Ùrachadh mu Dheireadh 15/08/2017
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TIOTAL
'Instead of Beauty' (3)
EXTERNAL ID
AB_LL_CYNTHIA_ROGERSON_02
DEIT
2008
LINN
2000an
CRUTHADAIR
Cynthia Rogerson
NEACH-FIOSRACHAIDH
Am Baile
AITHNEACHADH MAOINE
1275
KEYWORDS
claistinneach
cruthan-tìre litreachais

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'S e 'Instead of Beauty' sgeulachd ghoirid air a sgrìobhadh le Cynthia Rogerson. Chaidh fhoillseachadh an toiseach ann an 2007 ann an 'Riptide: New Writing from the Highlands and Islands', deasaichte le Sharon Blackie. Tha e air a leughadh an seo leis an ùghdar.

'Joe takes a long pull of his beer and shifts in his seat. This feels like words to Addie.

'It'll just take a few minutes, actually, Joe. No need for staying the night, even. Unless you want to, of course. You might fall asleep, and then I'd just let you sleep.'

'No!' It bursts out of him with such finality that she lurches forward, already grieving this sweet fish-smelling baby. She has trouble breathing naturally, and her voice acquires an unattractive whine.

'But why? What're you afraid of? It'll not hurt, I'll be dead gentle.'

She puts her hand on his hand, which feels oily and rough, but she doesn't remove her hand. She is surprised how easy it is to ignore the oily stickiness, but Llord - he stinks of fish. There'd be no getting rid of that smell.

'Please, Joe. Just consider it.'

'It's ... wrong.'

'How can it be wrong? Ever one -but you, that is - does it all the time! It's the strongest instinct there is, to make babies. Love is all crap. It's just a trick of nature to make sure the human race doesn't die out.'

Joe shrugs, finishes his pint.

'Ach, you'll be sorry Joe. I'm great, so I am. Ask anyone.'

He looks round the pub. It's true; almost all the men drinking could probably vouch for Addie's skills. He sighs, and his sigh has longing and sadness in it. Then something happens to the room and everyone in it, and though things look the same, they are not. In fact, unseen by the customers, the barmaid has opened the back door and a surfeit of oxygenated sea air has entered the bar. Addie removes her hand from Joe's hand, and he instantly misses it. He misses it like he'd miss his own hand. He buys another round, then they sit in silence for seven minutes and drink in rhythm, each raising their pint glass and drinking at the same time. They look at the bottles behind the bar and there is a pleasant stillness to their silence, as if the new air has induced a truce.

Joe is a word miser, and in any case, she is a lousy listener. But her muscles have wisdom and memories and don't require language. She puts her hand back in his hand, leaves it there until he wraps his fingers around it.

'Listen Joe, I know it's a lot to ask. I'm not daft.' She doesn't look at him or the bottles now, but looks out the window. The sea is visible in the white lines of waves breaking. It is raining of course: that same thin seemingly-English drizzle, with no real force [behind it]. She has a sudden wish for the rain to really rain, to stop holding back. She wishes for a screaming hurricane of wind and rain, to make all choice irrelevant, to obliterate the hotel and everyone in it. She sighs and her sigh has tears of frustration in it.

'Shit, Joe. I just want a baby. It's all I can think of. I've given up on the other stuff.'

Joe nods sympathetically, excuses himself to use the toilet, and when he returns, asks if she's all right to see herself home. She says yes, and he leaves her sitting there, feeling strange, with her half-empty glass of flat beer and the insipid rain.'

Airson stiùireadh mu bhith a’ cleachdadh ìomhaighean agus susbaint eile, faicibh duilleag ‘Na Cumhaichean air Fad.’
’S e companaidh cuibhrichte fo bharantas clàraichte ann an Alba Àir. SC407011 agus carthannas clàraichte Albannach Àir. SC042593 a th’ ann an High Life na Gàidhealtachd.
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'Instead of Beauty' (3)

2000an

claistinneach; cruthan-tìre litreachais

Am Baile

Literary Landscapes: Cynthia Rogerson

'S e 'Instead of Beauty' sgeulachd ghoirid air a sgrìobhadh le Cynthia Rogerson. Chaidh fhoillseachadh an toiseach ann an 2007 ann an 'Riptide: New Writing from the Highlands and Islands', deasaichte le Sharon Blackie. Tha e air a leughadh an seo leis an ùghdar.<br /> <br /> 'Joe takes a long pull of his beer and shifts in his seat. This feels like words to Addie.<br /> <br /> 'It'll just take a few minutes, actually, Joe. No need for staying the night, even. Unless you want to, of course. You might fall asleep, and then I'd just let you sleep.'<br /> <br /> 'No!' It bursts out of him with such finality that she lurches forward, already grieving this sweet fish-smelling baby. She has trouble breathing naturally, and her voice acquires an unattractive whine. <br /> <br /> 'But why? What're you afraid of? It'll not hurt, I'll be dead gentle.' <br /> <br /> She puts her hand on his hand, which feels oily and rough, but she doesn't remove her hand. She is surprised how easy it is to ignore the oily stickiness, but Llord - he stinks of fish. There'd be no getting rid of that smell.<br /> <br /> 'Please, Joe. Just consider it.' <br /> <br /> 'It's ... wrong.' <br /> <br /> 'How can it be wrong? Ever one -but you, that is - does it all the time! It's the strongest instinct there is, to make babies. Love is all crap. It's just a trick of nature to make sure the human race doesn't die out.' <br /> <br /> Joe shrugs, finishes his pint.<br /> <br /> 'Ach, you'll be sorry Joe. I'm great, so I am. Ask anyone.'<br /> <br /> He looks round the pub. It's true; almost all the men drinking could probably vouch for Addie's skills. He sighs, and his sigh has longing and sadness in it. Then something happens to the room and everyone in it, and though things look the same, they are not. In fact, unseen by the customers, the barmaid has opened the back door and a surfeit of oxygenated sea air has entered the bar. Addie removes her hand from Joe's hand, and he instantly misses it. He misses it like he'd miss his own hand. He buys another round, then they sit in silence for seven minutes and drink in rhythm, each raising their pint glass and drinking at the same time. They look at the bottles behind the bar and there is a pleasant stillness to their silence, as if the new air has induced a truce.<br /> <br /> Joe is a word miser, and in any case, she is a lousy listener. But her muscles have wisdom and memories and don't require language. She puts her hand back in his hand, leaves it there until he wraps his fingers around it. <br /> <br /> 'Listen Joe, I know it's a lot to ask. I'm not daft.' She doesn't look at him or the bottles now, but looks out the window. The sea is visible in the white lines of waves breaking. It is raining of course: that same thin seemingly-English drizzle, with no real force [behind it]. She has a sudden wish for the rain to really rain, to stop holding back. She wishes for a screaming hurricane of wind and rain, to make all choice irrelevant, to obliterate the hotel and everyone in it. She sighs and her sigh has tears of frustration in it. <br /> <br /> 'Shit, Joe. I just want a baby. It's all I can think of. I've given up on the other stuff.'<br /> <br /> Joe nods sympathetically, excuses himself to use the toilet, and when he returns, asks if she's all right to see herself home. She says yes, and he leaves her sitting there, feeling strange, with her half-empty glass of flat beer and the insipid rain.'