The Writer's Life: Film & Book Reviews, Observations, and Stories
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A ride, a pint, and a bit of companionship

Kind persons have been coming out of the woodwork. Yesterday, as I was walked along the coast road a mile or so out of Ballyvaughan, a guy slowed down and asked if I wanted a lift. Of course, he wasn’t driving a Land Rover, but a tiny, battered car, smelling of tobacco inside. I said, “Sure,” and got in. I noticed his fingers were stained yellow from tobacco, his eyes were slightly crossed, and his clothes were more than well used. He said he was from Kilfenora and was headed for Monk’s. I said it was closed until the 15th, but that there were two other pubs open in town and named them. He wanted to know if I was from the States. When I said yes, he asked whether I was a Democrat or a Republican, and I said I was very liberal politically. Like many of the common Irish I’ve met, he offered the opinion that George Bush had done much damage to the image of the United States. When he dropped me off at my road, he gave me his hand and told me his name and asked for mine in return. We parted as friends. It was another unsolicited act of kindness by someone who offered what little he had, a lift in his car. These common Irish men and women are so far removed from those who are moneyed, which, I suppose, is how it is everywhere. He viewed the world in the most basic terms: a ride, a pint, and a bit of companionship.

February 5, 2008   2 Comments