Northern Ireland cowers from the swelling seascape like a child from the back of a hand. For the bosom of the horizon run wailing and screaming cities and towns and hamlets and villages and sprawling rural expanses. Soon, nowt but a handful of vapour trails remain, wavering tendrils of fast-fading light the colour of the voices in Central Station, Belfast or of the chip papers rustling about the railings outside a Londonderry hostel or of the bottles o' Tesco-brand vodka raised to yaps still framed with the rash from the first ever shave.
Fare thee well, says I, to the smattering of youngsters loiter about the gates of the park behind my house every evening. Fare thee well to those washes of foulest banter spill in through the open window to my left now and then, spreading o'er the white of the word processor screen in blocks of size 10 Times New Roman.
Fare thee well to thon towers of orange and red circle the reservoir used to be George Peaden’s Quarry. Fare the well to the wild horse gallops about the fields next the one we used to steal potatoes out of in the summer.
Fare thee well to the bus-shelter at the end of the estate, and to all the bus-shelters I was ever led towards by lasses knew far more about the texture o’ those bricks than I.
Farewell to the ghosts, says I, and from the aisle seat to my left a man nursing a glass of amber-hued liquid smiles and says ‘Farewell yourself. Fuck the hair we’re leaving back there, boyo.’