All the hardmen sittin up straight at the back of the bus. Bleedin braindead boggers. Never heard one of them say an even half decent ting about anyone. Ya know, ya don’t have to talk about the nature of the fuckin universe or anythin, but Jesus, all these fellas talk about is the English premiership, GAA, what bolloxes all their teachers are and farmin. Tractors, marts, all that dryshite awfulness. Thick Country Vegetables. TCVs. That’s what me and Alan call them. After that awful soup they’re always stuffin their faces with but also cause they’re not the sharpest knives in the drawer. Wrecks me head havin to deal with all their messin and sneerin all the time. Course they’re all in the lowest classes but ya can’t blame them for that though. Finnegan the master of our old national school tinks he’s still livin in De Velera’s Ireland so he ODed us on gaeilge, gaeilge, gaeilge and nothin else. Lucky we all got into a bleedin secondary school at all.
Jesus. Do they ever shut up back there? Had it up to me bleedin eyeballs with all these culchie, bogtrottin, mucksavagin bogmen and their mother jokes, its too cold to snows, don’t mess with the best if ya don’t want your head in a mess cause the best don’t mess!, pretendin to know about The Ra, Now you’re talkins, Cheese and Onion Taytos, lettin on they’re in the bleedin Ra, stretches in the bleedin evenins, Lucozade, Shania bleedin Twain, heifers and women that look like them, Best part of you ran down your father’s leg sneer, spittin in their hands before doin anythin physical, steel toe cap green wellies, hang sangwiches, the smell of fresh shite in the mornin, work clothes, hole diggin, rotovatin, cans of minerals, fightin, The Football and The Hurlin, obesity, grand tae, drunk drivin, red diesel, terror of change, nice bit of barmbrac or Foxford lunch, generally lyin about everythin, buildin walls, lettin on to like mass, good walkin sticks, gettin ossified drunk, Taylor Keith red lemonade, shoutin Gooooaaaaan when somethin good happens, tractors and trailers and combine harvesters and all that arse, their weird jumpy walks cause they tink it’s hard, readin the bleedin Ireland’s Own and the Farmer’s Journal, gellin the only bit of hair on their head to the top of their forehead, scandal about other people, I’ll kick ya so many times you’ll tink you’re fuckin surrounded!, sponge or apple or rhubarb and custard, kickin dogs, Now you’re suckin diesels, machinery, Go home and tell your oul one to get married, talkin about the Ra, winnin raffles, Club Orange, rubbin their hands together before stuffin their faces with a big feed of spuds and carrots and parsnips and Bisto gravy, the foot and mouth, Hate that!, I’ll giveya so many loafs you’ll tink I’m the fuckin breadman!, eatin, specially bits of grass, shovin their arses out the back window of buses to The Football matches or any time there’s girls about and how they tink their fullashite behaviour is all so bleedin hilarious when it’s about as funny as a kick in the head and all the other stuff that I can’t even tink of right now.
Course, they’re not all bad. Gerry McGuiness is alright. Known him since I was tiny. His oul fella owns the fields that surround our field. He’s not much into the GAA either and he actually said it to some of the TCVs once. Cardinal sin that. He’s alright though, even if I’ve nothin in common with him now. When we were real young me, Gerry and Alan usedta go and play in the fields scalin trees and jumpin streams and scarin the shite outta cattle but Gerry doesn’t like films or readin books so talkin to him now is like tryin to pull bleedin teeth, but he’s still an alright fella.
Wish the TCVs’d turn their bleedin sneerin volume down a bit.
- If ya had another brain cell you’d be a bleedin plant, Andrews.
- Well, at least I have a fuckin brain cell, Lennon.
- Your oul one’s a hoor, Andrews!
- None of that shitetalk, Lennon.
- Well then tell her I want me money back!
