Thursday, August 02, 2012
Old Non-Stories and the Lady Writer
(Old village school that my subject attended}
I'm in one of those moods. You know, the kind where there's very little you, I or the fairy godmother can do for me. Not that I need anything done. Just leave me be.
Grandgirl has gone back to Toronto, but that's not it. I'm a gregarious loner by nature. Others are visiting in the next wee while. Long term friends at different times. I'll have to fire up for them. I don't feel like firing up. Daughter understands this, we had a chat today. She's built of the same flying-solo-is-best gene pool. We understand each other. Don't do dumbos on each other like: "Ah, snap out of it," "Look at all you've got to be grateful for" and other depressing phrases of that ilk. Just leave us alone with our books.
Currently mine is: Broken Harbour, Tana French's latest. I'm nearly at the end of it. A massive 536 pages. But gripping. Tana can do it. Writing of the devastated building boom with its detritus of a half-finished and abandoned housing estate in Ireland and making it the bleak setting for the gripping drama.
Then, in the afternoon, I toddled over to a pre-arranged interview with one of the last of a dying breed of old timer inhabitants of my outport. One, I was assured, who would fill me in with the history of the place.
He was from the "life was wonderful in the old days" school of thought. We bonded over the Clancy Brothers and nights of song and dance in the houses of our childhood. But not much else. My inquiries about his school life and original work career were met with fairly monosyllabic responses. Ditto for arrival of radio and electricity and roads to his neck of the woods. And his lifelong bachelor status (he and a bachelor brother, the mayor here for over twenty years, lived together in happy siblingdom) caused no ripple of a sweet dead love to emerge. He was an extraordinarily good looking man, well into his eighties. I had the thought he would have been beating off the ladies with a stick in his time. I dug gently and persistently but no story to be found.
He wanted to talk about my hometown of Cork and asked when I was coming back. He may be of the mind to entertain himself with the lady writer for as many sessions as he can squeeze out of me as he gets far too few visitors.
And who's to blame him?