It's so loud in there you can't smell how sour and stale it is, how close, sweat mixed with bad perfume and slopping stale beer. Raucous. Next door American and German tourists soak up "traditional Irishness" in plush chairs next to big screen TV's while we crowd this back room like refugees on the Mayflower. Mary McFeenie, who goes by her second name Ann, and is hereafter referred to as anorak-McSwak, is literally laughing her ass off as she sets down eight pints of guinness on a rickety table that's maybe a little bigger than a postage stamp. "fifteen lemons! Jesusmaryand joseph, fifteen lemons!", and a thousand hands reach out to steady the ship as it lists dangerously. Tom's sipping a whisky, Mack the fuckin' traitor has a can of Heineken, Bridget's trying to get by on an aneamic glass of white wine for reasons unknown but we can all see her eyeing the pints and she'll be slipping back into the good stuff soon enough.
Through a crack in the door you can see the sun's just past setting and the sky is still flushed with afterglow, dogs chase each other up and down the shoreline and probably some of them are barking. The clink of glasses reminds you of the clink of masts against the fading light. There's a rugby team pouring in from old Jerry Keenan's field, coming this way it looks like.
"jaysus I could murder a curry. Paul would y'ever take this couple of punts across the road for me and get me a curry fish an chips wouldya now? It'll be very quick, sure" says Fiona, alluringly slipping two large heavy coins into the pale nervous hands of the young lad next to her. He flushes and stands to go an is assaulted by a wall of voices; John's head disengages almost mechanically from his conversation with a bricklayer named Eugene who just dropped in.
"oi oi! heading to the chippie? Mine's a bag of chips, then, Paul, cheers mate."
"ah, Paul, that's grand of yours, now. Sure would'y'ever get me the same John?"
"No worries, Eugene. Here, there's two Punts, I'll get us both"
"fifteen fucking lemons! I ask you!"
"do you need more money?"
As paul is leaving, the rugby team comes in, still flushed with the heat of battle and the smell of blood and grass and leather. Young Martin looks big enough to be Cuchulain in his prime, bristling and freal and smashing the heads of the ulstermen with the spokes of his chariot, until he spots Tom sitting back in the corner with his half empty glencinchie and sunlight bursts across his face as it opens in recognition.
"Tom! Ah jaysus, Tom, is it really yourself and all?"
Tom smiles conspiratorially. "flew in from London yesterday, Martin. Feels great to be back already. Did you do well today?"
"Ah, it was close, it was close. Diarmuid got himslef a fuckin' try with fifteen minutes to go at the end of the game and it pushed them over. I swear to Jayus Tom he's a fuckin' greased eel. But how's yourself? did you see your man?"
"ah no Martin, no I've hardly even opened my suitcase y'know? But sure I'll get him now in the mornin when I pop down to Lakers, sure."
"Lakers?" Martin's eyebrows storm the upside of his skull, dislodinging grass and dried mud as they go. "I didn't know he was a betting man, now".
"Ah sure but aren't we all? No, and and he's hardly there at all most of the week sure but on a Sunday mornin' he'll put down a punt or two on the horses, y'know? Sure I have to do bridget and seamus' anyway so I might as well"
"ah now that's grand then"
....(slight changes b/c I'm not really in the mood. More this afternoon? tomorrow? maybe. There's about 1000 words to go.)