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Вы здесь » NEVAH-HAVEN » THE DEAD ZONE » [10.05.2016] New York City; here comes the sun

[10.05.2016] New York City; here comes the sun

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here comes the sun

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Fionn O'Cailean — Alasdair O'Mara
May • 2016 • New York City, "O’Shea’s" pub

Fionn was desperate for making new friends after he'd cut off ties with practically everyone he'd known to stay away from the drug world. That wonderful evening he met a cool Irish fellow who just happened to be THAT writer, someone called O'Mara, the author of the great short stories that had served as an inspiration to the struggling young addict. Oh, isn't life full of amazing surprises?

[nick]Fionn O'Cailean[/nick][status]the survivor[/status][icon]https://i.imgur.com/y0N7iX8.gif[/icon][sign]https://i.imgur.com/NG3CkZC.gif  https://i.imgur.com/Vy53JfV.gif[/sign][lzname]<lzname><a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=412#p29901">Фионн Клэр О'Кайлен</a>, 27</lzname> <plashka>человек</plashka>[/lzname][]Хэйвен; неунывающий стойкий оловянный солдатик, который любит свою жизнь и людей в ней. Приехал из самого Нью-Йорк-Сити, чтобы помочь <a href="https://nevah.ru/profile.php?id=20">другу</a>.[/]

Отредактировано Spencer Jackett (2021-05-12 18:34:00)



fun. - some nights

The name of this pub was a funny coincidence.

Or maybe it was a stroke of fate.

Who knows.

It was named after the owner, who opened this place sometime in the early-70s. Since then, the old O’Shea died and left his pub to his daughter, who was married so she wasn’t technically an O’Shea anymore, but anyone brave (or stupid) enough to say this out loud would have to dodge a few pint glasses sent towards their head.

Agnes, or Aggie as she was known here, fostered the same atmosphere as her father. The old man grew up in Ireland so had first-hand experience with their drinking culture. This is why, when he moved to the States and discovered that his neighborhood didn’t have a small, local pub only for locals, he saw to ratify this horrible mistake.

Alasdair discovered it a few years ago. He moved to the area together with his two friends soon after graduation, because a tiny apartment on York Street was the best they could afford at the time. Since then, Sean managed to get a decently paying job on Wall Street and Liam moved in together with his girlfriend leaving Alasdair all alone. He ended up convincing another friend to share a place with him and both of them being a bit better off now, they managed to avoid having getting a third roommate.

When he first saw the name «O’Shea» on a sign, which was a bit damaged by time, Alasdair couldn’t not go in. Because O’Shea was his mother's maiden name. Everything seemed too perfect.

That was almost four years ago. A lot has changed in O’Mara’s life but nothing changed inside this pub. It was one of those places which fancy travel blogs would call a hidden gem. It was the same crowd almost every single night so anyone new stuck out as a sore thumb.

No matter what was happening outside, you could always expect a warm welcome here. Most days Aggie took care of the bar herself, but on Fridays and Saturdays she would get one of her sons to help her. They had a couple of cooks in the kitchen who managed to do a good job keeping their patrons happy and well-fed. The floor was always a bit sticky from years and years of visitors spilling their drinks. It never got too crowded, mostly because the pub was pretty small and not posh enough of the growing hip crowd of Brooklyn, but prices, beer, and people were good and what else can you ask for?

- How is it going? - the voice of Agnes made Alasdair jump a bit in his seat. He was deep in thought staring at a page of this notebook with a bunch of notes on it.

- Well, it is going, - Al answer while straightening up. - I wish I could travel back in time and tell myself not to go ahead with this mystery book idea.

- Wasn’t your first book a mystery too? - the woman raised one eyebrow while pouring a drink. - The one about a bride who disappeared before her wedding? It was really good, so the next one will be even better!

- Yeah, - shrugged Al. - Sure. You’re right.

Dark Waters wasn’t his first book though. It was his first book to be recognized, which was not even close to being the same thing but everyone seemed to think otherwise. Well, it wasn’t like Alasdair wasn’t used to it by now.

