“We should travel the world together, man.” He always said that to me. “We should travel the world and write about it.” His eyes full of life, blinding blue, would look across at me from under big black eyebrows and a New York Yankees hat.

We said that regularly, and truthfully we reckoned one day we would do just that. We would go everywhere and we would see everything – as is the mindset when your young and full of life. I suppose, at least you think you will go everywhere and see everything. What was there to stop us? We could pick up our bags and walk to the airport, the world was only a check in away.

We had met so many people from every part of the earth on one small island, it was only natural that we’d want to go and explore for ourselves. I couldn’t think of anyone else I’d rather do something like that with.

There would be travel books written, we’d spoken about that, but we’d be more Hector, though a tad less annoying, or Hardy Bucks than Lonely Planet mind you – although we might stick in an open top bus tour on the last day… Mostly to make it look as though we weren’t up to divilment the whole time. We didn’t need bestsellers or prizes we just wanted to write stories and see worlds we knew nothing about.

Tom Foster and Pádraic Conneely on the cover of a couple of hundered pages of mischief. Mischief, is the word… On a global scale. We already had a book worth of stories to our names,with out having left the country and neither of us having reached 25 yet. I can’t remember a lot of them now anymore, unfortunately.

We visited Barcelona together and we were talking about going to America as well. That was next. That would be the big one.

Not anymore though. Not for now. Pádraic’s gone back to God. With him, went any desire to pick up a back pack and head away with nothing but a vague idea of a hostel I once heard the name of in a pub. Lots of things went with him, a certain livewire feeling I can’t reignite at the minute, but that was one big one.

I suppose plans and priorities change when you lose who you wanted those plans carried out with.  But I wish we just flew, made a break for it and chased the sun on a global scale on buses, trains and airplanes.

But still ringing in my ears and still a picture in my mind is my best friend and right hand man Pádraic Éinne, saying to me on occasions: “We should travel the world together, man.”

That I can guarantee would have been some story.
Rest in Peace buddy. I’ll try to make you happy.

136Messrs Maguire’s (Now J.W Sweetman’s), Burgh Quay, July evening 2010

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