Departurtes

Eoghan Wyndham, THE BRAZEN HEAD, DUBLIN CITY — Unlike my charges, I am uninterested in politics. Nor do I play an instrument, which was always considered a heresy. At recitals in the old days, I would find a good wall to lean against and drink. Just thinking of those old recitals, I consider packing up for the day and heading down to Abbey Street. But apparently, though I was no performer, then or now, I was a friend, because here I am, doing the one thing the others couldn’t do well: talk. They were lovers, in their own way, with the social graces of furry animals: cuddly, but one knew they had sharp teeth, and when prompted, would use them.

The Byrnes and Fahys did not, as a matter of course, tolerate outsiders. The extent of the bonds they developed were blood bonds, and the exceptions were few, which led one to surmise, me included, that there was something of the kissing cousin between Aestrid and Tom. I don’t know this to be so, but it could be, if I had the wherewithal, verified. One last living barrier stands between me and the truth, one last patriarch, but I am not so bitter. The fact of the matter is, I miss my friends. This role, as curator, was made for me, in writ, that when I woke one red-eyed morning, on Pump Lane, I think it was, I was accosted, put into a car, carried into a Monday morning office, disheveled, brought coffee and scones, met by a straight-backed man who said nearly, “Should you wake up on Pump Lane, your new life will begin.” And so it did.

And it’s not after all a hideous undertaking, the ins and outs of curation, but it occurs to me how incomplete the task, how insufficient will be my efforts, because it’s no calling this, though the drinking is. And seeing that I am largely defective, the organization, as I call it, has installed me in a pub, that I might do better work here, between gulps.

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