Well into this Donegal Tweed cap I have on even though Turlough says everyone and his mother over in New York is wearin them now. Not even the farmers’ sons wear this kinda cap here and it’s a farmer’s cap. Love it cause it’s Dad’s cap. He never took it off till he went into the hospital so I’ve been wearin it since cause it’s not as if he’s gonna wear it in a hospital bed. Though, ya never know with Dad. Love movin it about on me head and pushin it down over me eyes to kinda hide from people. Remember when Dad bought it at the Galway races years ago. He’s as bald as a sea stone so he was well happy with it cause he never had anythin to keep his head warm cause me and the brothers and sisters are always stealin any hat or cap he ever gets to wear to school. Me and Alan came up the drive one time and he was out in the field pullin up strawberry runners with two pairs of fuckin underpants on his head, one coverin the leg holes of the other one. Alan nearly burst his hole laughin. Classic Dad.
So this cap was an investment for him cause Dad never spends a penny on clothes. Suppose it’s cause he had fuck all when he was a kid. He didn’t have shoes until he was thirteen. That’s just the way it was back then. He always stands outside shops when the Mother is shoppin. Anythin he ever wears she’s bought him, but she only ever buys him anythin cause she’s a shoppin maniac. She doesn’t do it to make him happy. Tink Dad’s kinda embarrassed to spend money on clothes. In the last few years though Turlough’s started sendin him these really deadly lookin shirts from New York for his birthday and for Christmas. He loves them. Only wears the shirts Turlough sends him now. He never says anythin, but ya can see in his eyes how excited he is when he’s openin one of them Brooks Brothers shirts. Anyway, this cap was dear cause it has all this special wool in it and all that. Dad knew he’d mind it cause he spent so much on it. Not let us kids nick it on him. That’s why he’s always wearin it. Never lets it outta his sight, cept for when he gave it to me to mind until he gets outta that hospital.
Shite. Her stop. Me palms are sweatin already. Get like this mostly around girls cause I’m a nervous wreck around them on account of this whole virginity ting goin on with me even though I’m a bleedin marathon masturbator and all, but that’s not worth shite when you’re not doin it. Hate the way the TCVs are always talkin about the last shag they had when ya just know they’re bleedin virgins. Virgins are always the ones that are talkin about blowin their load, gettin their end away, or bangin the arse off some young one. All that kinda hard man shitetalk. That’s the height of shite and it cracks me up most of the time, but then you have fellas like Damien Dunne who just never stop goin off about it. Fellas like him really need to be taken down a peg or two or three. Way he goes on you’d swear he’d shagged half the bleedin country includin half the nuns in the Sacred Heart as well as all the girls. You’d tink he was as bad as Casanova or your man Errol bleedin Flynn. It’s not just Dunne though. All the TCVs are sex starved maniacs.
Seat’s empty beside me. Maybe she’ll sit on it? Maybe. Shite. Here they come. Geraldine Boland the bowler in front of her. More hair on her legs than on her head. Jesus Christ. Hope she doesn’t sit beside me. Like talkin to the wall her. Great. She’s sat down beside John Mahon. Ah, here she is. Haveta look out the window so she doesn’t tink I’m lookin at her. Can’t see if she’s near me yet.
- Hey, Lorcan.
Turn the head as casual as possible.
- Hey, Aisling.
Jesus. I could just jump up and kiss her right now.
- Jesus, what happened to your face, Lorcan? It’s all cut.
- Ah, it’s nothin. I just fell on the ground.
Jesus. WhymI such a fuckin liar? Why didn’t I just tell her the fuckin truth?
- That looks like a really bad cut, Lorcan.
- It’ll be alright.
- Can I sit beside you?
My bleedin pleasure. Jesus Christ. The only reason I even get on this poxie bone breakin bollox of a fuckin bus is to talk to you.
She puts her bag and coat on the seat and goes up the front of the bus to talk to her sister.