The final draft of this second book, for which he still didn’t have a name, is supposed to be turned in next month. Al still had a few weeks, so he was trying to iron out all the kinks and little details before submitting the manuscript. When you get yourself into writing a mystery with a very detailed plot, you have to make sure that everything, absolutely everything makes sense. Nothing worse than an unsatisfying and predictable reveal or plot twist, but it also has to make sense and cannot come out of nowhere. It was a delicate balance, which was hard to find without proper work.

And so today Alasdair was sitting at his favourite pub with a notebook, where he had all the important details about this new story and was going over it, again and again, to make sure that everything made sense. He liked working here. The background noise made it very relaxing, as Alasdair wasn’t one of those people who liked to have tv or music on in the background when writing. Same with silence. It was even worse.

Soft voices of other people in the pub, a gentle clinging of the glasses, soft music in the background, the sound of beer pouring out of the tap - it was almost like meditation. Pretty much everyone else here knew that he was working, so they didn’t bother him. They knew that there will be other days when they get their happy-go-lucky ginger back, but today work was more important.

Alasdair stretched out his arms to his sides and slowly rotated his head around because he was starting to feel some tension building up in his neck and upper back. Maybe it was time for a break.

- Hey Aggie, - he caught the eye of the bartender. - Can I get the usual? Thank you.

«The usual» here meant whatever keg was freshest on tap.

She poured him a pint of some dark beer and set the glass in front of him.

- Thank you, you are the best, - he smiled, leaned back in his seat, and took a sip of this drink. It was some fairly light beer with not too much bitterness.

- You look like you can use a break, - this woman had a weird sort of aura, almost motherly, but if your mother was happy to pour you shots of vodka. - Anything else going on other than your book?

- Not really, just the usual stuff, you know. Soon I will be free from this book too.

It wasn’t true, actually. Alasdair had a very clear contract with his publisher. After the fiasco which was his first two books, they offered him a contract, which was actually pretty shitty but was also the best he could hope for. The terms were clear - one more book and if it goes well - three more after that. And it did go well, much better than anyone would have predicted. This is why he was now locked in for more.

One thing though - the contract never said anything about when he should finish all four, which was a relief. At least he didn’t have to rush it.

- What’s this one about? - Agnes asked looking down at his notebook with curiosity in her eyes.

- Um… Well, it’s a small town again. No runaway bride this time though, - he smiled. - It’s about a brother and sister, who lost their parents when they were young and were adopted by different families by mistake. Many years later they decide to come back to their hometown and slowly begin to find out all of the deep dark secrets of that place.

- Another small town, eh? - Aggie laughed.

- Yeah, I guess I kind of like this whole small town mystery shtick. Hopefully, the readers like it too.

- Darling, after your first one they will be happy to get anything new from you, - as she said it, her eyes darted towards someone behind Alasdair, probably looking at another patron. Al could hear someone’s soft footsteps behind him. - Hello, dearie, can I get you anything? - Agnes had a bright smile on her face greeting someone new.



