Distorte is a collection of stories written by Pierce Gleeson

Archives Contact

How to be Unemployed in Wintertime

Lough Dan, Co. Wicklow

  1. Rise early. It will be difficult. The sheets will hold you. It’s still dark outside. Things will look better in an hour. In an hour it will be too late
  2. Skip showering. It won’t help you. Dress in warm layers that can be removed
  3. Eat porridge. You can afford porridge. It makes the most sense out of anything here
  4. Make sandwiches. Peanut butter. Whatever you can find. Put them in a bag
  5. A raincoat. It doesn’t matter if it’s yours. If it’s in the closet and it fits, take it. You are unemployed and resources sitting idle are for you to borrow
  6. Get into the car. Drive to Wicklow. The sun will rise as you are driving. By eight it is as bright as it’s getting, which is not bright. You might be alone or you may have an unemployed friend with you now. Either is fine
  7. Park at the pier gates on the road to Roundwood. You might need a map. It is the entrance to Luggala Lodge above the Cloghogue river valley. There’s a sty next to the gate you can use.
  8. Follow the road into the valley which turns up to a path up the hill. It will be cold an grey and the wind might be painful. Follow the cattle path around the top of the hill and down towards the lake (Lough Dan). There will be deer everywhere. Your cheeks will be stinging
  9. Pass by the abandoned house with the huge tree and soon after reach the lake shore. You might sit down, but everything may be too wet. Eat your sandwiches. Stand around
  10. When you are rested and have eaten the view and your sandwiches, walk back up past the house and under the tree. Along the riverbank. You will see stones where you can stip-step across. Don’t fall in. Wet feet in winter will be less fun than in summer. I fell in once
  11. The return trip on the far side of the river is more forested. The path will be bad. Watch your step
  12. When you get back to the high road, back to the car, you might need to put on dry shoes. If you’ve packed them. Sit in and turn on the radio. It may be still light outside
  13. If you have money, stop at a pub for soup or a pint or both on the way home. Find a pub with a fire. Warm your bones
  14. On arriving home put your wet clothes on the radiator.

Congratulations. You have spent a day unemployed. I hope it did not depress your spirits.

Written by Pierce Gleeson
Posted on the 01 Dec, 2009