Hello friend (no handshake) by Jane Carolan

Hello friend (no handshake)
It took a lockdown to make me write you a rhetorical “howya”. That’s like something you ’d have said to me whilst raising your eyes to heaven 
🙄.. alas a place you most definitely didn’t believe in. Not that you haven’t popped into my melancholy mind since you left. You live in there in a sort of dormant way with a couple of other village people. It just takes a familiar song or a familiar get together & you’re here. There are pieces of you left everywhere. The sunny Main Street, the rainy evening, the old boy bar. Nothing fussy. Maybe smoking outside front of house with one hand in your pocket. There was more chance of a lock-in than a lockdown back then. Lovely times. I see your ghost the odd night…no need for a chair. Instead just shifting up & back off your tippy toes. Telltale signs of too many heavy barrels or thankless hotel luggage lifted the wrong way. It’s just easier to stand. We’d be squeezed into a corner of one of our churches and you’d be giving us sisters far too much air time. Your mischievous wince or guffaw of laughter at a newly suggested take on life or the banter about one of your beautiful little relations. The picture of one of them covered in beach mud on your screensaver or the story of one of them deciding to become a pussy cat farmer. The love just bursting out of you for them all. You were always polite to a new face and to a lot of old familiar ones as well. Handshake at the ready. That ’s how I remember you. What would you have made of all of this now. Are we forever changed? Handshake/packed pub Ireland is dead & gone, it ’s with McGarry in the grave…? I hope not. That was all part of your charm xx

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