The Heelers Diaries

the fantasy world of ireland's greatest living poet

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Location: Kilcullen (Phone 087 7790766), County Kildare, Ireland

Monday, September 14, 2009


Lattes with Fortescue Smythe in the Cafe Des Beaux Parvenus at Newbridge Silverware.
I am waxing poetical about the works of CS Lewis.
"He never came all the way to Rome," I muse. "But his Christianity reads like it's down the line. I mean to a Catholic, it reads like it's the real deal. I was looking at something he's written about his schooldays. And he was talking about getting pushed around. And I liked him but I was sure this was going to end up as some corny evocation of turning the other cheek. But no. CS Lewis tells it like it is. And he doesn't pretend it was okay. Some of the children were prostituting other children. There were all the usual violations and intimidations and destructions of childhoods. And CS Lewis never acts like it was all somehow meant to be. He concludes with a sort of graveyard comment about the bullies: They enjoyed their salad days. Paechendaele did for most of them. I thought this was nearly the best thing I ever read. It was just the business. He'd really been there. He'd really seen it happen. I mean I know Jesus left us teachings about turning the other cheek. And I know if I want to follow the Lord I cannot dismiss his teaching. But I know his teaching was never meant as a justification for tyrants either. That's the thing. And CS Lewis knew it too. I gotta tell you Smitty. If I heard Conor Bowman had lost his arms and legs, I wouldn't exactly go into mourning."
Fortescue Smythe sat up.
"Actually," he drawled, "Bowman might lose his arms and legs. He's got an illness that might do that to him."
I stared.
It was a minute before the power of speech returned.
"So another of the grand high heteros of Newbridge College is falling apart at the seams," I mused. "First Trevor Rodriguez gets a nervous breakdown. Now Conor Bowman gets whatever he's got. Perhaps if they'd just managed to project more of their sexual fears about themselves onto other little boys, they might not have turned out to be such worthless uninspired decrepit heaps of rotting crap. It's terribly sad."
Fortescue Smythe yawned and left.
He's heard it all before.
When he'd gone I addressed the Deity briefly.
"Am I so destroyed?" I asked. "Am I really so monstrous as to wish their absolute destruction? Have I lost you so completely? Surely you won't leave me like this."


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