Here I am. Two years off 60, slowly going deaf, needing to wear reading glasses, pricking myself daily and recording the prick details in my prick sugar book. On the plus side, I don’t use Viagra, but have two bottles of said pills on my bedside locker, next to the sugar book, the pack of ultra thin blue(role play Avatar) condoms, and other sex necessities, like a collection of broken sex products bought under the counter at a local St Vinnie de Paula shop – you would not believe the stuff that people give away. Stuff with a dozen wears or more left in them. What I’m trying to say is this, I think, if the next 20 years pass by as quickly as the last 20, I’ll be 78. I’m just hoping that all of me wears out at the same time. Money needs too – teeth implants, hair restoration, laser eye treatment and an operation of sorts to halt, nay re-address penile erosion. Dentures, a wig, spectacles and wishful thinking won’t do it for me.
Watched a TV documentary the other night about Chernobyl, as it is years after the nuclear disaster. These three old dears discussed their lives, past and current. Among them, there wasn’t enough to be even a poor gathering of teeth. One spoke of how her husband had been a drunkard, had wasted their money and said ‘…you had to watch yourself when he was about.’ She went on to say that her family wouldn’t allow her to leave him because ‘ No woman in their family had ever walked out on her husband.’ Added that now he was dead, she had everything(everything, the camera revealed, was actually very little.) But for me, the best line of the night came via another dear soul – and there were many from those wise old women – and it was, as she raised a glass of wine to her lips, ‘Goodbye brains, see you tomorrow!’
‘Martin,’ says one of my Syrian students, ‘can you tell me why no olive trees in Ireland – everywhere only green grass?’ And I look at him and think hard on that hard question and come out with, ‘The EU pay farmers a lot of money to grow grass.’ Astonished, no words escape him, and then he finds three, ‘What farmers do? I reply, ‘Drive tractors on the roads, very slowly, keeping people late.’ Note – no expletives used.
Anyway I was walking a mountain trail a couple of summers ago and after three hours or so under a broiling sun, I was spent. Knackered. Starving, also. Hardly able to kick one leg out from the other, like. And I says to Jesus, casting my eyes skywards, ‘I need a flipping hand, Big Fella.’ So Lo and behold! After I turned a corner, to my left, sitting off trail in the shade of a boulder, were picnickers; three beautiful women. And further behold! They invited me to join them. I thought to demur but remembered my plea and accepted their kind and gracious offer. Nurses they were and out to celebrate a reunion or a divorce – something like that. I partook of their red wine, a full glass thereof, and indulged in two healthy slices of chocolate cake. Behind us, a sudden chill seemed to breathe from the lichen speckled boulder. Always one to sense a cool atmosphere, I warmly thanked them and moved on rather briskly. The moral? Don’t eat two slices of cake when you were only meant to have a quarter.
What’s rare is wonderful, it’s said. It is. Fellow writers last night sprang a lovely surprise by producing a bottle of bubbly to celebrate and toast the release of my latest novel, Black Rose Days. A very kind gesture and much appreciated.
Secrets, once disturbed, can ruin a life that has been spent trying to hide them. Two voices – one living, one dead – compete to find the truth behind the unsolved murder of Ena Tierney, committed thirty-one years ago on the Curragh Plains. Dan Somers, Ena’s husband and the chief suspect at the time of the murder, returns to Ireland in an attempt to clear his name once and for all and uncover what has been left hidden for far too long. As Dan learns of the events surrounding Ena’s death, a great turbulence roars to life that will consume everything – and everyone – in its path.
Wonderful Thursday evening event held at Kildare Town Library to celebrate Brigid or Brigit as a road sign reads or used – great song, verse and readings respectively from Ciaran, Mary, Treasa, and Kildare’s writing group, Wordsmith Writers: Celine, Kevin, Siobhan, Julie and Gerry, along with Margaret Rowe. It was mavellous to hear these new voices and to see people untapping their creativity and graciously sharing with a good sized and deeply appreciative audience. I read my contribution ‘Before the Start’ from the National Art Gallery’s anthology Lines of Vision: Irish Writers on Art and a new piece entitled ‘The Wild Winds of the Little Curragh.’
For your diary….
“We Can Never Have Enough of Nature”.
Celebrating the Festival of Brigid at Kildare Town Library
Enjoy Readings by Martin Malone , the Wordsmiths Writers Group and others accompanied by music
Venue: Kildare Town Library
Time: 7.30 – 9.00 p.m.
In the 1997 Fish Anthology Dog Days and Other Stories, we included one of the most memorable stories it has been our privilege to publish. It was called Black George and it was written by a soldier from Co. Kildare. Martin Malone was at the time a little known writer with a huge talent. A few years later in the 2000 Anthology From the Bering Strait we published Come To Me Sweet Dementia by Martin, a completely different sort of story, savagely funny and achingly sad.