Aisling. Aisling Kinsella. Jesus. She’s not like any of the rest of these girls. She’s a dream, an Irish vision with them long black curls and that sly sweet smile under them. Skin as white as milk and a face as fresh as a cool wind. How many times have I wanted to take her clothes off? Must be fuckin millions at this stage. Can’t even imagine gettin off with her never mind droppin the hand on her. Least of all in real life anyway. Bein in love with her is like bein in this fuckin fog that never lifts, like I’m smilin all the time and I don’t know why and I don’t care why and I just bleedin live it cause there’s fuck all else to do about it. I’m the sheet and you’re the cover. That’s the kinda arse that comes into me head when I’m around her and course I’m not gonna say that to her cause she’d tink I was off me fuckin head. I’m always at it when I’m around her. Maybe it isn’t muck? Maybe she’d love to hear it? Maybe it’d make her like me or make her feel good? And anyway, what do I know about love? I’m fifteen and I still haven’t sent a fuckin Valentine’s card to anyone yet, never mind gettin one. Wouldn’t buy a card anyway cause that’s ten smokes down the toilet. If I did send one though it’d be to Aisling, but then I could never handle the pressure if she ever found out that it was me that sent it. Probably have to leave the country.
She goes to the Ollie’s, not like all those other stuck up yokes that go to the Sacred bleedin Heart. Maybe there’s more girls out there like her in other countries but there’s fuckall of them around this kip. All the Sharons and Sineads are always bitchin about the boys they don’t like. They wouldn’t know how to have a conversation if it hit them in the face. Girls crack me up so they do. I’m a fairly sexy kinda fella but I’m not a pervert or anythin, but I’m well into women. I like them a lot but they always have to be bitchin about the last TCV that treated them like shite. Don’t they know that a TCV is never gonna treat them right? They don’t know how. That’s why Kevin gets so many shags. He treats girls like human beins and doesn’t talk them to death. Least that’s what he tells me.
- Fuckin fuckin ya fuckin have to fuckin fuckin listen and fuckin talk fuckin to fuckin them fuckin not fuckin at fuckin them.
First time I ever sat down beside Aisling I thought I was gonna start cryin cause of the amount of tings in me head that I wanted to say to her. Same now. So many tings I want to talk to her about that I don’t know where to bleedin start. Even if it means just sayin hiya to her when one of the TCVs is sittin beside her. That’s enough for me to be on this bus.
Then there was that time we met by mistake in the local. Me and Alan were playin pool. That was a load of fun even though her sister oul Bigtits was there showin her cleavage any chance she got, like when she took a shot or cleaned these awful green shoes she had on. She had all the lads with their tongues out like thirsty fuckin dogs. Clare. That’s her younger sister. All the TCVs call her Bigtits. She’s much better lookin than Aisling and has these massive tits but then her attitude is as big as her tits. She has this strawberry colored blonde hair that goes down to her arse. Don’t know why she always has to pull the piss outta me all the time, specially since I never done anythin to her. Aisling’s much better lookin to me but in a different kinda way. A better kinda way. She’s much sexier to me than all that hair and chest. Don’t know why I’m like this cause all the TCVs tink Clare’s a real ride and they’re always sayin Aisling’s a dog. Fuckin assholes. Wouldn’t know a fine bit of stuff if it went up and bleedin bit them on the face. They fall over themselves to kiss Clare’s arse. Do anythin to get into her knickers. Makes me wanta puke. Maybe that’s why she hates me so much cause I don’t lick her arse or stare at her tits like the rest of them.
Me and Aisling played a couple of games of pool on the other table while the TCVs tried to show Bigtits how to play by gettin behind her and holdin her cue and her hand which is so fullashite cause only five minutes before they all came in she was pottin fuckin balls all over the bleedin place. Hate that kinda fullashite behaviour. We both ignored their games and talked about how Neil Jordan made these amazin movies and then made a load of shite ones which ya can’t hold against him cause Sidney Lumet did the same ting with all them awful cop films, cept for Serpico. That first one he did with Fonda about all them fucked up jurors is one of me favorite films so I can’t hold all them shite ones against him. Everyone makes shite at some stage I suppose. Maybe it’s the bad stuff that makes people able to do their good stuff? Course the whole time we were talkin I was sweatin rivers. Like, I’ll get that nervous that I’ll light up a fag even though there’s one in me mouth already when I’m talkin to a girl. That’s the kinda ting I do when I’m nervous or worried. Sometimes I’ll just light matches or mess about with me Zippo flickin the lid open and closed, open and closed for ages cause I’m so nervous. That’s what I did when I was with Aisling playin pool. Kept lightin up new cigarettes even though I had one goin in the ashtray. Was concentratin so hard on not sayin somethin bleedin retarded that I mustav looked like a right spa lightin fags every bleedin second. Get like that around girls, well, mostly around Aisling though. Aisling had just started tellin me about Lumet’s Network when her bleedin father came into the pub to bring her and Bigtits off to their piano lessons up in the Naul. Aisling’s supposed to be amazin on the piano but I’ve never heard her. Pissed me right off him comin in like that cause we were havin such a good time and all even if it was for her to have somethin cool to go off to like piano lessons.