Fionn was thoroughly enjoying life outside the rehab; normal life, the life he's been living for almost a year now. It felt incredibly good to stay clean, and while he had his struggles, of course, like all of us, it also felt good to have normal struggles for a change, to worry about finding a job and paying rent rather than finding dealers and paying for drugs. He has started eating normally, too, and while he was still horribly inconsistent with his lunch time (and the food, obviously, wasn't too healthy either), he was glad to actually swallow and let it digest instead of throwing shit up like it had happened so many times before (yup, no one warns you about it when you start using, but drugs can really fuck up your digestive system). He even managed to gain a few pounds but still looked painfully skinny. So what? Fionn was proud of these pounds, they were his fucking pounds! The clear evidence he was getting better! He felt awesome, healthy and - most importantly - finally, finally clean. He was sharing the apartment he was renting with a really nice guy - nothing like the junkies from his past. The guy's name was Rory, and in fact it was him who mentioned O'Shea's place to Fionn. Rory was aware of Fionn's history, because Fionn believed it was better to be honest with potential roomies, and greatly supported the recovering addict. He didn't try to judge or patronize... damn, Rory was simply the best! Recently he's started talking about moving in with his girlfriend, though, and Fionn guessed he would have to start looking for another roomie pretty soon. Such a pity.
It was a beautiful evening, a nice and warm one, too; the spring seemed generous enough this year. Fionn felt an irresistible urge to go out and have some fun - he's earned it, after all! He's just finished his job, a task he was doing for a friend of a friend, someone from a local punk-rock band in need of a cover for their new album. Fionn liked the creative side of the job, but the punk guy was a pain in the ass. The stardom has probably hit him too hard. Still, apart from being a total jerk, he was also a client, and the money didn't come easy, so Fionn did his best and it paid off. All more reasons to throw a little celebration.
Fionn hasn't fully given up hopes to find a proper job, something stable, nine-to-five, with guaranteed paycheks arriving every month, but how much could he really offer? He had no higher education and couldn't continue the education because education needs money - much more money than just paying rent, so... yeah, an endless circle, impossible to break. But it was completely fine to Fionn. All in good times, eh?
Fionn left his apartment and felt a welcoming touch of the warm spring wind on his face. Should he visit that pub Rory recommended? O'Shea's... definitely sounds like good old beer. As he headed in the direction of the mentioned pub, Fionn wondered whether they charged the same for a pint of Guiness as everywhere else. Well, he was about to find out.
The pub was a walking distance from home, and after a nice stroll Fionn reached the place, a huge wooden sign above the entrace told him he didn't get lost on the way. The neighbourhood was still relatively new to him, and the pub was located on a narrow street far away from the traffic and casual NYC noises; no wonder he hasn't stumbled upon it himself. He gently pushed the door and entered a cozy pub, not too spacious, not too fancy - just the perfect atmosphere to recharge batteries after a long day.
Fionn glanced around; the pub wasn't too busy (you wouldn't expect a place like that to be crowded), and the newcomer instantly felt a curious gaze upon him. The few customers stopped whatever they were doing and were staring at him now. There was no aggression in their eyes, though - just natural curiousity, an understandable reaction to something unusual. Fionn smiled at the lady with a wonderfully welcoming face:
- Good evening, ma'am! You must be mrs Agnes, am I right? Rory told me about you. Rory McCormick.
- Oh, Rory, of course! - Agnes laughed, and Fionn knew he guessed correctly. - I should start paying the fellow for promoting this place.
- He seems to be totally in love with your pub, - Fionn agreed, - his girl's started complaining recently that he's spending more time here than with her.   
- Rory would marry one of the kegs if he could actually do that, - Agnes shook her head, and they both laughed, - and your name would be?..
- I'm Fionn, - he smiled again, - glad to meet you, Agnes. I'm actually dying for a sip of something nice... What does Rory usually have? I'll trust his preferences. One has to start somewhere, right?
He let Agnes fill the glass and casually looked around, now studying the local people with better attention. Once Fionn's eyes fell on someone with hair of such a vivid ginger colour that it could be easily mistaken for a forest fire, he froze still. Hold on, that can't be...
The glass of delicious dark drink appeared in front of Fionn, and he took it in his hand:
- Thanks, Agnes. I love the scent already.
His mind strolled away from the beer, though. This pal over here - he can't be O'Mara, that O'Mara, right? New York is a huge fucking city, and he has just met the writer in a small Irish pub? What are the odds?!
Fionn knew he wouldn't let it be. He couldn't. O'Mara's stories meant a lot to him. Yet he realized, of course, that the writer, famous or not, was just a man, a person who was hanging around the place he obviously adored, having a good time away from noisy (and nosy) crowds, and Fionn didn't want to bother him with work-related conversations, but, in fact, he didn't have to. He had a unique chance to talk to O'Mara, like, to the person, not the writer. To know him better. To see the personality behind these intricate lines of words and letters.
- Sorry, but - do you mind if I distract you for a second? - Fionn paused to wait for an approval and then smiled with a happy smile of a child who finally got to hug the Christmas Santa. - Jeez, I can hardly believe me luck. Irish guys are always lucky, yeah? - he giggled. Even if Mr O'Mara was annoyed, he was too polite to show it. Quite on the contrary, he had a somewhat sympathetic face, the kind of face that made one want to confide in him, the face of someone who could both talk and listen. - I, uh... well, I just wanted to say hi. I mean, I recognized you instantly, but you probably get a lot of crap like that everywhere you go, and I don't want to be a bother, really... so, do you come here often? - a very cliche way to spark a chat, but it will have to do. - Rory, me good pal, told me about this pub. I'm getting a feeling like he's a real celebrity here. It's a shame I've only discovered the place tonight. The neighbourhood is still kinda new to me.
[nick]Fionn O'Cailean[/nick][status]the survivor[/status][icon]https://i.imgur.com/y0N7iX8.gif[/icon][sign]https://i.imgur.com/NG3CkZC.gif  https://i.imgur.com/Vy53JfV.gif[/sign][lzname]<lzname><a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=412#p29901">Фионн Клэр О'Кайлен</a>, 27</lzname> <plashka>человек</plashka>[/lzname][]Хэйвен; неунывающий стойкий оловянный солдатик, который любит свою жизнь и людей в ней. Приехал из самого Нью-Йорк-Сити, чтобы помочь <a href="https://nevah.ru/profile.php?id=20">другу</a>.[/]



