Still Life with Guinness
“So, this is Davey Byrnes?” I asked. I looked around the crowded old pub at the bronze birds and the stained glass and the rugby on TV. I looked anywhere, anywhere but at him.
“Yes. Here you go, Dublin’s finest stout. Not quite the burgundy and goat cheese sandwich that Leopold Bloom had, but quite nice, just the same.” He set the pint glasses on the table.
“And the oysters?” I wondered out loud.
“Ah, the oysters there before you are from Galway. A little brineier than what you’re used to, but I like them, you know …”
“You wanted to talk to me about something?” I snapped, jumping at my own sharpness “Oh! I’m so sorry, Professor, that was so rude….” It was rude.
“Oh, don’t worry. You were right. Ah… call me Lliam, please,” he began as he eased into the booth. Oh, yes. Well, you know, archeology is very different from paleontology. The methods are very different, you see….”
I knew all of this. I just wanted to watch him. Needed to. Maybe that wild cousin of mine was right. Maybe I could….
“ …damn,” he mumbled, barely audible over the rumble of the bar. I leaned in, straining to hear what came next. “Ann, I don’t want to talk about this now,” he continued, louder this time.
“What then?” I asked, startled. Lliam dropped his gaze to the plate of oysters and brown bread on the table as he shifted his head and his hands back and forth.
“What I want to know is … ah…. Well, when you kiss, does it feel like feathers and lightning?”