You just never know what you are going to find in the most unlikely of places.Early one Friday morning I had been down at Saint Georges Market hoping to pick up a winter coat, around the second hand cloths stalls. Back when second hand clothes were actually second hand clothes and not "vintage"as they have been re-branded by the terminally middle class. Anyway, whilst poking around in an old cyprus banana box I came across a very attractive old leather wallet which really caught my eye.It was a quite fancy looking old thing with broad stitching around the edges and what appeared to be a Celtic design carved into it. It was basically brown colored with gradations running through it that gave it a richly textured aspect. I had no idea what the design or symbol meant but it gave the wallet an ancient quality which made it attractive. I thought it was lovely and asked the woman who owned the stall how much she wanted for it and she only asked for the princely sum of a pound coin. Only a pound! A bargain I thought. She even old me she thought it had been hand made by an interned political prisoner back at the height of the troubles. Hmmm. What a heart warming story I thought. I had an impression of the heart broken and slightly mental cobbler imprisoned in the Bastille in Charles Dickens a Tale Of Two Cities.
It was not until I got home and opened it I discovered the name Malachy carved into he leather of the inside. I could barely believe my own eyes. I have never seen my name on anything and now I find it cut into a leather wallet I had found in such a random fashion. I thought THIS IS THE WALLET FOR ME! This is a magic wallet. I thought if I keep money in this it will multiply, like the magic buckets in Micky Mouse's The Magician's Apprentice. A fabulous new life was about to begin for me with this magic wallet and I knew anything connected to its use will become imbued with magical properties and their value increased tenfold. I was very pleased to put it on display on the mantle of our fireplace.
My ma, who was partially sighted at that time, threw it on the fire and burnt it. When one of my sisters had explained to her what she had laid hands on and was told the unlikely story of how I had come across it, just by chance finding a personalized wallet, she came to the decision I would be better off without it. She thought no good could come from an object found in such a way. She was like that, my ma. In her world there was magic everywhere and not all of it good. I was gutted but it was burnt and no amount of whining was going to un-burn it.
Maybe she was right. I will never know. Maybe thanks to her canniness I dodged a bullet.
A magic bullet.
p.s. Happy Halloween. From myself and Lil' Micheal Myers.