One Few Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

When I say “she” I mean “it”. Sure, she was a fine looking woman but her eyes, her eyes were dead pools of malice. She was a nurse. She was dressed as a nurse (no, a proper nurse FFS).

You look like an angel
Walk like an angel
Talk like an angel
But I got wise
You’re the devil in disguise

“Mr. McGivney what are you doing out of bed?”

I stare at her.

“McGivney? I’m not McGivney. That’s McGivney…” I point over at the hatch but it’s gone.

“Now Michael”. She’s strict. “Now Michael, we’ve been through this a thousand times. We really thought you were getting better. Please …oh…look what have you done to the towel? I hope that’s not what I think it is. You are Michael McGivney, Special Branch, you’re suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. You are not Bobby Sands. You never were Bobby Sands. “Frankly – this”  – she holds the towel up gingerly between her fingers”…this is disgusting.”

“I know I am not Bobby Sands you stupid fucking…” is Few dead? Why wasn’t I more upset by the suitcase? That was a fat body, that was old fat Few, not the physical wreck I saw just two nights ago. Faraway so close.

She’s screaming, I realise I’m throttling her…I’m choking her, she’s fighting back, she knees me expertly in the balls and I fall  against a padded wall, slump to the floor, there’s an alarm ringing now and two big orderlies (disorderlies) are on top of me, kicking me, steel capped boots, tweedle dum and tweedle dee. And I’m shouting “Tiocfaidh ár lá!” over and over until I tumble headlong into unconsciousness.

I wake up, I can see the floor. I can’t move. My world is bloody red and midnight black. My head is throbbing. Oh Superman. I’m restrained in some way. I struggle. My shirt is gone. I’m gone, over and out.

That feels good, when I come around again she’s massaging my broken body, gently, expertly, she’s putting me back together…And I’ll put you together again… “Now Michael isn’t it better this way?”

“Yes, please don’t stop.”  never stop never stop never stop

“If you’ll just come along the road with us, you’ll be out in no time.”

Along the road. That sounds good.

“Where are the papers?”

“The papers?”

“Few’s papers.”

“Oh those, look when I brought them back there was nothing on them, completely blank, in fact most of it was just a roll of old flock wallpaper…”

“Brought them back where?” – The rhythm of the massage had intensified now, she was starting to hurt me just a little too much.

“To the office.”

“But they’re not there now.”

“No. How do you know?”

“Where are the papers?”

“Where are the papers?”  Is it safe, is it safe, marathon man. Snickers now. Was it…

It feels cold at first, sharp and bitter, then something warm and flowing and I trace the arc with my mind as she pulls the blade slowly down my spine.

“Where are the papers? You are going to lose a lot of blood very quickly Michael, very quickly – shall I count?  1…2…”

There’s a loud bang, I can’t see what’s going on behind me, she’s a hollerin’, there’s a primordial grunt and then a thud, and silence.

Look around old friend

“Jasus, that escalated quickly ….I didn’t think she’d get to the cutting before I got here…now, these fucking straps…fiddly. Anyway, you’re still alive.”

“Just about.”

It’s Tooler, he picks me up like a sack of fuckspuds and throws be over his shoulder. I’m finding it hard to focus, he carries me back to the old bar and lays me down (lay lady lay) almost gently on a couch. Tooler lays me down. Tooler lays me down. Big hands for shovels. Big shovels for hands. Big heart for a hard man. Soft hands for a Mayo man.  Never footed turf.

“He’s all yours Dimitri.”

Then McGivney is there, the real McGivney, the Store Street Special. “Stick a fork in his ass and turn him over, he’s done.”

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