In Memoriam

Matty buried himself in his glass, not watching but hearing John carried out of the rear of the bar. The adrenaline only subsided when he spotted a van noticeably speeding away out the front window.

Sean the bartender lugged a steaming tray of freshly washed glasses onto the bar near Matty. As he picked up the first one to dry, he nodded his head toward John’s vacant seat.

“Your friend,” he said, in his mushy brogue, “doesn’t know they keep ears in here?”

Matty fixed his gaze on the TV, shaking his head. “Can’t help himself.”

Sean grunted as he dried and stashed each glass. “One of those who likes it, then. Looking to make a point.”

Matty didn’t answer right away. He was transfixed by the report on the news of crop disasters in the East.

“No,” he started, still watching, “it’s just – I mean, he cares, and it’s not like they actually torture people.”

A loud clink caught Matty’s attention as Sean laid down his towel and moved closer, leaning in on the bar. “Are you sure about that lad?” he whispered.

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