Alasdair glanced at the guy who decided to sit next to him, trying not to listen to what he was saying and instead shifting the focus back to his notebook. Sitting next to someone at a bar didn’t mean that they had to talk. It seemed like the stranger was a few years younger than him and, being a regular here, Al could be certain that he hasn’t seen him here before. He was more on a skinny side with something almost sickly in his physique but had a very lively smile which, for some reason, reminded Alasdair of himself.

They could have stayed two strangers at a local bar, could have done their separate ways at the end of the night with not even saying a single word to each other. They could have. But then the stranger recognized him.

Al still felt weird about being recognized. Of course, it was a side effect of being somewhat famous, but since recognition was never one of the reasons he decided to start writing, it always felt a bit unnatural to him. After all, he wasn’t that interesting of a person, not really. Just one more guy trying to make a living in a big city. Nothing special.

And so Alasdair always felt a bit weird every time someone recognized him. More than anything in this world he wanted to be liked. He wanted people to smile when they were thinking about him so always wanted to make a good impression on every person he was meeting. However, it was difficult to do, hard to guess what exactly someone wanted from him.

On the other hand, being a kid from a small town and also a child of two school teachers, who were very well-known in the community, he’s always been known to others. «Oh, it’s that O’Mara kid, you know, Sean and Orla’s boy». Having a fairly large extended family also meant that people knew about him. «That cousin, the tall, ginger one» he was normally described when aunts and uncles talked about him.

This was still different. Before people knew about him because of his family, because of his parents, because of the fact he grew up in a small town - all aspects of his life he couldn’t control. These days though, it was a direct side effect of his own actions. No one else to blame here.

- No, not at all, - he smiled at a guy sitting next to him. Al closed his notebook and put it aside. He didn’t want to seem too busy for a conversation with a stranger at a bar. - I think I can use a good distraction right about now, - having spent the whole of last week just doing revisions over and over again, Alasdair started to feel like he was going insane. - Well, in that case, I must be lucky too. I guess the universe noticed that I needed to be saved from all this work.

Hopefully, Harper won't strangle him in his sleep if he misses something. At this point, Al was not sure if there was actually anything he can do to make the book better. It seemed like he’s done the best he could and should just accept it.

- Oh, yeah, I’ve seen Rory a few times here. How is he doing? Is he here tonight? - nodded Al remembering the guy he talked to a few times before. - It’s one of those places where you tend to see the same faces over and over again.

Weirdly enough, Al didn’t feel weird talking to this guy, he didn’t feel uncomfortable like he usually would when meeting someone who’d read one of his books. It was hard to explain - it was almost like he knew this guy already. Alasdair was not a believer in auras and other mystical things like this, but somehow he just felt very comfortable at that moment. As if he ran across an old acquaintance and not a complete stranger.

- Yeah, I guess, maybe I should be coming here less, - he shrugged with a small smile. - But this is a nice place. There are not that many like it around here.

