I woke with a dry sour taste in my mouth. With my head still on the pillow and keeping my eyes closed I put my mind back through the last stages of the evening before. The man with a back beard would not allow me to fall asleep pushing my head off his shoulder and insisting that I drink another two pints so as to see my way through the rest of the evening. Hegarty had gone home at some point and the man and I were back standing at the bar as Sinead started to close the place down, wiping down the wood and turning off the lights  until there was just one bulb left on above the till in the corner. The curtains were closed.

‘Its raining again,’ Sinead told us.

‘It’ll stop in the morning,’ the man said. ‘You watch it will be dry tomorrow and you’ll look at the blue sky and wonder how there could ever be such rain. You’ll be out fishing then.’

I nodded my head.

‘If it was dry I’d take you out now. Night is a good time to be fishing but you have to go out to where the water is deep. There’ll be a great black mass of them down there. They slow at night but still have to keep moving and so they move down away from the surface. The weight of that water pushes the oxygen they need more cleanly through their gills.’

‘And they are beautiful fish at night. Pull them out of the water as the moon is up and the colours there on their belly will wink at you and it will seem a shame to have to kill them and eat them. But that’s what we do and then we go out and get them again.’

‘I’m going home now,’ and he walked to the door and opened it and went out into the night. We bowed our heads against the rain and he turned to walk up the hill. He looked at me.

‘Are you alright getting back?”

I nodded my head and turned to walk back down the hill towards the pier.

There was a pile of wet clothes next to the bed. The curtains were open and the sky was blue and I could see the view out across the bay to brown and green hills of The Mizen. I got out of bed and went downstairs to cook bacon for breakfast.


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