Aisling sits down beside me.
Why is it that any time I’m sittin down beside her me bleedin face is swarmin with bleedin spots? Never mind the fact that that fucker Murtagh has left me face lookin like some kinda fuckin fucked up pizza. Bad enough that I’m so scrawny lookin but to have all these fuckin spots too? Fedup gettin spots at this stage. If I see another one of the bastards I tink I’ll just give up lookin in the fuckin mirror altogether. Course her skin is spotless and her eyes are like sunontheseablue. They’re shy eyes too, always playin with the ground. Me. Totally different story. Covered in spots that bad I can’t even look at her when I’m talkin to her. She must tink I’m mental or somethin the way I don’t look her in the eyes ever but we still have a laugh cause she’s well into useless bits of information about films and directors and that kinda ting cause she wants to be an actress but she tells her parents and all the dawbrains on the bus that she’s gonna be a nurse cause that’s what they understand. That’s what they want to hear. Aisling’s the only one on this bleedin bus I ever told about wantin to be a director and she didn’t even laugh or anythin. Told her how I’m gonna get to New York and then go out to Los Angeles and make a fuckin fortune. She just smiled and said that’s deadly. Can just imagine what the Mother would say. Ah, who gives a shite what she tinks.
Gotta say somethin to her before she starts askin me about me fuckin face again.
- I like saw this like alright film last night that me brother sent me over from the States. Like, it was like pretty good.
Jesus. Could I sound any more of a retard? I should just put up the white flag and start wavin it at her. Yea, I’m an idiot, I surrender. Feel like I could jump through that bleedin window.
- What was it called?
- The film you saw?
God, I’m such a fuckin eedgit.
- Ehhhhh… yea, sorry, I mean, yea… Like… eh… it was French.
As if that’s gonna tell her anythin ya fuckin amadain! Jesus! I can’t even remember the name of it. Bolloxs!
- It was like one of like that fella Truffaut’s films.
- Is he the one that did Day for Night?
How’d she know that? She’s so amazin.
- Yea, like, I tink it was like him.
- That’s one of my Dad’s favorite films.
- That’s like deadly cause I really like like that one too.
Course it is. Her Dad’s deadon. He ain’t no farmer. He writes about crimes and criminals and all that kinda ting for The Irish Independent. He wrote this ting about these madmen horse owners in Kildare once and they started threatenin his life. He’s pretty well known after all that. Course Aisling’s kinda famous too. She’s an All-Ireland Irish Dancing Champion. Can’t say I’m into all that though. Don’t know why they call it dancin. Looks more like dead people on strings with their hands stitched to their sides. Well, they’re dead from the hip up anyway. Suppose ya could call it half dancin or somethin.
Jesus. She must tink I’m an awful fuckin eedjit.
- You know if I ever made a film it’d be about Diane de Poitiers.
Whathefuck? Where the fuck did that come from? Jesus Christ, she’s kinda fuckin amazin.
- Who was she?
- She was the duchess of Valentinois and the mistress of King Henry II of France. She fooled kings and courts and was very beautiful. She controlled Henry and was friends with Catherine de Medici.
Jesus. And she’s well inta history too! Might be French but it’s still history.
- That’s like a cool like idea.
Fuckin like. Jesus. Can’t I speak the fuckin English language for even one bleedin sentence?
- She took sides against whichever group was more powerful at the time. She was pretty interesting. What about you, Lorcan, have you any new ideas for a film?
Shite. Which one’ll I tell her?
