by Niall Doherty


Today the old streets are colored by ten thousand rainbows, some flags even adorning church towers. My heart smiles to see gay couples walking hand in hand without a care in the world. On a bridge on Utrechtsestraat, there’s a canal parade passing under. I peer over the crowd in time to see a giant inflatable penis springing back to full erection.


For the most part, we know what’s good for us. We know how to beat the blues. We know how to be happy, healthy, successful. The knowing isn’t hard. It’s the doing that gets us. Like me this morning. I knew I needed to shower, to write, to organize. I knew I’d feel better after doing those things. And I did them, but the resistance was colossal.


Actually, that resistance was just exhaustion. I did the bare minimum yesterday morning then spent the afternoon and evening on the couch watching movies. I’ve been more productive today, despite taking two naps. Not going to beat myself up about it though, knowing that this isn’t laziness; this is the batteries in need of a recharge.


Trying to figure out where to register my business. I’ve been winging it for the past few years on the road, but now that I’m staying in one place for a while I’m obliged and eager to get everything set up legit. I could register the biz here in the Netherlands, but all the info has my head spinning. Doing it in Ireland seems much easier, and cheaper.


I lay awake in bed for almost three hours last night, mind running wild with business plans and ideas. I’m pretty confident I can build an online empire, serving people well and making good money in the process. The only thing between me and that vision is time and work. I just need to sit down every day for the next two years and chip away.

Gay pride in Amsterdam :-)

Gay pride in Amsterdam 🙂


We’re out in the evening air now, enjoying drinks and the chat. I cycled down here earlier, feeling like a love-struck teen, this city my crush, sights of streets and buildings triggering thoughts of times past, inhabitants and happenings I’ve read about. “People are trapped in history,” wrote James Baldwin, “and history is trapped in them.”


Whenever I encounter shitty service or a shitty product out there in the world, it’s frustrating, sure, but it’s also a relief of sorts. Because it reminds me that I’ll always be able to make good money. All I have to do is care more and try harder than most other employees and entrepreneurs, and most of them don’t seem to care very much or try very hard.


Happiness is riding a bicycle in Amsterdam. I cycled some seventeen kilometers today, beaming all the while. My bike rides like a quiet breeze over smooth trails, not alongside roads and highways but trails off on their own, winding gently through sleepy suburban estates, past fields with fine horses, over canals with ducks and kids swimming.


I had a date tonight. She was nice and we had a great chat, but that’s as far as it’s going to go. We’re looking for different things, her long-term, me casual. Thing is, that date cost me four hours and $40 and nothing will come of it. Has me thinking I should jump back on AFF. For $30/month I’d meet lots of women with similar things in mind.


Going through the archives, lining up some articles for reposting on Facebook (you might want to like my page over there if you haven’t already). Sometimes I forget how much I’ve written. More than 500 articles on all kinds of topics. Admittedly, some of those articles suck, but I’m quite proud of the majority, mostly evergreen.




I’m still doing the intermittent fasting. Most Monday’s I’ll have breakfast and then not eat again until the next morning. There is some debate about whether or not IF really is good for your health, but I can’t imagine it does any harm. I like the discipline of it and the extra time it affords me. Plus, I end up appreciating breakfast on a Tuesday a lot more than most.


Leaving town tomorrow for ten days, so I had to take some time to bike around this afternoon. I don’t live far from the Rijksmuseum, can actually see it from the corner. I flowed over on two wheels and through the center of the building, around Museumplein and back across a couple canals. It’s not lost on me, the privilege of living in this town.


Flight leaves in an hour and twenty minutes, I’m more than ten miles from the airport, the trains aren’t running, rush hour is upon us, and there’s nare a taxi in sight. I don’t see this as a series of problems so much as a series of questions: can I keep cool under pressure? how resourceful can I be? how assertive? And if I don’t quite make it, how accepting?


Charlotte, Emily and Anne were three sisters born within four years of each other some two hundred years ago. They each produced what are considered masterworks of English literature. I like to imagine the conversations they must have had, stimulating each other’s genius, wondering if those talks were anything like that talk we had today.


I’m luckier than most, been half my life since someone close to me died. That streak will end soon, and doubtful I’ll ever come close to it again. Thinking about this as we walk through the hospital, past whispered conversations and worry-worn faces. They said yesterday she had dementia, and I wonder if she’ll remember me at all.

Flying back to Ireland.

Flying back to Ireland.

In the comments below, let me know which of the above Momentos is your favorite. Which can you relate to?

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