“Anyway enough about Blackstar”, he waves the new pages at me, “Father Dead part 2? You’re already a week late and this is what you produce? What do I ever ask you to do? God knows I pay you enough. How far into the movie are we? and it’s all talk talk. I mean it’s not Ingmar Bergman I’m looking for here, 95% of the audience will be comatose by now.”
“Look Few there’s a lot going on, we barely see you these days. What are you doing exactly?”
“What am I doing? What am I doing? I am not doing, I am being. You wouldn’t understand the distinction, but it’s important. Very important. I’m not going to say it again, cut to the chase, I want some action. I want lots of action. Sarah, I like, who wouldn’t? You just missed her – I’m taking her out for dinner later. I think you’ve got her wrong though, I know she’s got a filthy mouth but she really cares. Really.”
He’s staring at me. He orders whiskey from the barman, from Roger. He’s seems to know everyone in here. He turns to the middle-aged man beside him, he’s early fifties maybe, looks like a second-hand Gabriel Byrne. “Inspector McGivney, meet Brick Winters. He’s working on a film script for me, strong police presence, I think he could do with your advice.”
FATHER DEAD (cont.)
Ray Manning is standing by the famine statues, staring out over the dark, glowering Liffey, still hammered, struggling in the rain with his mobile and an increasingly illegible beermat.
“Hello,Hello. Eh, Sarah,is that you?”
“Who the fuck is this? What time of night is it?”
“Sarah,it’s me,you know Ray. I met you earlier. We had a nice drink and a chat..”
“Ray? Jesus Christ, What time is it?” Sarah looks at the clock on her wall. “Jesus Ray when I said call me sometime I didn’t mean at 3 o’clock in the bollocksing morning”
Well, you know, you said…..I just thought ..I’d…call over for a chat.”
“Sleep it off Ray,go home to your wife, the one you’re sort of married to you, fucking gobshite.”
“She’s away, you don’t really mean I’m a gobshite, that’s harsh,.go on go on..can I call over? I promise I won’t stay long. Where do you live? Actually, where am I?, hold on….grand…ok.”
“Look Ray, I’m not a fuckin’ counsellor okay. I can’t sort my own problems never mind anyone else.”
“Just a cup of tea and a chat. That’s all.”
Sarah picks up a framed photo of herself as a kid, she’s staring at it distractedly as she gives him the address, sighs and hangs up.
A few minutes later the buzzer goes and she picks up the entry phone.
“Sarah,it’s me Ray. I met you in the pub earlier today and I….”
“I’ve just been fuckin’ talking to you Ray. Come up. I’m the first door on the right on the 2nd floor. And keep the noise down will ya?”
Ray makes it to the 2nd floor and Sarah has the door open.
“Hello again. Thanks for letting me call over. Did I wake you?”
“Of course you fucking woke me , are you always this thick?
Get in here, coffee?”
“I’d murder a drink.”
“You’ve committed enough bleedin’ murders for one evening Ray. What are you on? Calling me in the middle of the night?”
“You’re the only one who understands Sarah, she doesn’t care. She hasn’t a clue where I’m coming from..”
“The wife doesn’t understand me. My horse won’t listen. I ‘ve heard it all before.”
“I don’t mean to dump my problems on you Sarah,I just thought it’d be good if we talked some more. You know, given our shared…”
“The gory details. Is that what you’re after? Compare notes? I’ve spent most of my life trying to forget this shit and now when I finally am able to sleep I’ve you ringing me up reminding me of what’s been keeping me awake for years.”
“The jacks are down the end of the hall Ray.”
Ray shouting from the jacks.“I like what you’ve done to the bathroom”
“I haven’t done a thing to it, What the fuck are you on about?”
“Do you always swear this much? I’m just trying to be friendly,that’s all. Seriously it’s great.”
“Yeah, if you don’t like it you can fuck off Raymundo.”
“Raymundo, the ice is melting.” Ray walks back into the living room, stumbles and lands on the couch. I’m parched Sarah,any chance of a night cap?”
