Sunday, 12 February 2012

Faith by Barry Callaghan

Queen St W & St Patrick's; photo credit: Liis Toliao

She had a habit of falling in love with men in hotel rooms. In the deadly nightshade hours. She said, snapping a wooden match head with her thumb and lighting up a soft-pack Camel, unfiltered, that for each and every lover (her favourite was a man who sang to her like Larry Parks singing in the movies like he was Al Jolson singing Mammie in black face) she always wrote her name for the night in lipstick on the hotel bathroom mirror: Grace Kelly. Becoming Grace, my mother said, was actually as close to despair, to suicide, as she could get. She said she had countless times tried to kill herself. "But the awful thing is," as she blew a smoke ring, and another, smaller, and another, even smaller but still perfect, "Grace can never die. Not so long as there is a God."

This short story chooses the Rex Hotel for its location. One of three short stories offered by Barry Callaghan, for two nearby booths hanging awkwardly on a wall. Reminiscent of a film noir, it conveys danger and romance.

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