Going from Connolly on the Luas this morning, I saw in one human being all that is wrong with the world.
He'd been waiting outside puffing on his fag like the world was about to end. The bells on the Luas tram began to sound and the lights blinking, telling us it was about to go. Mr Smoker cast aside his butt and dove in just as the doors were closing. His plaid jacket only just avoided being caught.
It turned out he knew another guy standing inside and began to talk. This is where reality became too harsh: the first 2--3 sentences were accented by wafts of smoke streaming out of his mouth. It easily went for a full minute of talking and exhaling. It reminded me of the foggy breath you get in the winter when it's brutally cold and if you're a kid, or with a kid, or feel like being a kid, you deliberately blow air out of your lungs just for the novelty of seeing it take form in front of you.
The aroma of his habit was omni-present throughout the tram, even when the doors opened and closed at each stop on the way to where I needed to get off. Mr Smoker and his friend were having a loud discussion about some topic I've since blocked from my memory. When I described it to a friend, they said it sounded just like like Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie playing "the shouting business men", two guys only a few inches apart but still using that trademark call for attention.
Just as we're slowing down, Mr Smoker cemented himself in my long-term memory. He reached down and unzipped his pants, reached inside to adjust---his underwear, I'm sure, then zipped them back up again. All while shouting with his travel-mate. By now the smoke had stopped coming out of his mouth.
Therapy, that's all that could help...