- Well, like… there’s this one I’m gonna make that like starts with this boy about ten years old singin one of those real old sad Irish songs me Granddad’s always singin. This young fella’s sittin on his bed like as all these people walk by real slow by his window with his Dad’s coffin down the driveway. Like that bit in The Godfather where the little kid is singin that amazin sad song out the window on Ellis Island in that cell. Anyway, like… that’s how it starts off. There’s other stuff but like I don’t wanta bore ya tears.
- I’m not going anywhere. Tell me the rest of it, Lorcan. Please.
- Ya sure?
- Of course.
Love the way she says Of course like that, not course like me and the rest of the TCVs. It’s cause she’s a lady.
- It’s kinda like based on me Granddad O’Connell’s life. Gonna fuckin make it too. Anyway, when me Granddad was young, like ten or somethin he went out eel fishin on a lake in Donegal at midnight with his Dad and his brother Michael… I’d have mist on the water and that Noirin Ni Riain music goin in the background. And I tink I’d call it A Brave Man Dead after that line in a play our mad oul principal made us read two days ago, or even Dead in the Water, but I like the way that other line goes better. A Brave Man Dead. I’d call it that cause while they were out fishin there was like an accident and Granddad’s Dad tried to save his brother, but his Dad and Granddad’s brother died. Course afterwards they all bitched about how Granddad’s dad was an idiot and an awful man to bring two kids out on a boat at midnight like that.
- Ohmygod, that’s awful Lorcan.
- Course they never said anythin about how Granddad’s Dad jumped in after Granddad’s brother even though he couldn’t swim and died cause of it. No. People only look at the negative shite. Like they don’t look at the good tings people do for each other. Granddad tried throwin rope to them but they were too far away cause the weather had changed. He had to watch both of them drown right in front of his face and he couldn’t do anythin about it. He tried to row over to them but he was too slow. He was only ten or so at the time.
- Ohmygod, Lorcan…
- It was two years before Granddad even talked again. When he did he told his mother how he’d tried to get to them. She just looked at him without a word.
Just like the Mother, full of poison so she was.
- That’s so sad, Lorcan.
- Well, it’s the film I’m gonna make. Have it all in me head. Can see it all. Scene by scene. Course I haven’t a breeze about how to write a screenplay never mind directin it but I know I’m gonna do it cause I’ve decided and that’s it and I don’t give a shite what anyone tinks cause I’m just gonna do it.
- That’s some story, Lorcan.
- The amazin ting is that it’s a true story. It’s almost too hard to believe that stuff like that happens.
- You’re right.
- I tink me family deserves to see that story told cause he was a brave man who loved his sons and it just isn’t right to put him down like that even if they did have somethin against him after what happened. It’s just not right. I just can’t handle begrudgers like that. Always bitchin about people, even when they’re dead. Like what good is that goin to do them?
What’s she starin at me like that for? Kinda freakin me out a bit so she is.
- That’s beautiful, Lorcan. I love it.
Jesus. She really means it too. Can tell by just lookin at her.
- Ya tink?
- Yes. I think it’ll make a beautiful film.
- Well, I like, I…
- Don’t be embarrassed. It’s great that you think about things like that.
Jesus. Hope none of the TCVs are listenin to this. Not that I give a shite but I just don’t want them havin anythin to sneer me about.
- Well, this is my stop, Lorcan. Thanks for telling me your film idea.
- Tanks, Aisling.
Fuck! Why didn’t I ask her to go see a bleedin film in Drogheda with me or somethin? What the fuck is wrong with me? Why can’t I just ask her? Fuckin hate feelin like this. Fuck it anyway.
- Andrews, wouldya ever fuck away off with yourself, ya spanner!
- I would if you’d stop fuckin throwin shite at me, ya bolloxs!
Jesus! Do these fellas ever stop fuckin messin and sneerin? Won’t miss this fuckin bus atall.
Ah shite! Just realized this is probably the last time I’ll ever get the chance to sit with Aisling again! Ah, fuck. What a bleedin day. Jesus Christ.
Gotta find a way to see her again.