I went there looking for somewhere to live, the third house on my list, I hadn't been looking long.
The first was a stinking studio on the South Circular Road and I wasn't ready to live alone, to live in a kennel on a couch that folded out into a table that somehow called itself a bed. I declined.
The second home was a revert to student life. Accountants, I recall, and a nifty little shack where the rugby ball had its own place to sit. They weren't prone to making an offer and it was for the best, they had the whiff of clique and I was never going to break it.
That took me to Harold's Cross, to Mount Argus. An old man met me at the door, I was to share it with his son and a girl from New Zealand. Well appointed, leather couches, a clean kitchen, decent sized bedroom, all mod nonsense, decent rent. Not just that, but a park and a stream and trees and... sold.
There was no great drama to that place at first, living there was a slow regret despite a first night conflict over milk, or 'mulk' as she said it in her accent.
She wasn't the kind of girl to leave for work at an appointed minute every morning, to measure out her Corn Flakes by degrees, to sit in watching the E! channel every night for a week, and another week, and then to bitch endlessly about the noise from my own television overhead. No, she wasn't that kind of girl at all. She was that girl.
He, though, he was the nastiest dredge of muck you could ever wish to meet, a class of man who brought malevolence with him like a second skin, a coat unremovable.
When he wasn't sulking he was moaning, when he wasn't moaning he was talking about her, about how he was going to kick her out and report her to immigration. An ugly racist with a Dublin 4 affectation and a sports utility vehicle. Menacing and monied.
They never spoke, never shared the same room, never crossed paths but it was still the most uncomfortable living space in time so I spent most of mine in my room listening to music, watching DVDs, staring out the window, writing words that had nowhere to go.
Fourtet frames my time there. I bought 'Rounds' on a rainy evening in January because I liked the cover. I didn't know who Kieran Hebden was but there was something about the typeface that grabbed me. I put it on as soon as I left the shop, found a coffee shop and pressed play on my discman.
I've never been able to listen to 'Hands' without being back there, in that café on Wicklow Street with the whole world turning sepia. A strange colour for vital music, but that's what it was, that's what it became, and that was the moment I decided to move out and away from two people whose paths I've never crossed again to this day.
Fourtet did well by me then, does well by me now.