I am utterly humiliated.
I’m still not sure whether it was the stress of the new job, or the fact that I’d been surfing youtube for 24 hours straight, but after I fell asleep on my keyboard I slept for over six hours.
Next thing I know, I’m being shaken awake by someone with very large hands, and when I open my eyes, someone astonishingly large is looming in front of me.
Then I hear a deep, soft-vowelled voice say something like ‘God almighty – look at her face – what’s wrong with her face?’ and out of nowhere Domhnall appears.
Domhnall takes one look at the computer, the empty cereal boxes and the potato waffle packets, and he tells the very large person, who seems to be wearing a uniform, that it looks like I am suffering from an allergic reaction, probably caused by facial contact with my keyboard, that I am a writer and that I’ve clearly been working through the night to complete a deadline.
‘Right,’ the large person mumbles nervously. ‘A writer, is she?’
And that’s when my eyes start to focus and I realise that it is the oddly attractive garda standing in my kitchen, his cap perched on his head, his face pink with embarrassment, looking like he would rather be anywhere else in the world but here.
I then realise that the oddly attractive garda has found me, slumped across Aunt Dee’s kitchen table, in my ancient Dunnes Stores teddy-bear pyjamas, unshowered, with something apparently horribly wrong with my face.
‘Make sure you put something on that face of yours,’ he murmurs, stepping back a little too hastily, and all I can mumble is ‘yesthankssleeppjsorrythanks’ before Domhnall has bustled him out the door again and is standing in front of me looking stern.
‘You’ve got bits of crunchy nut cornflakes stuck to your face,’ he says.
Turns out he had called to the door three times yesterday and once this morning (I must have been so absorbed in youtube I didn’t even hear him) and he had decided, seeing as the car was still outside, that something was wrong.
‘Because you never really go out anywhere, do you?’ he said by way of explanation.
On his way back from trying the doorbell this afternoon he had happened to bump into the oddly attractive garda, who had also, he told Domhnall, noticed the lack of activity around Aunt Dee’s house.
(He keeps an eye on my house? I said. ‘He said he keeps an eye on all the ladies like you – the ones who live alone,’ Donal mumbled between mouthfuls of cream-crackers lathered in butter and slugs of milk straight from the carton. ‘I did try to warn you about youtube, ya know.’)
We sat there in silence for a while after that. And when he had finished all the cream-crackers he said he was off home.