Suddenly, Alasdair realized that he didn’t know the stranger’s name.

- Well, I think you already know my name, - he shifted back and reached out his hand for a greeting. - And you are? - if he’s going to have a conversation with him it would be nice to know the name of the person he was talking to.



Fionn's face lit up when the writer recognized Rory's name. Oh, Rory! A celebrity indeed!
- Rory's doing great! - Fionn laughed. - Well, not tonight, maybe; the poor thing promised his lady a trip to her parents. He must be off to Ohio now. Who the hell takes a trip to Ohio anyway? He should've taken her to Cork instead. Let her meet his old pa and enjoy some good drinks. Right? - he sounded as if he was speaking from experience, but actually Fionn's never been to Cork. Everything he knew about the city, he's learned from his own father. Which didn't make Fionn any less Irish, mind you! That's what he believed, at least.
- Well, love is blind, so... cheers to Rory! - Fionn smiled and raised his glass. - And, honestly this place is unique, I can feel the vibes! So you shouldn't think about coming here less - in fact, you should come here even more often. I mean, quote: "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted". John Lennon.
Fionn couldn't stop smiling. He was genuinely happy to be here, to be sitting right next to Alasdair O'Mara, talking to him and enjoying every second of their conversation. Not because he met a famous person or whatever, but because he met someone who meant something to him, much more than a pretty face from another Hollywood tabloid page. If he had met Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie instead, he would've completely ignored them (neither of them belonged in an Irish pub anyway), but mr O'Mara was impossible to miss.
When the writer asked for Fionn's name, he quickly offered his hand in return:
- Ah, right! Name's Fionn. Fionn O'Cailean - well, just Fionn, of course, - he smiled and shook O'Mara's hand. The handshake felt nice and warm, his fingers held Fionn's hand with the perfect amount of pressure - firmly, but not too much, not enough to cause pain or discomfort.
- I have to tell you something, - Fionn confessed, offering an apologetic smile, - I'm sorry, I promised not to bother you much, but if I swallow me words, me chest is gonna explode. So, here we go: I've read your books, including the latest one, the novel, and I believe it's fantastic, too, but your first works, your short stories, were something that truly captivated me mind, - somehow expressing his opinion felt suddenly intimate, like he was telling a dark secret. Fionn loved saying nice things to people, making them smile and cheering them up, but surely a famous writer didn't need any cheering, especially considering Fionn's opinion, which was not quite popular among Alasdair O'Mara's fans. Many readers chose to forget the short stories ever existed, while he personally couldn't understand why it was the novel that was exclusively receiving all the hype.
Still, the writer's face expression changed upon hearing Fionn's words. He didn't look mad or annoyed; rather, he looked a bit surprised, but in a good way. Fionn hesitated but kept talking anyway (since he has started this, he might as well go till the end).
- You see, I came across your first book when I was, let's say, in a kinda dark place in me life, - he casually continued, - and the things you write about there seemed so real, like, _real_, you know? It showed me the entire idea of being alive from a different perspective. Okay, I guess that sounds weird.
He felt his mouth went dry, took a few sips from his glass and said:
- I should gladly buy you another glass of whatever you're drinking once you finish yours. What is it you're drinking, by the way?
[nick]Fionn O'Cailean[/nick][status]the survivor[/status][icon]https://i.imgur.com/y0N7iX8.gif[/icon][sign]https://i.imgur.com/NG3CkZC.gif  https://i.imgur.com/Vy53JfV.gif[/sign][lzname]<lzname><a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=412#p29901">Фионн Клэр О'Кайлен</a>, 27</lzname> <plashka>человек</plashka>[/lzname][]Хэйвен; неунывающий стойкий оловянный солдатик, который любит свою жизнь и людей в ней. Приехал из самого Нью-Йорк-Сити, чтобы помочь <a href="https://nevah.ru/profile.php?id=20">другу</a>.[/]



- What do you have against Ohio? - a smile slowly spread across Alasdair’s face as he listened to the guy. - Not a bad place overall actually. And, I guess, we need to be happy for Rory. Love is a rare thing these days, - he raises his glass. - To Rory.

