No place smells of nothing quite like the waiting room of a GP's surgery.
The sound is of doors buzzing open, polite phone calls, credit card machines, Ryan Tubridy and coughing but the smell is of nothing but clean, with a whisper of lemon and something disinfected.
There's never anything good to read, not in this Suffolk Street version anyway. You have VIP Magazine and the latest Closer, OK! and Hello! and all sorts of vacuous raggage but they make no allowance for the fact that men need tending too. One's kingdom for an Uncut or, heaven forfend, the Times.
I settle on my iPod and some leaflet about smear testing, the details of which are blank to me now. Reading myself away from myself. I put it down, switch off the iPod, open the window and look out at Grafton Street while I wait for my name to be called.
The Viking Splash Tour passes below with a whoop and holler and I look around the room again, a young girl reading my discarded leaflet with a questioning expression on her face. She sees me seeing her and puts it down, while I overhear the locum ask the receptionist something about chlamydia.
I shift in my seat, search my bag for some reading material and find only a receipt for fish fingers, waffles and milk. I think about leaving because this is just a scheduled check-up, last week's sickness long since bettered, but I stick it out and put myself in the shoes of the girl with the leaflet.
'Pregnant?' I wonder, because everybody else seems to be. Green wee, perhaps, or something exotic and horrible caught on holiday in Greece with the girls. I settle on 'women's problems' and my mind, by way of reflex, reverts immediately to the football and the fact that I'll miss the kick off if I'm not called, sharpish.