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Under the spell of sleep my mobile phone awakens me around sunrise. I reach for it and hit snooze, barely reading the screen clearly, my heart sinking to the sound of that annoying bleep. It'll go off, again, in fifteen minutes and then I'll have no option but to ignore the lure of a cozy bed. Mornings are annoying.

I grumble. My first thought is, "I need a cigarette."

Before I even get up and drag myself to the bathroom I'll light one, sitting straight, under the comfort of a warm duvet. Today will be easier, more doable, not as difficult, once I get one into my system. The world won't be such a cruel place. Its weight will be tolerable. 

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Kapow Meggings believe human beings are built for self-expression, they’re here to give risk-takers the conversation starters they were born for.

I watched the fireflies of thoughts orbit her head.

"Don't! People will see your bits," she spat.
"I can pair them with an oversized, baggy top," I shrugged and said sternly.
"My junk will not be on public display," reassuring her.
"It is still a bad idea. I dislike it when lads dress feminine," she fretted.

The backlash was fierce and predictable. This girl is not the type to mull over things. She is plain-spoken and unfiltered, painfully direct and prides herself on it. I appreciate brutal honestly, when it comes from a good place. With her, she's so kind-hearted I know there is never any spite or hate concealed. She continually shows me bluntness can be a strong, admirable asset, if applied correctly.

But I also don't like people telling me what I should be wearing, or doing.

And we are all culprits.


"You're not good enough," they say.
"No one likes you really, people just put up with you." They enjoy corresponding with anger.
"Stop trying. You're attempting, as always, something far beyond your reach," they'll preach.

They are loud, aggressive, and overbearing. They like to proclaim their truth and stick it to me, whenever an opportunity arises. They love to dwell on my self-critical thoughts and often create bitterness and isolate me from others, even from beloved friends and family members. They walk with me everywhere. They'll stretch out their rugged hands and tug on my sleeve, robbing me of perspective. They petrify me.

Who are these bitches?

My insecurities.


"I'll be there in forty minutes, ready to party," I said, and laughed. Eager as I was to reunite with a companion, ravenous for friendship.

"Cool! I can't wait to catch up properly," she replied. I had promised her a present and a card, I had them with me that night, along with kind words, it was her birthday and I was all set to celebrate the occasion.

I'd been battling manflu for four days, I was raspy, snuffly, wheezy, my nostrils were competing with each other for attention. I was confined to bed the day before, begging for mercy. But the night wasn't about me, so I grew a pair of balls and loaded a pack of tissues into my pocket to control the phlegm. I walked it to her gaff as I was too cheap to get a taxi. Shenanigans were to be had and I made sure to get there ahead of time. 

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I received the news late Sunday evening. I did not cry. No tears were forthcoming. I only breathed. And then I rooted my face in my pillow like an animal.

The feelings were all working away inside, like a pressure cooker, but I didn't have either the words or the spiritual strength to express them. I was empty, in shock, detached. I wanted to howl and howl and howl. I needed to cry, shriek, mourn the senseless loss of innocent lives, but I didn't, I couldn't. Initially these feelings simmered away, waiting to release themselves through normal expression, until, thwarted, they eventually boiled over, resulting in anger and confusion.

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When I was a young boy my hopes and dreams for the future were as follows: I wanted to be a social worker in the mornings, to share my passion for helping, to positively impact other people's lives that needed saving. I wanted to be an architect in the afternoons, the artistic embodiment of buildings and their creative outlet appealed to me. I wanted to be a global popstar at night time, because I really liked S Club 7.

I wanted a mansion with fourteen en-suite bedrooms, plus a holiday home in a tranquil, exotic location for breaks when I required them, because I'd obviously have the financial luxury and security to do so. I imagined living anywhere in the world but Ireland, that I'd be this protagonist who'd occasionally show up in his home town and still be loved by all. I wanted everything, and more. It sounds silly now, but these were attainable goals at the time. I revelled in the idea of the future and all of its possibilities. I was disillusioned, but what eight year old isn't?

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