“You know, when you’re not in a relationship you put yourself in one of two positions. Either you’re looking, and cursing yourself, because when you’re looking, you don’t find anything. Or else you’re not looking, but your subconscious goes ‘Oh! Did she look at me? Was that a flirt?’ I think part of being human means always being on the search for a connection with another human being. And when your life is devoid of love you can feel very lonely. You’re going to the cinema and you’re sitting there watching a movie eating popcorn, and you look around and see people hugging or kissing… On top of that, I was uncomfortable with myself and the way I look. I could be around people I really like, chatting and smiling, but still I’d feel very lonely in my heart, and after a while just gave up… On that day I was working as a volunteer at a second-hand book sale, and I was at the till when a girl came up, and you know, I asked her if she wants a bag, and she said ‘no, it’s alright, I’ve got a canvas bag with me!’ And I just remembered there’s a song about Canvas bags by a guy called Tim Minchin, so I just started rambling on to her about this song, and she was just looking at me… About an hour and a half later a different girl comes in, straight to the till, and asks me ‘are you a single?’ I said ‘sorry?’ ‘My friend wants to know, are you a single?’ I can still hear her, in her lively German accent… She was her best friend. Well, I didn’t say this, but at that stage, I was single for 6 years. She’s an English teacher, and her name is Jen. She’s amazing. We’re together 18 months now.”

Credits to Wissame Cherfi (the editor and director of WE ARE DUBLIN) and toDublin2020 – European Capital of Culture Candidate City


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