A tourist begins to speak to you about the magic of fairies. You nod along but hope they do not speak ill of the little folk. People who scorn the fairies never last long.
Your mate offers to buy you another drink. You already have another drink. You all do. Where did they come from?
“Don’t forget to bring a coat with you in case it rains,” your mammy tells you. It doesn’t matter. They always disappear when the rain arrives.
It’s a scorching day and you are drawn outdoors. Suddenly the smell of slurrey hits you. The farmers are sending a warning.
A visitor is in your house. You offer them tea. You don’t know why.
You finish a phone call and the words are dragged out of you “Bye, bye, bye, bye, bye, bye.” It’s an ancient chant. Hopefully it will be enough.
The briars snatch at you as you walk down the path. You don’t know if they are trying to pull you into the undergrowth to devour you or to save you from whatever lies at the end of the path. You don’t want to know. You begin to run, sending up dirt and stones behind you.
You are told that an animal was sent to “the farm.” You know nothing escapes from there.
You can hear the noises outside your window as you try to sleep. The screams of animals fade to the background know. They’re accompanied by the rain on the roof. Or is it rain?
Old houses stand empty in the fields, their mossed stones weatherbeaten, the tatch a distant memory. They have stood empty for years. Everybody sees the faces where the windows used to be. Nobody mentions them.
You speak in Irish to your friend from down the country. They speak back to you. Neither of you understands the other. They’ve been trying to seperate the people for as long as you can remember. Only the native speakers know who they are.
You are sent to the Gaeltacht to learn the language. Nobody mentions those summers again. You wonder if they happened. What did they teach you there?
You can hear a kettle boiling in the kitchen. Did you put it on? You thought you were alone.
They were talking about “yer man” but never specified who exactly they were talking about. All you know is that yer man is next.
When somebody asks where you come from you automatically say near the closest big town. Noone must know your true origins. Noone must speak of the town. Those with loose lips never return.
Myth says the sky is blue, but when you look out your window you only see an expanse of white. You can’t remember seeing anything else.
You find the immersion left on. You don’t know how long it has been on for. Everytime you turn it off the light comes back on. You know that their wrath is coming.
The Leaving Certs apply to the CAO. They tell you it’s the Central Admissions Office. They don’t tell you where you’re being admitted to.
Exam season comes around. The salt in the tears of students keeps the country afloat. You look in at the schools and thank them for their sacrifice. What’s a couple of students?
You’ve been warned about the bogs. We’ve all been warned about the bogs. Their hungry, damp holes waiting to swallow us and take revenge for the stealing of the peat. We find the occasional mummified corpse. Bord na Mona will take care of it.
You are stuck behind a tractor. It turns into a field. Another tractor appears from a country sideroad. And another. And another. Each one replaces the last.
Time has a different meaning here. You never know if it’s actually five minutes or an Irish five minutes.
Somebody wishes the luck of the Irish on a person. They seem delighted. You know what the power of that curse really is.