The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Friday, February 15, 2013

pardon me but your neo romanticism is in my soup

Twas the eve of Saint Valentine.
Grey light drenched over the town of Athy in a winterish haze.
A chill wind raced up along the quays of the river Barrow ruffling the grasses, branches and stems that grow in profusion there.
The bleakness of the season was no discouragement to me.
I have long been a lover of storms.
And this one matched my mood.
Twas the eve of Saint Valentine.
Bloody Saint Valentine.
Bloody boring bifurcating Saint Valentine.
Of all the saints in the martyrs calendar he is the one who deserved what he got.
I would be tempted to martyr him myself if I met him.
The great card sending twit.
Tell me bold readers, what is the point of having a special day once a year designed, nay genetically engineered, to make anyone feeling a little bit lonely, feel ten times more lonely.
I mean what is the point?
Sorry.
I lost it there for a moment.
Anyhoo.
The wind along the Barrow quay.
I stood near the bank and watched the rebellious waves leap in the squall. My only company was the statue of the mother of God which stands near the courthouse.
Mary of Athy.
What a strange notion.
What half suspected truth is here?
The universe is less understood than our science can imagine. A man would want to be some sort of fool to think we were alone in it.
But today I was alone.
In wind and rain.
And at that moment at my shoulder a voice said "Hello James."
Startled out of my mordant reveries I turned to behold a dark haired woman standing next to me.
Her sudden presence had a dramatic quality made all the more affecting by the skirl of the wind.
I peered closely.
"You don't recognise me," she laughed.
And recognition dawned.
Donna Kelly my old unrequited love from childhood.
Here she was like a ghost in the storm.
Changed but the same.
Still beautiful but not girlishly beautiful as when last we met. Lines of experience on the once infantilely pretty features.
Changed but the same.
I hadn't seen her for ten years but knew well she had graduated in something or other and married a Swede.

There now followed one of those conversations like something out of a bad novel. I knew I would regret it in the morning.
Because it was so ordinary.
Not witty, or clever, or romantic.
Just ordinary enough to show that I still looked on her with regret.
And that meeting her was still an event.

"Don't write about me in the Leinster Leader," she called boisterously as she headed back across the Square.
She disappeared like a part of the storm.
Wind and rain and Donna.
Angry and half in love with her and terribly sorry I walked away.
Dammit no.
That's the Great Gatsby.
But I've always wanted to use the line.
I did walk away though.
Into the cold wet eve of Saint Valentine.

7 Comments:

Blogger Schneewittchen said...

Unrequited love's a bore...... Hmmm...I echo your sentiments with regard to St. Valentine of Hallmark,the cardboard cut-out saint, however, if memory serves was not the actual St. Valentine martyred for refusing to renounce his Christian Faith ?

4:01 AM  
Blogger Genevieve said...

Valentines Day was fun when it was a party at school and valentines for all. The sweetness of the day has been degraded, in my opinion, by too much sexual innuendo and emphasis on coupling. I'm surprised they even still sell valentines for mother and grandmother.

My husband is always running into old classmates/childhood loves when he goes back to the town where he grew up. I grew up in a remote rural community so I don't have many such chance encounters when I go home.

5:23 AM  
Blogger heelers said...

James, this is a magnificent piece of writing.
James

2:10 AM  
Blogger Schneewittchen said...

How bizarre. I must be suffering from one of those forgetting diseases, OR have slipped through some kind of tachyon beam into the future and past at the same time.

Recycling's great.

2:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

James, that was a beautiful encounter, though. Mine was more prosaic: I was contacted via Internet by my ex-love (now married with child) and by the friend who had a crush on me (now married with children). There wasn't even a decent bit of rain. I suppose I could sputtered coffee on the screen and on myself, but that's not nearly the same.

4:46 AM  
Anonymous MissJean said...

Anonymous was me, James. Your comment box is trying to make me your secret admirer. ;)

4:47 AM  
Blogger heelers said...

Schnee, you got tachyons alright.
MissJ, you can admire me openly. There's no shame in it.
James

3:12 AM  

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