonight’s performance to unfold upon. Back in the glory days you would’ve taken a dirty bottle of cider down to some field, park or dodgy alleyway, roaming free, at one with nature. This just isn’t an option these days. You haven’t really matured, nor have your friends, but most of you are the wrong side of twenty and it’s time to pretend you’re a proper adult. Don’t worry though, you’ll still be doing the same stupid shit, you’ll just be indoors and most of it will be somewhat legal. You find a house to drink in, as always. The parents are away for the weekend, thus relieving you of any uncomfortable small talk and enabling your band of merry men to be as loud and obnoxious as they please.

So it’s time to rock and/or roll and begin the journey to the session. There’ll be a detour along the way though, you’re not turning up empty-handed, to scab drink, you stingy bastard. So it’s into Tesco first. Cheap enough, decent selection, en route. Stroll over to the drink section. Eyeing up a nice bottle of Jameson. You’re feeling pretty cultured. Serve it up on the rocks, sit back and channel your inner Don Draper. Slick. You’re not fucking kidding anyone though, so it’s a few cans of Bavaria and out the door.

Saunter on up to the gaff, crack open the first can and the night has truly begun. You regret opting for the Bav almost immediately. The can even fizzes up and spills on your jeans. It’s like you’ve pissed yourself, without the relief of actually taking a piss. German efficiency, my bollocks. You promise yourself a higher standard of alcoholic beverage next time. Later in the night you will retract this promise, having convinced yourself that Bavaria is, in fact, the nectar of the Gods. Despite your beverage mishap, drinking at the house is the high-point of the night. You are surrounded by people you can at least tolerate, the noise levels are low enough to allow you the luxury of actual conversation and you are at an optimal level of intoxication. As a result, time disappears and suddenly you are seated beside a taxi-driver, on your way into town.

“Yes, I would love to hear more about your views on the economy. Please tell me how you could make this country prosper once again.” You will certainly not be uttering these words to the aforementioned taxi-man, but you will humour him for the duration of the journey, while your friends, now looking worse for wear, roll around the back of the taxi, chain-smoking and casting safety regulations to the wayside. After an eternity of taxi-driver wisdom, you arrive at the nightclub, do a piss-poor job of paying the man and mutter an awkward apology for the behaviour of your cohorts.

A shaky climb up the steps, some passive-aggressive dialogue with the bouncers and a resentful payment of ten euro later, you’re in. Drowned out by the nondescript chart music and pulled apart by the oblivious revellers, your platoon disperses. Time for a piss. The floor in the bathroom is so waterlogged that Christ himself wouldn’t chance crossing it. However, you perform a miracle of your own and make it in and out unscathed, albeit with the elegance of Bambi, after a feed of pints, on ice.

Now to the bar. Your liver braces for impact. It wasn’t this crowded before your bathroom escapade. Now it’s fucking rammed. Curse your inadequately sized bladder. You endure the crowd, the elbows and the pushing before you make it to the front. Resting your arms upon the sticky counter, you bellow your order into the ear of the poor, harassed barman. Triple Jameson. Not quite the bottle you had hoped for earlier in the evening, but it’ll certainly do the job. The job being the dulling of senses and facilitating the utter shite-talk that will be offered in place of real conversation.

Between gulping down your first drink and being kicked out the door at half past two in the morning, the possibilities are endless. Well, relative to your location, there won’t be any scientific discovery or deep philosophical discussion, despite what you might think in the moment. Time melts away, decency is pissed up the wall and motor skills are in dire need of a service come the end of the night. No two nights of drinking are exactly the same, but they’re all siblings in the end. Dip your hand into the lucky bag that is a nightclub in Ireland and you will encounter a very loose definition of “luck” indeed, for the night will involve, but is not limited to, some combination of the following:

Starting a fight with someone so much bigger than you that it will make David against Goliath look like a fair contest. Spilling your drink all over some poor sod and blindly denying any wrongdoing. Buying shots for everyone in the vicinity. Falling over, repeatedly. Getting the shift. Not getting the shift. Declaring yourself best friends with someone you’ve just met and struggling to recognise them later in the night. Buying a drink, only to step away from the bar and immediately have it knocked from your hands. Getting kicked out shortly after paying in. Dancing like nobody’s watching, though really everybody is watching and they have cameras too. Breaking things. Throwing up. Spending more money than you brought out. Belting out the chorus to the kind of songs that Katy Perry would deem too poppy. Making life even harder for the bar staff by ordering cocktails that didn’t exist prior to you opening your mouth. Giving away all your cigarettes and then spending half the night asking other people for one. Losing your lighter and ending up with three new ones and half a box of matches. Berating the cloakroom staff for not giving back your jacket quickly enough. Realising that you didn’t even bring a jacket. Being asked to leave half a dozen times at the end of the night and still trying to order one last drink.

When you have finally been forced out the door, moonwalked your way into the middle of town and spent half an hour trying, and failing, to suss out a house party, your troop from the beginning of the night will reappear at the fast food establishment of choice, speaking in not-so-hushed tones about the horrors they’ve seen. A quick wallet inspection confirms your worst fears and it’s time to draw the curtain on the final act. Trudge home, struggle to fit your key in the door, wake up the entire house, pass out.