Life Among the Never-Winged

Once upon a time I was writing a book called, "Just Another Love Letter", about angels behaving badly. Now I just quietly ask myself each day, "What the hell am I doing?"

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Location: The Rocky Mountain Empire, United States

My friends always knew I was going to hell. My only hope is that God likes good jokes and bad redheads.

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  • Friday, April 27, 2007

    Mona's Friday Word -- Cloud

    Clouds are the Ghosts of Trees -- Marvin Hill

    Irrelephant inadvertently picked this week's word. Here's a little chunk out of my brain, part memory, part conversation I had on Monday with the Good Doc.

    ‘It’s not the same at all,’ he said, clouds of smoke around his head as he exhaled. His fingers, yellow-brown and wrinkled, let the fag dangle. ‘Used to be, up to Burke’s you’d go for a night, and listen to the band. You’d sit and have your pint and some good craic, and the little ones’d chase around, and…’ he took another drag.

    ‘People caught up, you see?’ He shook his head. His niece, the unmarried one, brought in a tray. She poured two glasses of 7Up, then added some whiskey.

    ‘Put a little more color in that one for him, Agnes,’ he said, looking at the heavy clouds outside. ‘Dirty old day. We should be down to the White House, having a pint.’ Another drag. ‘But I won’t leave my friend behind,’ he said, looking at his fingers, then back at me. ‘No one does. So no one goes anymore. Pick up your drink at an off-license, take it home, smoke all you want.’ He shook his head. ‘Lonely. Haven’t seen my granddaughters in… how many days is it Agnes?’

    ‘Weeks, Pat.’

    ‘There you have it then.’

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    8 people left me a love letter:

    Blogger Irrelephant wrote in a love letter...

    Nice work on developing the old man, making him Irish without ever saying "Hey, the focus of my story is an old Irishman." I'm sure there's some writerly term for that, but it's doing it's level best to evade me right now. I like!

    And you know I have to wonder how many more of us went the 'clouds of tobacco smoke' route. *S*

    10:31 AM, April 27, 2007  
    Anonymous clowncar wrote in a love letter...

    Really nice dialouge. I can hear him talking. What bit is from the doctor visit?

    And what's all this about your lame posts of late? Didn't you conjure up the meme that launched a thousand 6-word stories?

    And a solution for your "dirty 30 year old carpet" issues: ours is so stained I like to pretend it's a map of an alternate earth. The puke and grape juice stains are continents, the dirty beige ocean laps gently at their shores.

    12:34 PM, April 27, 2007  
    Blogger Maggie wrote in a love letter...

    I enjoyed this but I gotta be honest. I felt a little lost. I think its a lack of knowledge on my part. I get that he's referring to not going to the clubs for the sake of being able to smoke but why hasn't he seen his granddaughters?

    Sorry for the ignorance. But the writing itself is as always beautiful. A clear image of the old man talking and smoking. With his old fingers curled around the 'fag'...

    2:55 PM, April 27, 2007  
    Blogger Scott from Oregon wrote in a love letter...

    There are lots of old guys out there like this guy.

    I'm with you, maggie. I want to know more of the story. Why is it called a 'fag' and what is a craic?

    Where does this take place?

    Typical Nancy Dancehall exceptional pacing here. Will it go forward and multiply?

    10:01 PM, April 27, 2007  
    Anonymous Rudi wrote in a love letter...

    Now that hits the spot. Yum.

    I'll have a pint in honour of that tomorrow (well later today) when I'm at a seisiún.

    Now remember back to school when you learned your dirty words. Dictionary and actual usages.
    Come on Stucco it's easy, our minds never left then.

    A fagot is a bundle of sticks. I assumed (yes, ass-u-me) a single cig was a fag from that. But that is a just my WAG (wild-ass-guess). Also means tired, fagged out, which smoking the fags will do to you.

    A bit-o-craic is a bit-o-fun. Got that from Andy (, didn't you? I had to look it up when he used it.

    Sorry about the crappy news from the Doc/old-carpet/stuff/stuff/stuff.
    Nasty how it piles up, idn't it?


    11:50 PM, April 27, 2007  
    Blogger Nancy Dancehall wrote in a love letter...

    Thanks, Ir. I liked yours too. O's quit smoking, so the subject of tobacco comes up frequently around here!

    Thanks, Clowncar. We were discussing the weather. It was cloudy and raining, and he asked if I liked that sort of day. I told him I loved it, and launched into a diatribe about Ireland; it's weather, and how the smoking ban is destroying the culture. Anway. Heh, I like your carpet solution. Perhaps maps of Planet C, home of the dirty beige ocean? :-)

    I'm glad you enjoyed it, Maggie. Irish pub culture is (was) a beautiful thing. It wasn't at all like going to a bar. The whole family would go, everybody knew everybody, and it was like a picnic. With booze. And smokes. lol Anyway, the law of unintended consequences has reared it's ugly head, and a lot of this pub culture has diminished after the public smoking ban. Unless you're out in the country, where folks sort of make their own rules...

    Hey, Scott, thanks! Fag is slang for cigarette, as I'm sure you've figured out. And Rudi is spot on with the definition for 'craic'. It means a fun time, good conversation in particular. It's pronounced 'crack.' Funny; when O's Irish cousins visited friends in San Fransisco, one of them asked, 'So when do we go for the fags and craic?' She got a lot of strange looks.

    Aw, Rudi, I'm jealous! Have a great time. Who's playing? And, I was familiar with craic looooong before Andy. :-) I miss craic. The crappy news was not unexpected, but not welcome. Argh.

    10:15 AM, April 28, 2007  
    Blogger Maggie wrote in a love letter...

    Nancy, thanks for the explanation. I got the jist on my first try but didn't take it far enough. Of course knowing about Irish pub culture was the key.

    11:25 AM, April 28, 2007  
    Blogger Mona Buonanotte wrote in a love letter...

    I got this, I got the lonely and the yearning and the used-to-be. Lovely.

    10:49 AM, April 30, 2007  

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