The Last Time Down the Low Road



At dinner, the night before my departure, I had told Maura not to fix any breakfast, but when I came into the dining room, she had freshly squeezed orange juice ready for me. Joe was there to send me off as well. He said the sonnet required framing and would be hung on the wall in the living room, that is, if he could keep the women from banging down the doors. In the sonnet, I had referred to him as a “good stallion” and Maura as a “strong mare.” “Well, I had to work in the animals, ” I retorted.

The night before I left, Maura said John would be driving me, but she didn’t want to call that night as he would forget. She would phone him in the morning. At 7:45, he was at the door, a familiar face, he being the one who had given me a ride from Kilronan and preferred to talk about testicles.

We hadn’t gone but a few hundred feet when he said, “I’m having trouble with my bulls. They are crying out every night and getting very randy. They even tried to bolt over the walls.” “Really,” I responded. “Yes, and one made it.” “What’s wrong, I asked.” John lightly touched my knee, and smiled. “Well, my dear, They haven’t been fixed. And like I said, they are mighty randy. They are driving me crazy.” He explained he had waited too long to castrate them as the vet hadn’t been to the island recently. He wondered if he might have to do it himself and was about to launch into another explanation of how it used to be done when I slipped in my regret at never seeing the low road again.

“We can do that” he told me, and down we went one more time, sighting seals lounging on rocks while the tide moved out.

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