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24/02/2020 / Harry Browne

Bray Beach by Gerard Byrne


My god, you gotta love Bray beach. In the summertime that is. January is a whole different kettle of fish. Icy wind that could cut you through like a sharp knife to butter and lashings of rain to match it as well. I’m not here by choice or by chance. Nowhere left in the town to sleep. All the best spots have been taken. All the good temporary bedding from the large supermarket bins has been took. So all I have left to fall back on tonight was my trusty rain proof sheet. But forty five minutes ago, my cover was blown off by what I could only describe as a mini hurricane which seemed to search me out at the back of the public toilets. Nothing fucking public about them. Shouldn’t be locked at night if they’re for the public. And that’s what I am. Maybe not like most of them bastards. A bit lower down on the ladder of humanity, but I’m still a god damn person. A human being. A smelly one at that.

The whiff of stale urine rises off my damp clothing as a cold reminder of the drunken assholes who pissed on me earlier tonight, as I begged for change near an ATM. Pricks laughed and joked as they did it. Just because I sleep rough, doesn’t give them a god damn right to treat me that way. I was like them once. Laughing down at those that slept rough as I staggered home to my apartment with some dodgy looking one that I picked up in the nightclub when the lights came on. Little did I know that this was my future. Faith was trying to show me my destiny. Giving me a chance to change things. But I was too blind to see it. All those chances I had to pull up from my death dive and I just allowed my blinkers to keep me from the cold hard truth.

Only person that ever understood me was Wendy. She had lived my life. She’d partied hard and worked in an unskilled job for years, thinking that life was perfect and never gonna change. But the party did end. Around the same time for both of us. Tossed out on the streets and left to wander. We were friends, then lovers and thanks to a lack of funds for condoms, she fell pregnant. Never get that term, fell pregnant. A woman doesn’t literally fall over and get pregnant. Ah well, please forgive my wandering mind. I’ve little else to do on this cold night, but think about Wendy. Her life ended last year, along with our unborn child. Another victim of the cold hard winters of Ireland.

Suddenly everyone wanted to know who this young pregnant woman was, who had just died on the streets of Dublin. The tabloids has her face splashed across their front covers. The reporters and photographers came sniffing for a story. No fucking way was I giving that to them bastards. I knew the public were gonna forget about her death in a matter of days. And I was right. Another big headline hit the papers, and the interest in Wendy was no more. Only me and my broken heart were left to mourn her passing. That’s why I’m back here now. This is the spot she died in. Right next to the beautiful view of Bray beach. She wanted to see the sunrise over it’s natural beauty. Died before she got the chance that morning. Maybe if I’m lucky, the cold winter will claim me as it’s next victim. Give the papers something to write about. While the politicians rant on at the Taoiseach about changes in the way the homeless are treated in Ireland. I’ll just be another pawn in their endless game of lies. But none of that matters now. Time to lay down my head and sleep. And hopefully have a nice dream about my beautiful Wendy. A dream that I pray I won’t wake up from.


Leave a Comment
  1. Roy McCarthy / Feb 29 2020 6:15 pm

    Reblogged this on Back On The Rock and commented:
    A rare re-blog from me, deserves a wider audience.

    • Gerard Byrne / Jun 1 2020 2:32 pm

      Thanks for sharing my story
      Means a lot to me

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