The stranger's name turns out to be Fionn. His handshake is pleasant enough, but Al found his finger to be long and somewhat bony as if he was a person, who just managed to fight off a terrible illness and was still recovering his strength.

- Oh no, it’s fine, you can bother me all you want, - Al shook his head. He was just happy to meet a friendly face at his favourite bar. And then something unexpected happened… Fionn said that he liked his books. The first two. The ones that failed miserably. - Oh, that’s umm… - he wasn’t used to hearing that. In fact, he could not remember the last time when someone actually said this to him. - I’m glad you enjoyed them. Not many people would agree with you though. Maybe it means that we both have terrible taste.

The change was visible in Al’s face - his smile fades a bit, not with distress, but with a gentle sadness. Alasdair himself didn’t have a favourite book among his three (almost and soon to be four) works. Picking a favourite would feel like picking out a favourite child - wrong and unnatural.

Even so, his first two books had a special place in his heart. They were different, so different in fact that they were doomed to fail from the start. They were too much him and therefore hard to market to a wide audience. As Harper once said to him: «You are a great person with a fascinating story, but for someone to be able to fully understand these two books, they need to know you. Really know. Deep, down to the bone.»

She was right, of course. Harper is always right.

- I’m surprised you managed to get your hands on a copy. The print wasn’t too large.

Alasdair started writing when he was young. His grandmother was the storyteller in their family. Unlike many other Irish people in the area, the Woods were not recent immigrants, having moved across the pond a couple of generations before. This is why they had so many relatives around the country - they had enough time to settle and put down the metaphorical roots of the family tree.

Beatrice had always been the heart and soul of the family. Her siblings, cousins, nieces, and nephews somehow always managed to gather around her, as if they were moths attracted by her warm and welcoming light in the middle of the night. They would come to visit, send their kids to stay with her over the summer holidays, but most importantly, they always shared their stories with her. And, as if they lived in ancient times before humans invented writing, Beatrice was an archive of family history. Her memory was unique - she could never forget something she’d once heard.

It was some sort of a sick irony that she ended up with Alzheimer’s later on and in her final months was unable to recognize the faces of family members around her.

She passed away three years ago, but her loss was still an open wound in Alasdair’s heart.

His parents would often send him to spend time at his grandparent's house. Al never argued, because he knew - an afternoon with his grandmother meant stories.

She never read to him like other adults, there was no room for picture books and silly fairytales about knights and princesses. Instead, Beatrice would just start talking. Sometimes she would tell him about myths and legends that her own mother would tell her about when she herself was a little girl. Their family had a fair bit of Welsh blood as well, so, in addition to Irish myths, some Welsh ones would make an appearance from time to time as well. Of course, his grandmother never explained that they were just stories that other people came up with. With only her words she managed to create an entire universe for her grandson, additionally fuelled by his own hyperactive imagination.

Other days, she would tell him about their family and Al could never know for sure if anything in these stories was true or if they were just a fragment of this old woman’s imagination. Like a story of her own uncle, who managed to find a good gold vein somewhere in Northern California, became rich and decided to hide his gold somewhere in the mountains so that his lazy and greedy children wouldn’t get his riches.

Or a story of her distant cousin, who fell in love with a handsome sailor and decided to run away with him to travel the world.

Alasdair liked to think that grandmother felt their similarities and this was why she decided to tell him all that and let in on her secrets. Transfer the knowledge from one generation to the next so that it can live on even after she died. Al, who was not gifted with the same amazing memory, had to start writing things down.

And that’s how he ultimately started writing when he realized over time that he didn’t want to just save these stories - he enjoyed adding new details, characters, elements and expanding them overall.

Slowly, over time and after a lot of revisions and adjustments, these works became his first two books.

- Um, sure, - he nodded slowly and caught Aggie’s attention. - Being somewhat famous pays off, can you believe it? - and now he is back to his usual happy-go-lucky self. - I guess we are having another round.

While the bartender poured two pints of beer, Al decided to use a short pause to gather himself. Fionn’s words really managed to knock the ground from beneath his feet.

