An Early Childhood continued...



Continued from Chapter 8 Part One.

CHAPTER EIGHT: THE SICKNESSES OF MY SICK FAMILY (PART TWO)

                Well, another brother, Lefty, had a withered left hand on him. The hand must have been checked time and time again by specialists, but for the life of him, poor Lefty found it impossible to write with that left hand. In those days, sans doute, you had to be endowed with the capacity for writing with both the left and right hands.
                If only left-handered, you were viewed as being akin to the divil. If you were only right-handered, viewed as attempting to usurp God’s role in your life, and yourself attempting to become God, you were. So anonymity was the order of the day, because endeavouring to be God was to display an arrogance with which nobody could tolerate you. This view with which people were content to contend ultimately resulted in Lefty being excommunicathered from the Church.
                Before all of this transpired, of course, there was a knock on the door one morning, and Father, who had recently returned from the North of England, opened that hall door, and wasn’t there a bulldog sitting on the doorstep, with the bishop’s mitre on his head, and the garments and the patent white dog collar around its throat with the gold studs on it?
                “We got the bulldog dressed as a bishop!” Father shouted into the house, spelling the end for poor Lefty. And Father was filled with such a sadness that the steam pumped out of his eyes so hot was it that summer.
                Getting the bulldog dressed as a bishop meant that the community was aware – and didn’t appreciate the fact – that there was – within your own, very own household – a completely right-handed individual, obviously playing God. Pretending to be God was, of course, akin to a bulldog, which is a brutally stupid animal – their intelligence mitigated and gradually whittled away with each passing generation of bullpup litters yelping at the teat – pretending to be a bishop. And that’s what the bulldog dressed as a bishop and set down on your doorstep meant. It meant that the neighbours knew full well there was someone in your house pretending to be God, in that he was right-handed.
                Of course, the practice of dressing the bulldog as a bishop was frowned upon by the Church, as – although the Catholic Church could tolerate pogroms, inquisitions, and whips in schools for many, many centuries – they sure as God wouldn’t tolerate bulldogs being dressed as bishops because it made bishops look bad.
                So, frequently bishops would exercise a kind of entrapment, whereby they would come to the door wearing a bulldog mask with their face looking identical to that of a bulldog, but you could usually tell it was a bishop in disguise on account of the fact that he usually stood five and a half feet taller than the average bulldog and on his hindlegs he’d be rather than on all fours.
                The ironically-titled Lefty was arrested in Main Square on his way back from the tylet one morning by a group of Catholic extremist vigilantes. I watched as one of them, who hadn’t shaved in a few days, sez:
                “You think you’re God, don’t you? Well, here’s your crown, God of the Church!”
                Mícheál Ó Seadhaghadh was the unshaven fellow’s name, and he was later to become a notorious criminal of the highest order and will feature later in this biography. But right now, he was quite the respectable blueshirt.
                So Mícheál Ó Seadhaghadh placed a crown of thistles on Lefty’s head while the rest of the radicals held him still and laughed. They tied his left hand behind his back and pushed him forward, marching him into the middle of the square, beside the tylet, where the Holy Cross, a huge granite Celtic cross, was mountered.


                “Tear down that cross!” ordered Mícheál Ó Seadhaghadh, and he kicked Lefty towards the cross. Lefty, fearing for his life, did as was ordered, pulling the cross down off its plinth with his inordinately strong right arm. The Catholic extremists marched Lefty through the streets, and on up to Main Hill, kicking him all the way. I followed the gruesome procession and watched as they crucerfied poor Lefty to that cross. The unshaven lout pierced Lefty’s navel with a spear, but I found nothing aesthetically arousing about it, because, first of all; Lefty was a man, second; twas my brother, and third; the piercing ultimately resulted in his death as the wound was mortal, resulting in his demise.

The end of Chapter 8 is here.