Warning: Contains spoilers of The Banshees of Inisherin.

“Well, what did you make of that Denis?”

We had been to the pictures. The two of us. They have a deal on in the Multiplex for the old folks that you can get in of a Tuesday for €3 apiece. And we’re not even pensioners, but they wouldn’t dream of checking. I don’t lie. I just say: “Two for Whatever it is” and the little one behind the counter hardly looks up from her phone. There wouldn’t be a sinner around there anyway. They’re lucky to get the €6 off me and Denis.

It’s just as well, says Denis, with the price of diesel getting here that it should only be €3. The man will throw out half the water in the glass so he can say it’s half empty sometimes.


Anyway, we were the only ones at it. Denis even bought me the big packet of Maltesers and a fizzy water. In the Tesco outside, not in the cinema. He didn’t completely lose his mind.

“What did I make of what? The film?”

“Yes, the film Denis. I don’t want you to review the seats.”

“Ara I spose, I don’t know. It looked lovely. And yer man Colm Meaney is always good in these things.”

“Brendan Gleeson?”

“They’re nearly the same… But …. No in fairness now the countryside looked grand. We must go up that way for a spin sometime. I’ll bring you in the lorry if I’m going anywhere near there. Save on the diesel.”

But there wasn’t a peep out of him the rest of the time. That wasn’t exactly encouraging. A film about an Irish man who’d rather cut off their own fingers than talk to someone. And now Denis doesn’t want to talk to me about it.

Opening up

But he opened up later. As they say in the papers at the weekend. “So and so ‘opens up’ about their mental health.” Everyone’s doing it these days, fair play to them. I wonder when it’ll be my turn. I suppose you get given a slot.

“Twas a cod though Ann.” He says out of the blue later after a slug of tea.

“What was Denis?”

“The film. Like, is that the way Irish men are? I don’t think so? If there’s something on our minds, we’ll say it.”

“And would you have much on your mind?”

“Ah, I wouldn’t most of the time. And by the time I’d get around to saying something, it’d be fine again.”

“Would you ever ring Francie?”

This is his brother. The one he’s not spaking to. They fell out over, of all things, an old car they were fixing up for showing and Francie went off and crashed it and Denis was as angry as I’ve ever seen him.

“Didn’t we send him a Christmas card?”

“I did Denis, but he’s your brother. And he’d be ringing for you the odd time”

He changes the subject. “And shur that fella that made it isn’t even born here. What would he know what we’re like? As if Irish men would rather cut off their fingers with a shears. And what’s more, where’s the blood? Finger is gone, the blood is hardly dribbling. Shur do you remember the time I was clipping the dog and I nicked the poor hoor’s ear and twas like Saving Private Ryan around the place. Ah no, now, the film was no use”

“I know Denis. There wasn’t much blood out of the fingers it’s true for you.”

But later on, I hear him in the hall. On the phone!

“No news Francie. We went to see that picture. The banshees. Did you see it? True for you. A pure cod of a thing. I’ll put you onto herself.”

Maybe the film was some use after all.

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