We all began dreaming about Mack in the weeks after the crash. He came to each of us in turn, apologising for the way things turned out. Offering praise, hopes, advice for the future. Of course, he came to us during waking hours too, differently arranged, corporeal, perfectly unharmed.
He walked away from the twisted ruin of his father’s Jetta, come to rest in the furthest ditch from the road above in Manion’s field. Many disputed this detail, as it was observed he’d had enough difficulty traversing the car park outside Forde’s on two legs ten minutes earlier. But enough adrenaline can cure fifteen pints in fifteen seconds, and he was as sober as made no difference when the Gardaí arrived half an hour later. The brakes had snapped, he claimed, and the lack of rubber on the road lent credence to it, but didn’t really explain the hundred yard pinwheel into the reeds. No one was hurt, so the crash was forgotten, and Garda Kenny helped Mack’s father write up the insurance forms.
Half the village has been up to see Manion’s handywork fixing the Jetta-sized gap in his wall. He’s getting grief from all quarters. Someone told him to go down the the graveyard and ask Manion Senior how to put one stone on top of another. Or dig him up and give him a go, he’d still do a neater job. Mack’s dad told him it was his responsibility to help with the wall, but Mack never offered and it was dropped.
The Mack we have now should seem invincible, but it’s the opposite has happened. He shouldn’t have come out of that field and our guts know it. In every moment with him we know that he’ll be dead in a week, or a month, or fifty years. He’s shaken hands with it. The rest of us are still hidden. In a way the dream Mack seems realer than the living one. More realistic, anyway. I find myself angry at the Mack sitting at the stove drinking tea and eating ham sandwiches. Has he no respect for the order of things?