Barry kept me from running yesterday. Which is ironic, since he`s a runner himself.
In fact he`s a former runner who has rediscovered the joys of running, as so many of us have in mid-life.
I caught up with Barry first, last Wednesday and he brought me back to my earlier days in running, those tentative first steps when I wavered between quitting and believing I could do it. Unlike me though, the younger Barry was a star athlete in his running club, and it hasn`t taken too long for that talent to come to the fore again.
I found myself with him again while standing at the check out in Lidl. Honestly, I was glad of his company in that darned long queue and thrilled to make the acquaintance with his two daughters. In those few minutes, I caught up on another little piece of my friend`s life and, while the running is going well, it seems so many other things are not.
Oh, it`s the usual mix from mid-life-marital woes, job instability and dealing with the shock of everything that seemed stable and familiar, suddenly being ripped from your life. But the girls certainly seem fine. They`re oblivious to all that troubles their parents, they`re full of hopes and dreams, and Barry is aiming to keep it that way.
Naturally, there wasn`t a whole lot Barry could divulge in the shopping queue. And anyway, this is Smalltown, Ireland so I was kinda conscious of what my fellow shoppers were thinking as I stood there maybe a looking a little too intently at Barry. I have the sort of face you can read like a book and anyone could have noticed that I am getting rather too fond of him.
Oh, he has a wife. Lara. She is lovely, and I wouldn`t dream of interfering with anything like that. I am not that sort of woman. Barry is more a friend, than anything else. He just makes me laugh, that`s all. Don`t we all need that kind of lightheartedness in our lives?
Of course I should have gone for a run last night. I know Barry would have no matter what was happening in his life. But yesterday was a day of one thing and another and before I could help myself I was lying in bed with Barry.
Honestly, I don`t know how he`s going to figure his way of this muddle. And somehow, I am getting sucked into the whole thing myself. And of course, twit that I am, I didn`t even notice until Teen Son barged into the bedroom.
“Gosh, Mum, you`re glued to that Kindle App these. What`s the book?”
“Barry” by Roy McCarthy. Kindle edition is available here (US) and here (UK).
Or read more about it on Roy McCarthy`s blog here.