When All Is Said by Anne Griffin Read Online (FREE)
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Edward VIII Gold Sovereign Coin, 1936.
Willing to pay top price. Any condition considered. Write giving amount desired to Thomas Dollard,
3 Fennel Way, London.
From the Classified Advertisements section of the International Coin Enthusiast Magazine,
May–June, 1977, issue 51.
Saturday, 7th of June 2014
The bar of the Rainsford House Hotel
Rainsford, Co. Meath, Ireland
Is it me or are the barstools in this place getting lower? Perhaps it’s the shrinking. Eighty-four years can do that to a man, that and hairy ears.
What time is it over in the States now, son? One, two? I suppose you’re stuck to that laptop, tapping away in your air-conditioned office. ’Course, you might be home on the porch, in the recliner with the wonky arm, reading your latest article in that paper you work for, what’s it…? Jesus, can’t think of it now. But I can see you with those worry lines, concentrating, while Adam and Caitríona run riot trying to get your attention.
It’s quiet here. Not a sinner. Just me on my lonesome, talking to myself, drumming the life out of the bar in anticipation of the first sip. If I could get my hands on it, that is. Did I ever tell you, Kevin, that my father was a great finger tapper? Would tap away at the table, my shoulder, anything he could lay his index finger on, to force home his point and get the attention he deserved. My own knobbly one seems less talented. Can get the attention of no one. Not that there’s anyone to get the attention of, except your one out at reception. She knows I’m here alright, doing a great job ignoring me. A man could die of thirst round these parts.
They’re up to ninety getting ready for the County Sports Awards, of course. It was some coup for the likes of Rainsford wrestling that hoolie out of Duncashel with its two hotels. That was Emily, the manager, or owner, I should say, a woman well capable of sweet-talking anyone into the delights of this place. Not that I’ve experienced much of those myself over the years.
But here I sit nonetheless. I have my reasons, son, I have my reasons.
You should get a load of the enormous mirror in front of me. Massive yoke. Runs the length of the bar, up above the row of spirits. Not sure if it’s from the original house. Ten men, it must’ve taken to get that up. Shows off the couches and chairs behind me all eager for the bottoms that are at this minute squeezing into their fancy outfits. And there’s me now in the corner, like the feckin’ eejit who wouldn’t get his head out of shot. And what a head it is. It’s not often I look in the mirror these days. When your mother was alive I suppose I made a bit of an effort but sure what difference does it make now? I find it hard to look at myself. Can’t bear to see it – that edge, you know the one I mean – haven’t you been on the receiving end of it enough over the years.