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Keiran Goddard

A Season for Every Activity

The thing about Colm’s mother was that she could see inside people’s living rooms. Even if she had never been in the person’s house.

All she’d have to do is hold someone’s hand and it would come to her. All of the colours and all at once. All at once the picture frames and the ornaments and the television. All at once the carpet and the sofa and the curtains.

She called it her ‘gawp’.

I did my gawp on that woman who just moved to the estate, you should see the dust on her sideboard…

an inch thick at least…

it does nobody any good to live in filth.

Colm’s mother had always been matter of fact about her gawp, as well as about the gawp’s occasional limitations. About the ways it worked and the ways it sometimes failed her.

you know it doesn’t work if they hug me, it only works with hands…

and it has to be palm to palm as well…

if you only pat the back of my hand then I’m as blind as the rest of you…

There was a particular issue with her gawp as it related to animals. Something which had been especially disappointing to Colm when he went through his childhood stage of being desperate for a pet.


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