“Do You Play County” - A Short Story by Brian Kirk - November 2020
Gateway to Brian Kirk on The Reading Life. Included is a wide ranging Q and A session on Ireland, short stories and more. There are links to nine short stories by Brian Kirk in my posts
I first encountered the work of Brian Kirk in March of 2013. Since then I have posted on eight other works by Kirk and was honored by his participation in a Q and A Session. Obviously I would not follow a writer so closely if I did not have great respect for their talent and insight.
My main purpose today is to let my readers know he has a new story that can be read online and to continue my voyage through his work.
“Do You Play County” is narrated by a young Irish woman. From the start we are taken deeply enough into the consciousness of narrator to see her self image and she a woman somehow used, a woman who undervalues herself and needs a better man.
“The first time we had sex was after his mother’s funeral. Paul said grief made him horny. I blushed, but when I looked at him, I saw that he’d said it without any irony. His father was getting drunk in the living room with his cousins while his sisters fretted about in the kitchen. We stole out to the back garden and he let me into a fancy shed they called the garden room. We lay down on a makeshift sofa bed and it was over in seconds. He didn’t say anything while we tidied ourselves up before going back inside. I tried to catch his eye so I could smile at him, to let him know that everything was alright, but he wouldn’t look at me. He cried that evening when we said goodbye after he walked me home, even though I was the one who was sore”.
Her boyfriend’s father, an affluent house contractor and once a soccer star, just calls her “The girl”. The father feels she is hurting his chances of becoming a big time soccer player “for the county”. You can tell she wishes she could be accepted by the boy’s family. Maybe she is just not posh enough. The girl hopes having sex will bind the boy to her.
Kirk in just a few pages sharply develops the personas and the place setting.
“Do You Play County” is a first rate Short Story
Brian Kirk is a poet and writer from Dublin. His first poetry collection After The Fall was published by Salmon Poetry in 2017. His poem “Birthday” won the Listowel Writers’ Week Irish Poem of the Year at the An Post Irish Book Awards 2018. His short fiction chapbook It’s Not Me, It’s You won the Southword Fiction Chapbook competition and was published in 2019.
He blogs at www.briankirkwriter.com/.
I hope to continue following his work as long as The Reading Life endures.