The Vatican and the Virgin Mary –

‘Ring Dan Brown there.’

‘How’ll I ring Dan Brown?’

‘Do you not have his number?’

‘No. Where would I get it?’

‘Aren’t ye at the same craic – writing and all that?’

‘Eh….’

Haven’t you books out?’

‘I do.’

‘You do. Sure I read the fuckin things.’

‘Did you like them?’

‘They weren’t bad. The second one was cracked entirely.’

‘Twas.’

‘Would you be as rich as Dan Brown now?’

‘No. Not yet.’

‘I was in the Vatican myself last year.’

‘Did you like it?’

‘Twas alright. Horrid dear.’

‘Do they have the Euro?’

‘Some kind of Vatican pound.’

‘Did you see the Pope?’

‘I think so.’

‘Would you not recognise him if you saw him?’

‘I would – but see – there was a programme on telly a few weeks later about the Vatican and I don’t know if I saw the Pope on that or when I was there. That ever happen to you?’

‘What? Think I’m on telly?’

‘No. Be not sure if somethin was real or not. Have two memories that get mixed up and you’re sure it’s real but it’s not real at all.’

‘Hmm…’

‘See – I can see myself in Vatican Square. Can hear the tourists and the bells and can smell the candles and all that. But at the same time I can see myself in my kitchen – watching the same scene on the telly. And now I don’t know which is which.’

‘What about the Sistine Chapel?’

‘What about it?’

‘Did you see it?’

‘I did. Is that the one with the big hand in the sky?’

‘I think so.’

‘I remember it. Some fella kept taking pictures and he got ran.’

‘Do they not allow pictures?’

‘Ruins the artwork somehow. Would you not write books about the Vatican? That’s how Dan Brown got rich.’

‘Kinda been done then really.’

‘I wouldn’t mind writing a book.’

‘About what?’

‘I have this idea.’

‘Yeah?’

‘Yeah, it’s about a Canadian family.’

‘Right.’

‘In Canada.’

‘Ok.’

‘They’re Protestants.’

‘Go on.’

‘During the first World War.’

‘And what happens?’

‘Dunno after that. It’s just an idea.’

‘Do you know anything about World War One?’

‘Fuck all.’

‘Or Protestant Religion?’

‘Not a thing.’

‘Ever been to Canada?’

‘No – I was thinking about it though. Weren’t you there?’

‘Yeah, for a year.’

‘What’s it like?’

‘Depends on where you go.’

‘Was it cold?’

‘In winter. Yeah.’

‘See I don’t like the cold. Were you in Niagara Falls?’

‘Went down for a look.’

‘I’d love to go there. Do you have any ideas for a book I could write?’

‘The Pope’s coming to Ireland. You could write about that?’

‘Is he fuck? When?’

‘Soon, sometime. Not sure.’

‘That’s the job so. I’ll write about that. Will you read it when I’ve it written?’

‘I will.’

‘Ok sound. Were you ever in Knock?’

‘Few times. You?’

‘No. But I saw the Virgin Mary a few times…”

‘Where?’

‘At the end of my bed.’

‘She say anythin to ya?’

‘Told me to go the Vatican.’

‘And do what?’

‘Dunno. That’s all she said. Haven’t seen her since.’

‘You could write a book about that?’

‘Waste of time if you ask me. She’s hot and cold like…..’

____

Buy Mick Donnellan’s Novels in PAPERBACK here.

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