All I can recall about Timmy the night of the party in his gaff in Dunmanway is him sitting in the corner with a fag burning away in his mouth & a flagon on the dresser beside him, neither smiling nor frowning, neither agreeing nor disagreeing with what any of the rest of us were say- ing or doing. Poor, quiet, humble, helpful, peaceful, awk- ward Timmy – where are you now? If only I knew, I might go there to see you & ask what were you thinking all of the time you sat here in this world saying nothing – or
were you thinking anything atall?
There’s a thin line between what is & what isn’t, what we see & what we don’t see, what makes itself known to us &what remains in the vast beyond our ken. People have al- ways known this, always wondered about the limits of our perceptions, & people have always tried to break those limits. You can break the limits of the real straightaway there now by closing your eyes & imagining yourself flying into the sun, & not getting scorched in the least, right through the corona with its 2 millions of centigrade de- grees, touching down on the surface of flowing fire, to umpire a game of chess between the Virgin Mary & an eloquent toad. Or anything impossible, nonsensical you like – the imagination is limitless & lawless: it refuses noth- ing we wish it to conjure. But what if you open your eyes & you still see impossible, nonsensical things?
Chill out Timmy died in the ate autumn of the year 2000. He threw himself off the ramparts of the long uninhibited ruins of Castledonovan, seat of the powerful local Dono- van Clan, until sacked by Cromwell in the 1640s. Jagged, mossy rocks broke his fall, & also his neck. Though he left no note, it was a loud death, a death that uncharacteristi- cally screamed, bespeaking perhaps some deep hurt oranger that could not passed through living lips.
Perhaps the unannounced jump from the ramparts ful- filled an overwhelming desire to revenge upon one or more of the living who had hurt him beyond the capacity to live. But what do I know? I know only that if I was writ- ing a work of fiction, I’d have Timmy possessed & led to his death-jump by the ghost of Edmund Spencer, 16th Century Anglo-Irish landlord & west cork poet & demonic cheerleader for genocide against us locals. Was it Spenser heaved the curse of suicide upon us?
Maybe chill-out Timmy thought when he leaped into the bottomless pit that he was flying into the sun, or jumping through a looking glass, or entering paradise. He didn’t say, & we can only guess. I do know where he is buried, & that few mourn him. Or those who mourn him are too broke, or angry, or ashamed, to pay for a headstone, or for much in the way of funerary ornamentation. His grave is marked by a wooden cross, & there is a snow globe con- taining a scene of the nativity tottered over on the long & narrow dirt mound that covers over his remains. I think the snow globe could have been donated by someone mourning someone else, who didn’t know Timmy, but felt shamed at the way he lay abandoned by all humanity in his death. Or it blew here from another grave during a storm. I picked it up one time & shook it & it snowed in- side this globe with three wise men & an infant messiah & a couple of donkeys & the Virgin Mary & though it was twenty three degrees centigrade by the thermometer & the sky was Marian blue in very direction, I felt a cold wind blowing right through me. I felt it in my very bones.
Part 3 next week
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