The Manchester Review
Kevin Barry
White Hitachi
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The next thing was he had to get the van out of the clampers. He walked out there past the industrial estate and the traffic was all eyes: he felt as if they were all watching him – who’s the latchiko on the hoof?

And of course up top of the situation with the van was the situation with Enya’s father. The father had put word out that the next time he saw Patrick Mullaney he was going to take the head clean out of his shoulders. Patrick had not known that Enya was only fifteen and a half years of age. It wasn’t as if she was small – there was no shortage of the girl. And it was only the one date they’d had. He took her to an Apache Pizza on the by-pass road and they shared a Meat Supreme. She wouldn’t get in the back of the van so he drove her to a Topaz station and they had sex in the handicapped toilet there. To delay climax, he had focused on the toilet cleaning schedule pinned to the wall. It claimed with biro signatures that some buck called Felim had cleaned the toilet at hourly intervals all day until 6pm and a girl called Marnia had done the job at 7pm, 8pm, 9pm. She did in my hole, Patrick thought, looking at the filth of the stall around him. Enya moaned softly meantime and she had been no stranger to such moans was Patrick Mullaney’s belief.

As he walked out to the clampers, he worried less about the father and more that Enya might have a bad memory of their night together. He shook free of the worry by telling himself Enya hadn’t seemed like the remembering kind.

Once he got the van back, and presuming he stayed blindside of Enya’s father, the plan was to spring Tee-J from the juvenile detention unit. Not spring, exactly – that was just Patrick’s dramatic way of telling things to himself. Tee-J was officially due for release – he had served the full six months. Tee-J (who sometimes spelled it T-Jay, who had his head wet Thomas John) was his younger brother. Teedge, Patrick usually called him, to the boy’s annoyance. Teedge had done the six months after robbing an Isuzu Trooper that belonged to a guard’s wife and driving it through three counties. He was followed all the while by the same guard until the guard hit a ditch. Was said that coming out of Elphin the Isuzu had clocked the third highest speed ever recorded in County Roscommon. Fucking legend, Tee-J, in Patrick’s book, and barely seventeen. But there had to be an end to it.