There had been a time when he had been happy to have his wage and his pints at the weekend but now he wanted more. He wanted the big house, and the flash car, he wanted to marry her when she came back from college, and later the land with the prize winning Charolaise’s. He wanted to be, one of them.
He wanted to be able to take her to the Brandywell on Sundays for the roast, she could have white wine and he would have his usual beer. The greed had taken him and made him king.
It was in his hands and he could do it all. His future was wire. How many lengths of wire would it take to have that future he wondered? How many hours on the site? On countless sites, up and down the country. Sweat was the word and the flesh. This was his start and end.
He had returned to the estate. There had been time, since he last visited. The shallow sound of traffic flowing in the distance and the big blue stone rock as far as the eye could see. It was still very much a site/sight. He could hear the protestant church bell call its hallow chime for 1 o’clock. The crows overhead were making a racket of some sort as then a hawk appeared high above and gracefully swanned the skies. Unhurried.
The cranes like sky rafters had come to a standstill. A tri colour wrapt round itself blew as best it could.
Pioneering bodhlans and thistles were beginning to reclaim some of the footwork. He walked the grounds where they had worked. Some houses were near while others lay like half built slums. In many the plasterboard sat, still stacked on their pallets, the chalk wearing through in tufts. The unfixable twist had come into the board from the damp. They were now worthless.
Another house was half skimmed, the pink mix of gypsum like salmon flesh smeared on the walls. A drill head lay frozen in a caked bucket. Forgotten or abandoned. It was seized there now.
Stacks of discarded roofing slate which had come from Chinese mines littered the grounds. Imperfect.
The rush owned it now.
And he remembered back to the start of the job and Limerick Mick and Paddy of the hill and Big Red Jack …”
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