Sarah places a cup of coffee down beside Ray. She sits down and lights a cigarette. “So here we are again..”
“Look,I just felt a connection with you back there…”
Fuck up Ray, Jesus, look I’m going to bed. Sleep it off okay. I’ll get you a blanket.”
Sarah heads to her bedroom to pull out some sheets and a blanket and returns a few minutes later to find Ray fast asleep. She throws the blanket over him and heads to her room,turning off the light.
Later (earlier?), the next morning.
Ray’s up going through Sarah’s CD and book collection. Sarah arrives in looking sleepy and serious.
“Look,I’m really sorry. I don’t remember much at all. Was I alright, you know? I mean did I say or do anything?”
“It was my uncle. My Dad’s brother.”
“Jesus, your own family.”
“Isn’t that the way it usually happens Ray? We’re all born alone together. You can’t choose your fucking relatives.”
Sarah heads to kitchenette and puts the kettle on.”So what happened you?
“I don’t really……….”
“Don’t bail on me now Ray. You wouldn’t shut up last night.”
“I’m sorry Sarah. I was drunk. I shouldn’t have called you.”
“Frightened you off have I?”
“No, not at all. Look I need to head and I’ve no idea where I am..”
Sarah goes into the bedroom.”I’ll throw something on and put you in the right direction.”
Ray and Sarah are walking along by the modern office blocks in Dublin’s shining new docklands, in between the Facebooks and the Googles are old corporation flats, churches, scruffy parks, remnants of a different docklands, one that’s all but disappeared, populated by people who no longer belong in places their families have lived for hundreds of years.
“I thought fresh air was meant to make me feel better, not worse” Ray stops for a minute, is overcome by a bout of dry retching.
Sarah is walking into a Spar on the corner. “You’ll survive. I’m gonna go and get some smokes. You need anything?”
“Kombucha and some painkillers”
“Kom wha? I’ll be out in a minute. Kom fucking bucha, what the jasus?”
Ray is upright again, breathing heavily. He suddenly notices a man standing beside him. Startled , he jumps a little and his stomach does another seasick somersault.
“Ah Reamonn, is it yourself?”
“Jesus, Father Sean, you’re the last person I was expecting to see.”
“Reamonn,it is you. Lovely to see you. How are you? How’s Fidelma?”
“Father. I’m OK, I’ve had better mornings to be brutally honest. Fidelma, she’s fine I’m sure – she’s off on a retreat at Lough Derg Father. Waste of time if you ask me. (Under his breath,not expecting the priest to hear).
Father Sean’s jovial manner slips for a second. “I didn’t ask you , did I ?” Then with a slightly forced smile “You shouldn’t dismiss the power of the holy spirit Raymond, it protects and invigorates in equal measure.”
“Whatever you say Father, you’re the man in the know I suppose.”
“The kids got their new football kits Reamonn. It’s greatly appreciated.”
“You can thank Fidelma, Father. Sure it’s free advertising anyway. When are they on next?”
“St. Mary’s next Thursday evening. Will you make it?”
“It does my heart good to watch those youngsters in full flight, it makes an old man feel young again. So, what has you around these parts? A walk on the wild side?”
“I got you a Lucozade Ray, wasn’t going asking for the other crap. I’d forgotten what it was as soon as you said it anyway.” Sarah looks up, stops dead, all the colour draining from her face.
“Ah hello Sarah. Look Reamonn, I must run. Tell Fidelma I said God Bless and that I’ll catch up with her soon..” and Father Sean is gone as swiftly as he appeared.
“What was he talking to you about?”
“My wife knows him. She’s involved with the church and helps out at various events he organises, fund raising and stuff for the kids.”
“Jesus Ray,I thought you’d have had enough interfering from priests….anyway the Dart Station is just around the corner. I’ll leave you to it.”
“Thanks Sarah, and listen sorry for barging in on you last night…”Ray stands rooted to the spot, making no move to walk away.”..but would you fancy a drink maybe next weekend or something?
Sarah turns and heads away down the street smiling. ”I’ll see you around Ray.”
Father Dead Soundtrack (#2)
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