I had started a very po-faced piece about acts of God and a book I read as a child called 'The Greatest Disasters Of The Twentieth Century,' but I deleted it because I knew from the start it was going to need all sorts of silly things like structure, narrative and memory.
I'll start again.
I've always loved a good disaster.
This probably dates back to Hillsborough and my initial reaction to that, when I had more fascination with the breaking news flashes and the sheer enormity of the event that was unfolding than I had empathy with the families of the deceased.
I don't feel bad about this as it's hard to find a ten-year-old kid who can grasp tragedy on such a large scale, they just react to what they're being fed by serious-faced-newscasters and screaming eyewitnesses.
Ever since that day I've had a fascination with these things and not from a 'let's get everyone together and throw a fundraiser' perspective, it's much more of an enthralled yet uneasy spectatorial thing.
I would worry about myself if the thought of something horrific happening to my family, friends, fake Facebook friends, colleagues and fellow bloggementarians didn't turn my stomach in on itself and make me all vomity. It does.
It's the abstract that has, up to this point, taken my empathy away and perhaps it's also the inner tabloid journalist that got killed somewhere between leaving college and finding myself writing an Electronic Programme Guide for Sky circa 2007.
September 11th, the South East Asia tsunami, the death of Gerry Ryan, Hurricane Katrina, the election of George W. Bush, twice, Ireland's recent Eurovision capitulation, the 2010 World Cup, Mary Coughlan, Eijofylfoofoofighters (the volcano), Bono, Saipan, the HSE and the death of Katy French.
Tragedies all, you'll agree, but I stayed stone-hearted throughout the breaking blips and soundbites, the investigations and recriminations. I never once picked up the phone to tell Joe how awful I thought something was and I never gave to charity because I know how charities roll.
Well, it seems I could be cured because tonight, watching the Air India film on RTE One and being familiar with the memorial from various trips to Ahakista in West Cork, I cried stupid salty man tears with ne'er a woman in the room to show my sensitivity off to.
I'm either growing or dying. I'm off to bed to have a word with myself.