An edgy crime thriller, set in Limerick, Ireland. Pure Mad is the story of Charlie Doyle, a private detective on the edge of madness as he investigates an adultery case with serious implications for his health.
This is the full-length 2009 manuscript for your enjoyment. You can purchase the print version online from Amazon.
For the briefest second I'd been ready to jump in the river, end it all.
'You're a waste of space, Charlie. Other than that, you're all right, man. You're all right.' I said this to my shim- mering reflection.
Funny how a few miniscule biochemical spasms in my brain make me consider killing myself. First time ever I almost did it. Bizarre shit.
Damn coming down.
My head hurts, standing there by the dirty water, dead-buzzing, jaded, watching, waiting. The bottle of Volvic helps, but chemical intervention calls. I go back to the car. Open the boot and root around in my gadget bag. In among the receipts, torn fag boxes, camera bits and assorted junk, I find two Solpadeine. Soluble codeine - heroin's sister - heaven in an OTC tablet. Into the bottle. Down the hatch. Plop, fizz, gone.
That's life: plop, fizz, gone. When the sperm meets the egg, the fizzing starts, grabbing molecules, using DNA blueprints to make a human. I think I actually get it: I'm a chemistry set. With sentience. The chemical reaction is my body and brain, the resulting energy my soul. Me. This be- comes clear as the city goes about its yawning business around me, its collar up and its head down.
So my lineage started with a virus or a bacterium in a primordial sea. Four billion years of evolution later and this is the best DNA can do? Fizzing me? F**k's sake.
But at least awareness is a beginning. A glimpse of some sort of understanding. Is life just the illusion of great- ness? The transient byproduct of biochemistry, the re- arrangement of molecules, media-driven consumption and self-propelled ego.
My system craves nicotine, so the cosmic chemi- cal clarity fades, replaced by a fumbling search through my clothes and vehicle.
I nervously readjust to the slow, grey world after a four day weekend of slow death. Christ, it's all so slow, even the water is thick and heavy. My hands shake as I light a smoke.
The codeine molecules are shifted through my sys- tem, quickly suppressing the pain signals from my crucified brain. Thank f**k for the Periodic Table. I smoke.
Nothing doing across the river, so I root around again and find the tiny wrap of coke dregs I'd stashed in a film canister. Nobody about so up it goes, through a fiver. A wrinkled fiver, for Christ's sake.
My teeth go numb from the dental anaesthetic - Novocain - the dealers use to cut it. I sense my pupils dilat- ing with a quiet clank and my brain welcoming the cocaine, maybe twenty-five percent proof, with open receptors. Nice to see you, it says, betraying me yet again. Checking the watch. 9.52 AM. Due now. Everything sharper. Better. But the coke's all gone.
Double-check the SLR, my trusty old Canon EOS1 with a 300 zoom. Focus in on the little park behind the museum. There's a mean crow - grey black, lumpy beak
- on a fence, across two hundred metres of high water. I take a picture of it. No drugs left. Damn you crow. Maybe it senses me. It flaps away to its friends, busy with last night's stinking burger and kebab debris over in Arthur's Quay park. Collective noun for crows? Murder. They'd eat any- thing. Focus good.
Then in she comes, with big paper bags from expensive boutiques. Shakes fading, heart beating in my damn ears now. She waits in the shadows of a gazebo, half-hidden by a pillar. She lights a cigarette, stares out at the water. Nervous now it's going down.
There he is, walking quickly through the trees. Thinks he's real clever. Line up the shot. I'm yawning now, but wide, wide awake. He glances around, smiles, joins her in the half-light. I adjust exposure, check light levels. She says something to him. He shrugs and smiles. Click. The kiss. Click.