- There you go boys, - Agnes appeared next to them, setting down two tall glasses and taking the empty ones away.

- Thank you, - he nodded quickly and turned to the guy next to him, raising his glass. - Well, I guess we have to say thank you to fate that we both ended up here tonight. Cheers! - what else can one wish for if not good company. - So, you mentioned that you are new to the area, right? How’d you end up here?



Fionn was more than glad to treat his new friend with another glass. Regardless of how short of money he was, he felt like buying a hundred beers - what the hell, you only live once, right?! There was nothing in the world Fionn enjoyed more than seeing a smile on someone's face and knowing this smile wasn't caused by heroin euphoria. Honestly, he was so done with stupid fake happiness drugs provide, fake happiness he couldn't even remember once the high was over; he had to start forming actual happy memories now, good moments he would keep in his mind forever, and sharing a few beers with Alasdair O'Mara would surely become one of those. Yes, it positively would.
He noticed he lost Alasdair for a second and studied his absent-minded face for any sign of discomfort. Of course, Fionn, an artistic person himself, related a lot to being spontaneously carried away by one's own thoughts, both pleasant and upsetting. Happens to the best of us! The man's face didn't show any true mental torture; rather, a faint glimpse of something nostalgic, so he decided not to interrupt the writer's line of thoughts. Alasdair soon returned to the real world, and Agnes hurried to serve them another pint of delicious drink.
- To fate, then! - Fionn agreed, his smile widening, and raised his glass to join. - Cheers!
He took a sip of refreshingly cool beer and frowned, thinking the other man's question over.
How did he end up here? Well, frankly speaking, he just had to move to another location, another neighbourhood, and thanks God New York City is a huge place, otherwise he would probably have to move to another town altogether, to get away from his past, from the toxic lifestyle he had lead, from all his friends and quite literally everyone he had known, because if he had stayed, they would've dragged him down the same rabbit hole of endless cycles of addiction.
But he could never say that to Alasdair. You can't just casually mention something like that in the conversation you're having on your first meeting ever. Admitting to be a recovering addict is worse than confessing a horrible crime, because the absolute majority of people don't even hear the word "recovering", and, honestly, don't care. They only hear the "addict" part. It's doesn't matter it's over, doesn't matter it's in the past, doesn't matter you're actually, willingly trying to turn the page, start over, get a life - all that matters is that stupid mistake you made when you tried drugs for the first time and fucked up your entire life. It's a stain that will never go away. That's the way society sees people like Fionn.
Yet he didn't want to lie either. What a way to start a friendship, eh? No, he had to be as honest as he could without giving in too many details.
And Fionn spoke the plain truth when he gave a short nervous laugh:
- Honestly? That's what I'm asking myself sometimes, you know? - He shook his head and smiled. - No, actually, it's nothing special. I, uh... really wanted to change me environment. Like, get away from it all. The place I used to live at - it was too loud, too noisy, too crowded. No fun at all. Well, at first it was, but then... - he helplessly shrugged. - I guess, I just wanted a change, that's all. I mean, I needed a change if I wanted to keep me mind sane. So here I am.
He drank some more beer.
- And I like it here! This whole starting over thing got me inspired. I'm not a writer, not like yourself, but I kinda draw stuff... logos, illustrations, whatever I can get me hands on. Actually, I gotta show you something, something you might like, - Fionn smiled and dived in his bag looking for his sketchbook. He had this habit of carrying the sketchbook anywhere he went - so typical for a wannabe artist. - Uh, here, - he opened the sketchbook on one of the first pages, - those are something I drew, having read your first book. Just some sketches of a few scenes from your stories. 
He put the sketchbook on the table, turned it so Alasdair could see better and gently pushed it towards him:
- Nothing fancy, don't judge me too harshly, okay? When I drew them, I only had a simple pen, so...

