The rain ran in sheets across the concrete apron at the top of the pier by the road gathering up before flowing through the drain. The stream by the side of The Butter House was in full spate brown water flattening the tall grass that normally stood proud in the dark corner under the eaves. On the walk up to the pub I had to skirt away from the edge of the road as more water ran down the slope. Up beyond the pub at the junction where the road turns left to the bridge over Ahakista Stream the trees and other vegetation hung low and green with the weight of the damp in the air. There was something obscene about the greenery it was so thick with rain. The water around the pier was flattened by it and cloudy and brown with soil brought down from the hills.
In the pub I shook the water from my hat and plastic coat and walked up to the bar. Sinead started to pour me my pint.
The man with a black beard was stood there as well. His glass was empty and he nodded his head when I asked if he wanted another. He wore a thick blue jumper and there was nothing about him to suggest that he had been out in the wet.
‘Feck. This weather is bad for the fish and it will rot a potato as it lies in the ground.’
Our two pint glasses were filled slowly but with purpose. When they were done we took our glasses and drank at them.
‘This will be done in a day or so and the sun will be out again for a while and a day or so after it clears the fish will be back. They are greedy for it now and won’t be away for long no matter what shit gets washed down from the hills.’
‘Its the rain in late Spring that does for them. They can taste the bad water out there beyond the heads before they come into the bay and if there’s been too many days of rain they’ll keep away and go somewhere else for their food.’
‘There was a year once it rained every day all day for a month in May. Feck it was wet then. Every road from here up to Durrus it was covered in water and you had to splash through it even to get out of the house. There were people who left for good that year and didn’t come back they went mad with the sound. If it is wet for so many days there is a sound that comes with it all. It is not just the drum thump of the rain it is the way that it traps the air so the noise of anything cannot get out and forms tight around you.’
‘There were feck all fish to be had that summer and the lobsters were only thin blue things and hardly worth the catching.That was twenty years ago and it has not been so bad since.’
We drank again at our pints and outside the rain swept up the bay.