Rosaleen was tired of waiting. She had been waiting all her life, for something that never happened and she could not bear the suspense any longer. Rosaleen was in a hurry, now. She thought she might find a cliff edge and throw herself down from it from purest impatience. She might kill herself just to get something done.
But she was not going to kill herself. She had never been interested in that sort of palaver. Where did it begin? And where was the end of it. How long would she have to continue, being like this. Being herself.
O my Dark Rosaleen.
And why was there no one to love her?
She was a small thing under a big sky, and being tiny was not the same as being dead. It was quite the opposite. Rosaleen spread her arms wide and flung her face up.
‘Hah!’ she said.
In the middle of nowhere, on Christmas Day, when no one was out, not one person was walking the roads.
Old women were not given to shouting. Rosaleen did not know if she still could, or if your voice wen slack like the rest of you, when you got old.
‘Oh, don’t mind me!’ she said. She roared it. She stuck her fists down straight by her sides. ‘Don’t mind me!’
There was no problem with her voice, that is what she discovered. Old women do not shout because they are not allowed to shout. Because if they shout and roar then there will be no dinner.
And let that be the end to it now.
‘Don’t you worry about me!’
The mountain took her on. Knockauns was to the right of her and it sent her voice back her way, and there was mist, she saw, coming down for her too. So she quickened her pace and stumbled on a rock, but she did not fall.
‘Hah!’ she said.