Kerin McAleese

Applause Issue 32 Label

Green Leaf Volatiles

I can still smell the freshly cut lawn by the hands of my grandfather. Pa always took care of us, even after they both left. First, it was his son to hit the road. Ironically, I even think his name was Jack. We don’t really even talk about him now. We used to, a lot. But after my mom dropped, we all kind of shut up about the whole thing. It was just too tempting, you know? For all of us to sit around and feel sorry for ourselves. I don’t mean we never did, but when we did… we really did. When Pa would find out just exactly what was going on, he’d take us all outside. We would all take turns mowing that damn lawn right out of existence. All eight of us, we all got our share, “as equal as a vote” he’d say. When we were young, it seemed like Pa was stronger than the thunder that crackled over our heads at night. It never seemed like he missed “Jack,” not one bit. But we sure did, and when we did, Pa would warm us right up like the sun. It didn’t matter that we didn’t have a momma, and it didn’t matter that Jack ran off. What mattered was taking turns steering the wheel while Pa hit the pedal, steady. Until one of us curled our fist up real tight; thumb on the outside, just like he had taught us, and attacked the poor air around us. Then we’d go real fast. So fast that we’d laugh the sorrow right clean out of our souls. He did this eight times, sometimes more. Especially on holidays, that man must’ve gone through a whole damn gas station. But we never noticed, and he never made a point of making us. All I know now is, all eight of us never missed out on a damn thing, not a thing at all.

Kerin McAleese is an avid collector of coasters. Kerin enjoys walking with her shoes tied together because she has said it “makes her feel more put together”. Her cousin Mary McAleese, was the most recent President of Ireland. In 2003, Kerin was linked to the “Great Coaster Shortage of Dublin”. Kerin McAleese is still wanted in all Irish counties today, the reward for her arrest is 26 Euros.

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