[nick]Fionn O'Cailean[/nick][status]the survivor[/status][icon]https://i.imgur.com/kujgXVU.gif[/icon][sign]https://i.imgur.com/NG3CkZC.gif  https://i.imgur.com/Vy53JfV.gif[/sign][lzname]<lzname><a href="https://nevah.ru/viewtopic.php?id=412#p29901">Фионн Клэр О'Кайлен</a>, 27</lzname> <plashka>человек</plashka>[/lzname][]Хэйвен; неунывающий стойкий оловянный солдатик, который любит свою жизнь и людей в ней. Приехал из самого Нью-Йорк-Сити, чтобы помочь <a href="https://nevah.ru/profile.php?id=20">другу</a>.[/]

Отредактировано Spencer Jackett (2021-06-09 17:35:33)



This was nice - just sitting down at his favourite pub and getting to know someone new. Alasdair had to spend so much time over the last few months just shut indoors alone and working that it was almost like a breath of fresh air.

He noticed that his last question made Fionn think deeply about something - something changed in his eyes as if it was causing his almost physical pain. Alasdair didn’t need much more to realize that his new acquaintance had some stuff in his past that he didn’t like to think about. And thus, he decided not to pursue this topic any further.

If you think about it - where can you find someone who hasn't been a bit damaged by the cruel world around you? We’re all a bit broken inside.

- Yeah, I get it, - he nodded. - Sometimes you just need a change of scenery.

Even Al had thought about something like this before. It always seemed so much easier than dealing with whatever you are trying to run away from, so much more peaceful. And when your life is in shambles, peace is the only thing you need.

For some reason, he was not surprised to learn that Fionn also had a creative streak. Maybe that’s why they hit it off so well right away? Al always found that he had no trouble getting along with other creative people, almost as if there was something so fundamentally different about them that they had to stick together.

Al took a sketchbook and started turning pages over. Some of the drawings he recognized - they were certain scenes from his stories, some were just small sketched, others were detailed leading him to think that someone worked really hard on them. As he was slowly looking at the pages, he found a few drawings that were different, that were probably based on something that Fionn had going on in his life rather than on Alasdair’s stories.

- This is great, - he looked up at the guys sitting next to him, a smile spreading across his face. - Really, really good. You are really talented, - Al turned to one of the pages with just a simple sketch. - I mean, even here I can recognize everything, I can recognize the story it was probably inspired by, - mesmerized, Al started at the pictures for a few more seconds before continuing: - Do you mind if I take a photo? Just for myself.

Alasdair could not get rid of a really strange feeling that meeting Fionn tonight was not a coincidence. Not in a sense that this guy was some weird stalker who finally got his chance to approach him as nothing in Fionn’s words or behaviour made O’Mara think so. Also, he wasn’t paranoid enough to consider this anything more than a strange twist of fate. Af if this guy was sent to him today by some higher power. And it didn’t matter that Al was not actually a believer in any «higher power» whatever anyone called it, he just could not shake off the feeling that Fionn and he were supposed to meet today.

- Have you ever considered publishing any of it? - Al nodded at the sketchbook. - You know, I’ve met a guy once who told me that his friend and he were planning to make a webcomic together. I’ve no idea if anything ever came of it, but it sounded like a good idea. At least good enough to try it.

Through one of the small windows inside the pub, Al could see that it was starting to get dark outside. You never notice how fast the time goes by when you spend it with someone interesting. It was a pity that Alasdair couldn’t stay until closing - he had a small meeting tomorrow morning with one of the marketing guys from his publisher - they wanted to get ahead of the curve and prepare everything in advance. Damn these downtown people and their amazing productivity.

- I know it sounds weird at first. Trust me, I know. When I got my first offer to publish, it felt so surreal. I always wanted to be a writer, but it also always seemed like a weird, unattainable dream. Like becoming a president or an astronaut, - Al suppressed a laugh. - On the other hand, you hear so many stories about people who tried to make it, who gave it their everything and still ended up with nothing. What I’m trying to say, - Al fidgeted a bit with his glass before continuing. For someone who made a living from putting together worlds in nice ways, he sometimes had a really tough time expressing himself. - What I’m trying to say is give it a go. You said you were looking for a change? Maybe that’s exactly what you need. You never know.

Al raised his glass in a quick toast. Someone this evening ended up being very different from what he imagined.


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