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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

Aloysius Tempo

Jason Johnson
Liberties Press


From Chapter One

Ashford, County Wicklow, Ireland
18 November 2016 08:46

I'M LOOKING at this fella from inside his own house and wondering what he would say about it all.

Would he say it's the catch, or would he say its the cut?

I'm seeing his big bare feet slap the ground of his wide, neat garden and I'm thinking how he would respond to all this stuff going around in my head.

Would he say it's the speed or the sleep?

I'm watching his hairy B-cups jiggle as he runs a lap, attacking his heart and prolonging his life.

And my head is wondering if he would say it's the trip or the fall?

The blade or the bleed?

The gas or the gasp?

Which bit, for him, is the bit?

Which element of a nasty, decisive, final accident would he blame? Would he say it's the tipping point that defines the end, or that the end stands alone?

Would he, like most, pluck out a moment, a factor, and isolate it, say it was to blame?

Would he say it's the slide or the stop, the crash or the crunch, the punch or the pavement, the germ or the disease?

Here's what I'm wondering.

I'm wondering if he knows there's never one thing that kills you. Does he know that no one has ever accidentally died from one thing?

Does he know they were all at the end of a chain, on the edge of some steps?

Would he give a damn? Doubt it. Most don't.

Has he thought about stuff like that? Probably not.

To be honest, he doesn't look like he thinks much. He doesn't look like he knows much. He looks like he knows very little. He looks like a dick with tits. I could tell him about all of this.

I could spend some time telling him how fatal accidents need components, moving parts, things that connect and detach so they can cause the damage.

Fatal accidents, I could say, need some form of weapon, some blade or drop, some wall or cord or cover or flavour that'll make a heart quit.

He's running around with the grace of an old sheep and I'm really considering explaining to him how accidents need a time frame, a space on the clock where they can turn, untroubled, from neutral to deadly.

He's plodding past this window and I could start calling out now, start saying that they need a set of circumstances, a group of factors gelling together, all part of the process, all pointing the same way.