Three new drabble postcards to NAMA.

Entrapment

‘I hate this job!’, Evelina declared.

But her job in Spar is a job nonetheless.  It’s a far cry from the hopes and dreams stuffed into that suitcase when she first flew to Ireland from her native Lithuania five years ago.  Then, anything seemed possible – a successful career, maybe a new love, and a place to call her own.

‘Now I’m just thankful to have a job at all, even though I’m not fulfilling my potential’ she said from her poorly maintained rented flat.

As bleak as the economic prospects are here, they’re worse back in Lithuania.  This is entrapment.

John Watters

On yer bike

“Are you sure about this?”

“I don’t think we have much choice. We have to downsize, cut the cloth and all that…we’re officially a one car family now.”

“But you haven’t been on a pushbike for years!”

“Don’t you think I know that?”

“Well I suppose we better look on the bright side. You’ve lost a car, gained a bike and you still have a job.”

“Yeah, maybe I’ll lose my gut too.  Never fancied myself as the cycling type but desperate times calls for desperate means, or something like that…”

“Don’t you think you are being a bit melodramatic?”

Mary Corcoran

For Sale

John and Maeve sat on the wooden bench outside their house watching their son David playing with the neighbours.  David and Evan were four and Ben was five.  They were kicking a ball around the green.

‘They’re toe-bogging that ball’ said John.

‘Ah they’re only small’ said Maeve ‘Look at them, they’re having fun’.

‘I’m only messin’ sure’.

Parked outside was John’s van. It was for sale.  He’d already sold most of his tools.  The work just wasn’t there.  He pulled a wan smile.  Maeve looked away.  Outside their home they sat thinking the same thing, but neither one spoke.

Cian O’Callaghan

Three new drabble postcards to NAMA.

 

Yummy Drummies

“Like, I really, really wanted those boots. They’re so cooooollll!”

“Your mother’s a bitch if she won’t get them for you.”

“Yeah, she keeps going on about being maxed out on her credit card and about bills piling up. It’s such a bore.”

“Why don’t you work on your Dad; see if he will come up with the goods?”

“Funny, my Dad’s not himself lately. He spends a lot of time in his office in the garden, screaming down the phone at people, and smoking a shit load of cigarettes.”

“Do ya think he might be stressed out or what?”

Mary Corcoran

 

Leaving, on a Jet Plane

‘You’ll phone when you get there?’

‘Yeah, yeah.  Don’t worry.’

‘And someone’s going to meet you at the airport?’

‘Ma, we’ve been through this.  I’ll be fine.  Gary said he knows someone who’ll be able to get us a job.’

She pulled a tight smile.

‘Look, I better go.  I need to get through security.’

She stepped closer and drew him into a hug.  ‘Ring me, okay?’

‘Ma, you’re like a broken record.’

She pulled back, tears edging down her cheek.

‘Look after yourself, son,’ his father said woodenly, holding out a hand.  ‘Don’t get mixed up in anything stupid.’

Rob Kitchin

 

Working late

“I thought when I went from being a nurse to a manager I would work more regular hours and take home more money.”

“And?”

“My husband laughs because I actually am working longer hours but not getting the shift allowances and overtime I got as a nurse.”

“Can’t you just walk out at 5pm?”

“If I walk out the whole thing falls apart. A family arrives at 4pm with a dying relative – am I supposed to just say sorry for your troubles, but my day is done. Sometimes I am there till 11pm sorting things out. I can’t let people down.”

Mary Corcoran

 

We thought it would be interesting to put up a different kind of post to our usual academic analysis and commentaries, but which also tried to say something reflexive and useful about Ireland after NAMA; to capture something of the times and places in which we live.   Our first go at this is to create a set of ‘postcards from the edge’, which we’re calling ‘Postcards to NAMA’ using the format of a drabble.  A drabble is a story that is exactly one hundred words long.  The kind of length a note would be when scribbled on the back of a postcard.  Here are three to get us started.

 

Bills

They stared at the envelopes, all of them clearly bills or statements.

‘Don’t open them.’

‘We can’t just ignore them, Niall.  They’re not going to go away.’

He shook his head sadly.  ‘How the fuck did we get into this mess?’

‘You know how.’

‘Fucking banks.’

‘It was us that borrowed the money, Niall.’

‘Yeah, but they shouldn’t have lent us so much.  Jesus!’  He kicked the door.

‘Don’t.’

‘What difference does it make?  They’ll be taking it back off us soon.’  He kicked the door again, cracking the wood.

‘Niall.’  Her head felt like it was going to implode.

Rob Kitchin

 

Recycling

‘They go around smashing the patio windows and then leave it for a few days.’

‘Where?’

‘These ghost estates.’

‘And then what?’

‘They go around again and check. If it seems nobody noticed, they tear into the place, strip it, the lot – kitchens, radiators, boiler, fireplaces, water tank, even the jacks.’

‘For what?’

‘For scrap.  Or to ship it off – Bulgaria, England, you name it.  It’s rampant.  White vans in the middle of the night.  Fast work.  They can make as much noise as they like and not a word said.  They built them, now they recycle them.’

Denis Linehan


Thursday

Michael walked out of the post office counting his money.  He stuffed the change and the smaller notes into his back pocket and folded the larger ones carefully into his wallet.  Jimmy was on his way in.  Michael held the door.

‘Never goes far enough, wha?’ said Jimmy.

‘Better than nothin’. ‘

The wind hit Michael and he pulled his collar up around his neck. He hadn’t bothered to shave.  Sarah hadn’t noticed.  Across the street was a new bookies.  There was shopping needed, bills unpaid.  He turned away, sighed, slumped, then turned again. He crossed the street.

Cian O’Callaghan