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THAT WAS THEN | In her short fiction, Lisa McNamee wonders if you can recover what was lost, long ago.

Fiction

by Lisa McNamee

That was then. 

New Yorkers didn’t blink when we held hands walking the highline, after Saturday brunch. Her long black hair rippled in the sunlight. It reflected best there, surrounded by skyscrapers. She’d kiss me in parks, at gallery openings, in the market. We’d laugh loudly, indecently. No glances around to see who else was watching. We danced late in clubs, sweat poured down our backs. We ate from streetcarts and drank wine by the river. We crept back to lofts and flats together in the dark. We held each other down. We lifted each other up. 

This is now. 

I watch my daughter climbing the ropes at the playground. She is struggling to get higher, her fat little fists holding on determinedly. It’s a long day with this busy child while my husband is at work. The routine wears. He isn’t happy at his job but he made more than I did. Nobody stares at this ordinary mother, or our straightforward family. Sometimes people talk to the child, or sympathise with their eyes during her tantrums. At home, things between us are careful, quiet.

In the afternoons, when the four-year-old falls asleep, I drive to the airport and look at the planes. I could leave a note, I think.


Lisa McNamee | @lisa_mcnamee 
Film producer – formerly of Planet Korda Pictures (See you at the Pictures, Book Smugglers). Theatre Producer – Be My Love in the Rain, Orphans. Writer – Medical Independent. Doctor & Medical Officer – Irish Defence Forces.

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