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Worthington Aberdeen’s Blog » 2010 » April

Archive for April, 2010

The Poor Unhappy Bastard!

Suddenly, a series of loud thumps is heard at the cottage door. The latch is rattled until it falls free. Maeve moves to the fireplace and pulls out the red, hot poker and again holds it before her. Sadie watches in disillusionment. The door opens slowly and is still momentarily before Seamus enters pulling up the front zipper on his trousers. He is drunk and giggles at the sight of Maeve holding the poker.

“Jasus! Are you gonna poke me fer urinating on yer flowerbed?” he asks.

He stumbles violently into the kitchen table and careens to the floor knocking Maeve’s knitting needles and yarn to the ground beside him.
“Uncle Seamus .. good Lord!” Sadie exclaims as she drops to the floor to help him up.

“Hello me darling child,” he says as he pecks her on the cheek with boozy lips.

He glances up at Maeve who is standing statuesque over him still holding the fire poker.

“Look at hersef! The Old Woman of Beare in the flesh!” he exclaims.

“I hope you’ve broken nothing Uncle,” Sadie says.

“I hope you’ve broken yer skull,” Maeve announces.

“Lovely young lass that I married, isn’t she? She’s the picture of bliss, don’t ya think? And the kindest and gentlest woman you’ll ever meet,” Seamus says.

He gets up off the floor with Sadie’s help and picks up Maeve’s knitting.

“Are ya knittin’ me a jumper, love? And, I suppose ya have a nice, hot steaming meal fer me. And, you’ll serve me with a smile and yer special way of making me feel that I’d travel to the ends of the earth just to marry you a second time,” he taunts.

“I hope ya die of consumption!” she tells him as she rips the knitting from out of his hand.

“You’ve done alright by me Maeve; you’ve done alright fer a skivvy. I know I was not yer first choice,” he bellows.

“Don’t ya be talking like that in front of the child!” she petitions.

“The child knows the worst of you,” he replies.

“Go to your room Sadie, the bottle’s talking,” she orders.

“The truth is talking, and it’s high time,” Seamus responds.

“Enough Seamus! (to Sadie) Go to bed for God’s sake!” she barks.

“A man has to hang onto what he loves. But what if it don’t love him back?” her ruminates.

“Sleep it off Seamus!” she shouts back at him.

“How do you sleep this off?” he asks her as he looks at her and then all around the modest cottage.

“You lie down, and you close yer eyes Seamus,” she tells him.

“And what then?” he wonders.

“You ask God to keep you, and you ask fer the world to get brighter,” she responds.

“But it never does. It never bloody does! It’s always the same … rainy, cold and overcast.” he answers.

“And you stay out of the pub, and you stop running away from yerself,” she snaps.

Seamus smiles and looks around the cottage. “I’m not running away from myself. I am running away from you Maeve and Lord knows, some days, I can’t run fast enough!” he states.

“Go to hell,” she replies.

“We’ll all be there soon enough I suppose,” he responds.

Sadie continues to hover at the perimeter of the kitchen to listen.

“The town has eyes … the streets have ears. They whispered many years about your old mother, but haven’t I jus’ had a terrible mouthful on you Maeve,” he tells her.

“You’re drunk Seamus! (turning to Sadie) Get out child! (back to Seamus) Lord knows yer no saint. Not one of you fools from the barges can cast a stone at anyone,” she says.

Sadie finally scampers out of the room.

“When I think of dear Claire Kennedy an’ how I let her go, sweet girl, she would have brought me happiness,” he ruminates.

“Oh trust me, had I known she meant that much … I would have found her fer you,” she replies.

“You’re a hard woman to love Maeve,” he tells her.

“You’re a hard man to respect Seamus!” she answers.

“I never asked fer your respect, just fer yer love. That’s all a man wants,” he says with a deep swallow and sigh.

“And what about what a woman wants? Have you and the fellas tackled that over a pint? No! You’re too busy puffin’ each other up with stories about places you’ve never been and t’ings you’ve never done,” she shouts.

