This story fragment is fifty-fifty; half-true, half-fiction. I used some artistic licence so if there is any misrepresentation I unreservedly apologise.
The topic in the creative writing class which prompted the story was, ‘A gift is left for you on the back porch…describe what it is.’
The shimmering glint of the Sun’s reflection off the gleaming was what first caught my attention. Even in my perilously inebriated state – it was a time of irresponsibly regular ‘liquid lunches’ – I still had enough grey cells firing to spot the item perched on the patio’s bottom step. I strode – well, stumbled – towards it, knowing already, in spite of my lacking sobriety, from whom the unexpected present must have come.
Enda, the big friendly giant from Drimnagh, with dirty fingernails and an even dirtier mind, postman by trade, archaeologist by vocation, communist by ideology. “Brother,” he would say, with a noticeable slurring usually attributed to the final rum of the night rather than the ten pints of Guinness which had preceded it. “Brother, I love you.”
Sozzled though he undeniably was on each and every occasion this happened, it never failed to warm my heart and evoke comradely feelings towards him. Often when we were both at the same level of drunkenness we would burst into song – Rotting on Remand, the Red Flag, World Turned Upside Down – to the inevitable embarrassment of our accompanying friends. Once or twice we would sing the Internationale – he in the old lyrics, I in Billy Bragg’s – and the resulting alarum must have resembled unintelligible gibberish to any unfortunate enough to be present at the time.
What a character. What a gift.
Solidarity, brothers & sisters…★