Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter Rising

Sometime near four hours past the midnight that began Easter we nicked a Ford Cortina off some Proddie "minister" in Dungannon – our own version of social justice in the anger of adolescence – and with three pounds collected from the wallets of fathers drove south across the border, smoking cigarettes and pot and wishing we had girls with us but of course they would be dressed in their best today, looking like candy confections, and going to mass and sitting between fathers and mothers and untouchable then and occupied with family suppers later so we might as well be on these roads, which were empty in these still dark moments of the holiday and so, like nothing else, belonged to us.

"There should'na be no Prods in Dungannon," Kevin announced, "It is the place of our kings and our church." "Go back to playing with yourself," Sean told him. "Play with your ownself," Kevin said, "ya ain't never gonna put that little thing of yours in Maggie anyway." They battled in the back, Brendan and me traded a joint and a beer up front and the sun began to push over the horizon.

There was nothing open in Monaghan to spend our three pounds on. We looked far more out of place than seemed possible, or maybe it was just the way we felt. So we dumped the car in an alley and went to the early mass and stared from a back pew at these girls of the Republic in their Easter finery – and a young priest watching latched onto us at the end and invited us to an Easter meal in the school, so we went there and one of those girls reached past me, serving bangers, and her hair brushed the side of my face and the smell of her soap filled my nostrils.

We walked back through a sun-filled evening and a night of stars and a dawn of rain. We sang every song we knew until we needed the quiet to surround us. It took 13 hours to get home.

copyright 2006 by Ira Socol

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Nothing much happens, not really, but it's like a comment I once read about an actress... she's overflowing, unbounding, about to detonate, filled with too much, and what makes her acting powerful is the barely containing of that excessiveness. You feel it under the surface, about to. The emotional and political undercurrents here are palpable under the quiet surface of the trip at Easter.