“Once he did not bother to wear a hat or a cap over his thick curly fair hair even when it was raining. And he was in love then with Cathleen O’Neill. They’d thought time would wait for them forver as they went to the sea in his babay Austin or to dances after spending Sundays on the river. And then, suddenly, his hair began to fall out. Anxiety exasperated desire to a passion, the passion to secure his life as he felt it all slip away, to moor it to the woman he loved. Now it was her turn to linger. She would not marry him and she would not let him go.”

“he now felt a wild longing to throw his hat away and walk round the world bareheaded, find some girl, not necessarily Cathleen O’Neill, but any young girl, and go to the sea with her as he used to, leave the car at the harbour wall and take the boat for the island, the engine beating like a good heart under the deck boards as the waves rocked it on turning out of the harbour, hold her in one long embrace all night between the hotel sheets”

‘All Sorts of Impossible Things’, John McGahern, Getting Through

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