By sean mcnulty
DEVIN: How did he end up that way and why? They done him in good, it seems to me.
SASDY: The man was besieged. Choked, stabbed, burned, a carnival of extremities. If they’d had bullets back then, they would have shot his knees out like your friends up the north are prone to do. Isn’t that right, MacKenna?
MACKENNA: It was certainly an uncharitable demise.
SASDY: The other druids must have turned on him for whatever reason, set the unfortunate bugger up and then had their murderous way with him.
MACKENNA: While I believe our guest upstairs was a druid, and there is some evidence to suggest the druids of other nations practised sacrifice, here in Ireland they were lacking in those levels of excitement, were court advisors and such.
SASDY: Jesters, more like. Ah, will you give over? I think you are lying to yourself. You’ve too much respect for those old witch doctors that you can’t admit to all the mischief they got up to. It allows for posturing and magical thinking. And disregard for other earthly laws. (to Devin) What do you think about it – them, not me mind, storing him away up there? I bet you didn’t expect that one.
DEVIN: I don’t see a problem with it. It’s just a corpse to me. But if I was to put myself in the minds of one of you fellas, or the type who go into the old buildings and wander all misty-eyed, or someone who gives a single hoot about this bloody country, I might get a bit miffed. But even then, I’d probably be open-minded enough to listen to your reasons for it. At the end of the day though, it’s just an old corpse.
SASDY: (sarcastically) Aw, you don’t care about the country? Well, I can see where you’re coming from. This place is in shards. What is left of our blasted culture for a start? Apart from that man up there. (turning to MacKenna) He’s certainly from the time you romanticise so deeply. And he clearly didn’t come out of it looking rosy. Sure, the body lasted all that time, but there’s nothing more of him. No soul for sure. The soul has long gone. Probably before he even died, I reckon. I know mine has.
MACKENNA: I do not romanticise any time period. I’m invested professionally and personally in each one of them. I may offer esteem, but I do not bend history out of bare whim. I am after all the man who was educated enough to inform you of how barbaric the chap’s death was. I do not dwell in miserablism as you do, my friend. I don’t believe our culture is dead, as you and your ilk would have it....
SASDY: My ilk?
MACKENNA: That non-religious lifestance of yours. It is a most hopeless position to occupy. Like Elder, I believe a renewal is coming.
SASDY: I respect the religions, I’ll have you know.
MACKENNA: All of them?
SASDY: Well, the ones I’m aware of.
MACKENNA: And how do you know there are not religions out there that you might find repugnant and deserving of little to no respect at all?
SASDY: It goes without saying there probably are.
MACKENNA: It is you I believe that is lying to himself. You are as religiously predisposed as all of us in this place. Seekers aren’t we all.
SASDY: Mr Science over here. Sensible keeper of knowledge. Now gone to absolute pot.
DEVIN: So much aggro from you lot. I’m not sure the meditations are helping much.
MACKENNA: I can admit to numerous failings in the paths I’ve chosen. But aren’t we all given to wee turns in our tracks? Anyway, I’ve expressed my concerns about the situation with Elder a number of times.
SASDY: Hip-hip hooray. (looking around and lowering his voice) Only to genuflect pitifully not a minute later. I think the authorities will have more bones with you than the rest of us for holding onto him. Sure aren’t you meant to be one of them? A lieutenant of our institutions. Our bones are soft but yours are meant to be toughened by strict methodologies and regulation.
MACKENNA: I’ll tend over my bones to the state if indeed that is how the state would have me dealt. (to Devin) And healthy debate can work wonders sometimes. See how animated we have become as the spirits engage and eagerly have it out.