Paula McGrath



By Paula McGrath.

I have not gone near his shed since that first time. He’ll be in when he’s in. In the cottage, he has arranged rolled newspapers neatly in the hearth, and twigs. All I have to do is strike a match. It roars into flame. I make a wigwam of turf around it, then I pour vodka into a tumbler and sip at it while I wait. When he comes in I pour another and hand it to him. He knocks it back and returns the plastic tumbler to the table with a down-to-business bump.

–Are you ready?

He gets busy now, plugging in a radiator, clicking on a Superser I haven’t seen before. I’m warmed by the vodka and pleased at his thoughtfulness. Rachel and Claire never see this side of Aids, Aidan, I correct. He’s setting up lights, transforming the cottage into a movie set. I take off my clothes.