I was trying to write a bit when she walked in. It was around 3pm. Usually she’s drunk by now. Buys a bottle of Vodka at 10am every morning and has it mostly drank by the afternoon. Normally it’s in a flask and she carries it around and drinks it casually as the hours pass. She wants to know what the music is, says it sounds familiar, she used to listen to it in Poland before she moved over.
I told her it was Reamonn. She said she used to drink a lot in Poland. Party girl. Young. Finding herself. Strobe lights in dark discos, dance beats and boys. Her new fella wanted to move to Ireland. Big money, better life. She could speak good English and they liked to drink in Ireland too.
So they packed up, moved over. Had two kids. Bought a house. She had a job for a while but lost it. It was everyone’s fault. The boss, the manager, the conditions, the hours, the pay. She was better than that, didn’t need it, there’s better things out there.
She drank some more, said: ‘I love that song.’
‘Yeah. We used to listen to it at home all the time.’
‘Before you moved over?’
She danced a bit, put up a hand to the beats. Took a drink, said: ‘Sure you don’t want some?’
She feels the excitement, song always gets her. Brings her back, back to a place before experience and knowledge, a careless place where she didn’t have to think. She can’t remember when she decided she was a Supergirl. Maybe it was when she had her first kid, or second, or when she got married. Most mornings now she gets the flask and fills it and goes for a walk. Walk where, who cares. The kids are gone too. Husband took them. She had an apartment for a while, no rent paid. That’s gone aswell. Now she lives with my neighbour and makes him dinner every evening and he gives her some money for the off licence. Lately he’s getting annoyed because the dinner does be burnt and he’s noticing things going missing around the house. First it was a phone and she blamed the guy up the road. Then a jar of change and it was the fault of the woman that visited an hour before. Then some real money from a wallet and maybe it was a break in, might be time to call the guards. He’s also the kind of the man to keep a suitcase of cash under the bed. He went looking for it yesterday to buy a car and sure most of it was gone. Had vanished. Disappeared.
So she’s giving him some space and hanging out here, listening to Supergirl. And where did I get the computer, it’s really nice. And do I like this town? Was I ever in Poland? It’s good, but Ireland is better. Much better. She wants to see her kids at the weekend but the husband won’t let her. Won’t answer the phone. Last time she got too drunk and didn’t show up and there’s been no word since. But she has a plan. There’s going to be a court day soon, solicitors, a real showdown, she’s got it all planned as she dances, transformed back to the careless place, invincible. Supergirl.
Novel – El Niño (in Paperback).
El Niño is the exciting debut novel from Mayo man, Mick Donnellan. Slick, stylish and always entertaining, the story is a rollercoaster of drama and tension that hasn’t been seen in Irish fiction for a very long time. Charlie is our protagonist, the pick pocket that steals El Nino’s wallet and then falls in love with her. She’s the wild femme fatale, beautiful; enigmatic and seductive. She rocks Charlie’s world with her smoky wiles and drinking ways and her tough girl ideals. This is Noir at its best. Dark and edgy with crisp fresh dialogue and a plot that engages the reader from the first line and keeps them up all night – right through to it’s powerful finish.