My ideal . . . catch-up


I was in my room the other day, playing around with some new characters. The most convincing one was a mourning grandmother from the Blasket islands, circa 1870. I threw my apron over my head, covered the mirrors and lowed gently to myself. After 40 minutes of this, I felt I had come to the end of her. So I took off my shawl and began instead to imagine the ideal catch-up.

Catching up occurs when two humans meet and take turns to talk about themselves. That’s difficult for me because, as a rule, I like to do the talking. I just prefer being the one saying things, rather than having to listen to someone else saying things, you know?

I went for coffee with a friend of mine recently. Let’s call her Nancy (that’s what her parents named her). Going for coffee can mean many things. If a man asks you for coffee, that’s probably a date. Imagine that! Someone is interested – after all this time! To verify that it is an actual date, place your hand on the man’s thigh at the first opportunity. If he recoils, there’s been a mix up. If he remains calm, tighten your grip and never let go.

Nancy and I went for coffee to catch up. Boy, oh boy, did she get caught up in my news – her shining eyes were rapt as I described my week’s escapades. She was particularly blown away by my lively retelling of Tuesday’s incident. You see I was carrying a heavy box of groceries up my steps and almost tripped. I don’t have time to go into it here but it was a cracker. The punch-line – “a half dozen eggs, too – organic” – had Nancy reeling.

I like to leave on a laugh, so I zipped up my motorbike jacket and headed out the door. Through the window, Nancy gestured to me to come back. Over the roar of my Harley I heard her insisting she had gossip for me too. I quieted Black Beast and went back inside.

And down came the rain. A drizzle first, as Nancy described how she’d recently found €20 on the ground in Penneys. I don’t even have a fiver! The clouds gathered quickly as Nancy squealed about meeting one of the Fun Loving Criminals. She said he seemed really nice. I’ve never even met one of The Devlins! Then, the full-blown electrical storm: Nancy announced she is pregnant. I don’t even have a regular cycle! What’s more, she is almost certain who the father is. She said he seemed really nice. I flashed a lightening smile and thundered out of there.

My dream catch-up is with the haunting songstress Celine Dion, around the time she needed surgery on her vocal chords. The poor thing was forbidden to speak, you see. I will sit with her and top up her wine glass. I will ignore her little notes and tell her all my news – uninterrupted and triumphant once more.