I was on Fairfield Road last night, visiting a friend of mine who still lives there, the street I grew up on.
You probably know it. Drive from Phibsborough towards Glasnevin, head down Botanic Road and it's down there on your right with a Bank Of Ireland as a landmark. You've probably passed it.
I haven't been down there much lately, maybe twice or three times in the five years since I left the area. Feels like longer. It was quiet last night and I was slightly annoyed I didn't get to meet any of the old neighbours.
"What are you doing with yourself?"
"Well, I'm still in Seta... actually, no, I'm not. I have to stop telling people that. I'm dolerising. You?"
Nobody was about though.
I wanted to kick a ball into the Leahy's garden, knock on the window and run away. I wanted to do a knick-knack on Leo's house next door. I wanted to give my one fingered salute to Donal Gunn across the road. I wanted to run and trip and bleed, just very slightly. I wanted to knock into Kev's to see if he was playing heads and volleys or last man back. I wanted to see my grandmother walking down the street from her sitting room window, looking stately and careful in her beige coat.
I rang Austin's bell, many things the same as when his family lived there. The back garden with toys for his brothers' children, where we used to convene and kick each other accidentally.
He told me about the neighbours, who has been scandalised by this and that, who has died or moved out and the people that have taken their place. I went outside to the front for another look. The trees that were never there before and nobody stirring, still.
I left close to 1am, drunk, walking up to the bank on the right-hand side and in a certain split second I was seven, I was 12, I was 22, I was home.