Can you believe I fell for it? Fell for every word out of the mouth of my brother, Jerry, the bragging prick. He’s back in Tralee brimming over with stories about streets paved with gold. For weeks every man-Jack in the pub has stood him a pint to hear about the magic of New York City.
Stupid old eejits. Not a man among ’em doesn’t have a brother, son, sister, or four cousins in New York right this minute. Hell, around here we think of New York City as a bit of a suburb, ya know? Can I tell you how many New Yorkers come around here looking to find their “roots”? It’s a cottage industry hereabouts, guiding tours to cemeteries and making up family histories.
So you ask, and well you should, what was my excuse for falling for that wide load a crap coming out of my big brother’s yap?
In a word: desperation. I’m running out of time.
There’s no prospects for a young man in Tralee and hasn’t been in a generation or more. Don’t talk to me about the Celtic Tiger, either. That “tech revolution” was over before it started around here. About all we got out of it was higher housing costs and fewer decent-paying labor type jobs. If you couldn’t code or weren’t in finance or real estate, forget it. I’ve been on the dole now for six years and live back with my parents. It’s embarrassing.
I’ve got a plan, though.
A man’s always got to have a plan. Just know this, I’ll be sending out Christmas cards from New York City.
Nothing wrong with the plan. It worked. Mostly. Ok, so yes, I have to cross the river to mail out these Christmas cards but I do work in the city after all. I’ll not be sending out near as many cards as I’d hoped, though. Postage to Ireland is insane.
I can never let on to anyone back in Tralee what I’m paying for one room in someone else’s apartment in New Jersey. I paid for this month’s transit card with change I’ve been squirreling away along with that birthday check from Mother, bless her.
But I did it. And I’ll tell you this for sure, I won’t be doing like Jerry. I’m working my skinny Irish ass off on two different construction sites and eating like a peasant until I can send for Angela. She’s going to love it over here. I hope. Of course, she’s busy with grad school and whatnot. But I know my woman. She’s ready to move the heavens to be by my side, I’m sure.
In the meantime allow me to offer some valuable advice I wish to God someone had told me before I ruined a perfectly good pair of Doc Martens. That’s not gold paving these streets. It’s dog shit or vomit. Or a deceptively deep pool of leaked motor oil.
Just watch where you walk and you’ll be, well, golden.
© Remington Write 2020. All Rights Reserved
In August 2020, AleXander Hirka set himself the challenge of creating a daily digital collage based on an image and a concept. The image is that of the antique Omega watch that belonged to his Mom and the concept is Time. In September 2020, the Anomalous Duo is challenging themselves to write a short piece of fiction for each collage — the Our Hours project.