EALGA SITS OUTSIDE ONE MORNING.
Ealga sits propped against the wall. The wall Foley painted. Peagreen soup colour. Why he painted it that colour he never said. She never asked. Best not to. Moody git. The sun was out, but down, not shining in her eyes as it often did. The wall was cool against her back. She can feel the hardness, the coolness. Sensations. Funny things. Hard to describe. More in the senses than in the head, although it is there too she supposes. The nerve ends and such. She’s come out to watch the sky. Fed up with the four walls surrounding; the kids crying; the TV on; the usual shite. Wants to breath the fresh air; hear the sounds of life outside; be part of something bigger than the inside things. Foley asleep on the sofa; the kids fighting as to who has what on the TV and whose turn it is. Birds sing. Which she doesn’t know. Not learnt such, despite her granddaddy telling her years back. That’s the blackbird, that’s the thrush and so on. His stubby finger pointing up at the sky, the finger with the chewed nail. Calloused hands he had she remembers. Especially when he picked up, his huge hands holding her tight about the waist. See the nest, he’d say. Hear the song. But she’s forgotten all that. Or mostly. Poor Granddaddy to go like that. So quick. She closes the eyes. Wants to feel the sun on her face, but it’s too weak. Not the best of days to sit out. Not even dressed properly. Still in her short nightgown. Foley’d not like that. Showing yourself to others, he’d say. Your thighs, you love to show off the thighs, he muttered the previous time she’d sat outside in the nightgown at midday. Good thighs mind, she tells herself, looking down at them, running the hand over the flesh. Flesh on flesh. Skin on skin. Foley’s a feck. What’s it to him who sees what. The kids come out and run up the path between the flowerbeds. Such energy. Where do they get it. An imbalance. Them and me, she muses. Ena’s got my eyes. The depth there. Patrick’s his Da’s eyes and the fecking grin. Hate that. The way he looks at you. The toothy grin. Up and away they go. Fighting as per usual. Him with the mouth; the language; the fists out. Like his da as spit is spit. What I saw in Foley is beyond me now, she muses, seeing the kids disappear into the orchard. Pick the apples from the ground no doubt. Bite chunks out. Spit out the maggots. Suppose he was a dreamer back then. Nice eyes. Hair just so. Tattoo on his arms. Good in the bed. Mother’d have fits if she’d seen us. Her bed it was too that first time. Listening out for her return from the church and mass. Knowing Da was up at farm and wouldn’t be back until late. Sun’s moving around. Getting up a bit. Feel it on the face. That’s better. Warming. Is it all sex with you? She’d said to Foley over breakfast. Yes, he’d said. Thought as much. What a feck he is. Not like Da or Granddaddy. Men amongst men. Granddaddy knew Michael Collins so he said. Shook his hand. The hands that held me up, she remembers. She smiles. Far away thoughts. She wants the sun more on her. Needs the sunshine, warms her. Makes her feel better. Feels more. More than Foley can supply. Finn sniffs around. He always has. Like some hound he is. Sniff me bloody arse so he would. Like him though. Finn’s one for the girls. They are for him too. Not that I’d let him. Least not yet. Awhile maybe. She senses the wall warming. She crosses the legs. Skin on skin; flesh on flesh. Breathes in the air. Fresh air. Birds singing. Which she doesn’t know. Blackbird, thrush, tit, or sparrow. No idea. Granddaddy’d know. Him with the huge hands holding.