“The stories get us through,” he replies.

“What is it that we’re all getting through Seamus?” she asks.

“Our marked unhappiness!” he answers.

“Some would simply call it life,” she says. “And if you poor fellas can’t get through it then perhaps you should make other plans.”
“I know what you wanted Maeve. You wanted that child we lost. You wanted to grow old with yer sister. You wanted to marry a younger man; a more successful man. But, not one of those things can be changed,” he states.

“It’s that simple is it? Does that about sum it all up Seamus? Do you have it all figured out now?” she asks.

“I think I do, yes,” he responds.

“Life is very black and white to you, isn’t it?” she says.

“Sometimes it’s green or blue as well,” he answers.

“Does a drink and a story make everything alright?” she inquires.

“A drink and a story are the brightest part of my otherwise dismal day,” he replies.

“Really?” she asks

“They’re the first things I think about in the morning, and the last things I want at night!” he continues.

“Then you should be the happiest man on earth Seamus because you’re an unrepentant drunk,” she responds.

“I should be happy, and I should be sober. If only I had a wife that loved me,” he replies.

“Oh Poor Lad! Go ahead and cry in yer beer fer the rest of your life!” she answers.

He puts his head down on the table as Maeve storms out the door.

“I was thinking tonight as I sat in the Anchor Lounge with a glorious pint, how much I love that place. The finely rubbed bar cradles your elbow. The worn old seats, cradle your arse. The entire place is dark, cool and filled with possibilities. I can be absolutely anyone there. I can be a famous poet or a wealthy banker. I can be a well-to-do solicitor or a respected university professor. I can be anything and anyone other than meself and sit in the company of like-minded men and a share a glass of misery to toast our common circumstance. I was thinking to myself that the fella who invented the PUB was surely a genius sent among us. And then I realized he was actually just a fella like me. PUB, I thought … Poor Unhappy Bastard! (laughing) Poor Unhappy Bastard!” he says.

The Tragedy of Fergus Drummond

“Well, poor Fergus Drummond was a mild-mannered fellow that lived at the very top of High Street itself. Now, he had a favorite coat that he liked to wear all the time. Unfortunately, his wife hated the coat. It was all torn and full o’ fleas, but he loved it just the same. ‘It’s not often,’ he used to say ‘that you have a piece of clothing that fits like that!’ And that coat was as much a part of him as his eyes and ears,” he tells him.

“Sure I feel that way about me hat,” Seamus mutters.

“The coat had but one button, pockets full of holes, and sleeves frayed to threads. But, Lord it was a comfortable coat! It curved just where he wanted it, and the collar met the back of his neck like it was measured fer him,” Cricket continued.

“That’s a grand piece of accoutrement!” Seamus exclaims.

“You couldn’t imagine that collar without his neck next to it. Fer over twenty years that was his coat … at the market, at mass, carrying new babies, burying old friends, and walking on countless cold mornings down to the quays,” he says.

“That’s a grand thing!” Seamus states.

“Then one day, she put the coat into the trash,” he tells him.

“Who? The wife? The she-devil! What did he do?” Seamus declares.

“Well, he wouldn’t go out. He became a bloody shut-in and had a kind of a life crisis. He cried over that coat. T’was so bad, she tried to get it back … only to find out it had been burned in the town incinerator,” he conveys.

“The poor fella! What happened to him?” Seamus asks.

“Well she bought him two or three more coats as well as a, new button jumper but didn’t they find him one day on his own doorstep in the bitter hell o’ winter with no coat at t’all (grabbing Seamus’s arm) … Dead!” he exclaims.

“Dead?” he inquires.

“Cold as a stone!” Cricket continues.

“Jasus!” Seamus states.

“A man has to hang onto what he loves Seamus!” he asserts.

“Dear Lord!” Seamus cries. “Jamie (calling to the bartender) … give us another pint here before I die!”