The queue stretches from the door of the hall, snakes outward coiling itself around the adjoining building and tails out into the car-park. My eyes are dead and with music blaring from my iPod I tried, in vain to transcend the scene but I can’t and everyone else in the queue can’t. Queues are terrible and in Ireland we can’t do it properly as we always break into two, like a hair with a split end. This queue reminds me of the one I stood in as a child, the one with my brother in the 1980s. That one came out from the old building by the library in Newbridge and stretched out onto the road.  Yes, the queue is the dole queue; a deadening place where nearly a half a million people shuffle…

  A few days before I read the paper and noted that they are softening up the public for the inevitable cut in the social that will come in the next budget. Apparently, single mothers are to blame, foreigners are to blame, and anyone is to blame for the state we are in. Internet forums are ablaze with posters decrying the fact that a man on the social had the temerity to spend his dole on a packet of fags. ‘Why not give them vouchers?’ They cry and they sneer at the ‘dole proles.’ Somewhere in the background you can nearly hear someone scream ‘let them eat cake’. The wits of wifi, the intelligentsia of the internet, those Kafka’s of the keyboard thrill us with bon mots about the antics of the legion of tracksuit wearers and their drinking habits, for if ya don’t know it is these people that are the reason for societies ill. Laugh? I nearly puked.

The first thing you start to lose on the line is the ability to sleep properly, then you lose your confidence, you retreat into apathy and then you can’t see a way out. Every morning I sit and wait for a phone to ring to give me forty minutes in the job I love. (Before anyone asks: schools ring when someone is absent, I do knock up, I do make myself known, I do send out CVs and I look in the mirror in the morning and repeat positive mantras from books entitled ‘Feel the Chicken Soup for the Soul and Eat it Anyway). Every morning thus far has resulted in disappointment. I send off CVs and don’t get replies, I sit in interviews and don’t get replies and then I start to wonder ‘Is it me?’ Then that man takes up residence in the living room of my mind, I call him The Cynic he ain’t an affable chap and he whispers that everything is useless. He told me the other day that ‘the seven years you spent in college weren’t worth a fuck’. He is a dark one.

…the coiling queue begins to move and soon I’ll be gone…till next month.

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