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, she rang while I turned into sitting at domestic in my armchair doing nothing an awful lot in any respect. Her mam is looking to sell Gavin’s car, she said. They wished for the coins and had been thinking if I should assist them. I informed her I ought to.


Mary was residing in Australia most of the time I’d regarded Gavin and had best returned to stay 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 worked full time as a mechanic and used to transport 2nd-hand automobiles here and there. A vintage college friend, Joe Dwyer, had been in touch some weeks before Gavin died, thinking about 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 return 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 said. “I’ll get the train lower back… Is that okay with you and your Ma?”

I’d spent 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 around with nothing but all the time inside the world. The concept of some other drive-in car appealed to me greatly. One remaining, lengthy spin throughout the usa I idea. My 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 secured the greater we chatted. “You do not lack plenty,” I replied, unsure whether I believed this to be real or now not.

“Would not it be 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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