New Irish Writing: Looking for Gavin in Galway via Alan Flood

I didn’t communicate a good deal to Mary at the funeral. But some weeks later, while I turned into sitting at domestic in my armchair doing not anything an awful lot in any respect, she rang. Her mam becomes looking to sell Gavin’s car, she said. They wished the coins and had been thinking if I ought to assist them out. I informed her I ought to.


Mary was residing in Australia for a maximum of the time I’d regarded Gavin and had best returned to stay at home less than 12 months before he died. On the phone, her voice held no emotion. There turned into no crack of a tear nor the want for a composing breath. She became strong, her tone emotionless, nearly business-like. I became working full time as a mechanic and used to transport 2nd-hand automobiles on here and there. A vintage college friend, Joe Dwyer, has been in touch some weeks earlier than Gavin died thinking what I had to be had. Joe and I had been close all through secondary college. However, I hadn’t seen him in over ten years.

Since Gavin died, I’d forgotten all approximately Joe Dwyer. He was residing in Galway then, and we’d agreed that the subsequent midway first-rate vehicle to come back my manner would be his. On the smartphone to Mary, I instructed her approximately Joe and confident her I’d get them a bargain. She stated that sounded precise to her. “I can force the automobile out to him, Mary,” I stated. “I’ll get the train lower back… If that’s okay with yourself and your Ma?”

I’d spent what felt like one million hours of darkness using round in that automobile. Endless summertime dusks when the sky by no means fell any darker than a colorful navy blue. When the heat of the day nonetheless clung to the naked, ginger-lit after-hours streets. With the windows rammed down, the heavy summertime nighttime odor of mulberry and maple might swim thru the Hyundai’s cockpit.

Something like Bob Dylan or Neil Young could blister from Gavin’s radio, and we’d force round with nothing but all the time inside the world. The concept of some other drive-in that car appealed to me greatly. One remaining, lengthy spin throughout the usa, I concept. My own non-public farewell to my departed pal. “Of direction,” stated Mary. She sounded distracted as if her mind had been not on the automobile. I changed into deciding in my head what words to use to wrap up the call then. “It’s mad; I’ve by no means certainly been to Galway before,” she provided suddenly.


“No. Thirty-3 and by no means been to Galway…Mad.” Her voice became delicate now, and her speech secure the greater we chatted. “You do not lack plenty,” I replied, unsure whether I believed this to be real or now not.

“Would or not it’s k if I got here with you, Tom?”

“Of course,” I said robotically, in as an aloof away as I should muster, and waited for her to talk next. “I simply. I should do with getting out of the house for an afternoon, ye recognize what I imply? And I think it’d be excellent, simply… in his automobile for… the ultimate time.” The seconds between every word grew. However, she remained impressively composed, thinking about what was being discussed. “Ye understand what I imply?”

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