An Interrupted Meeting

by Dawn Corrigan

The songs the current Capuanos and Hogans set their lives to were not taken from the opera or the tradition of Irish balladry, except in the case of Tommy Hogan. In his twenties Tommy developed a rabid interest in his Irish heritage and in the Irish nationalist struggle, even going so far, just as the most recent bout of Troubles was beginning, to attend a few IRA meetings. At one of these he put himself forward as a candidate when that group was looking for a volunteer to handcuff himself to a British Air jet to protest the latest indignity directed at Ireland, though nobody remembers anymore, in these days of short memory, what that indignity might have been. However, the handcuffing plan was put to a stop by Shelly Hogan, Tommy’s wife, who had lived with Capuanos before she married Tommy and who exemplified that family’s trait of holding passionate political beliefs but of stopping short of any action on those beliefs that might interrupt the current of her family life. Shelly, a star in the family for her people-pleasing manners, creative dressing, and pretty face, was usually too concerned with maintaining harmony, in those days at least, to be very outspoken, but in the handcuffing case she felt provoked enough to actually show up at the IRA meeting, after first dropping off her two babies with her mother-in-law. Her intention had been to quietly ask Tommy to excuse himself from the meeting so she could speak with him outside, but instead once she arrived she immediately exclaimed, “Tommy, you will not chain yourself to that plane!”


Dawn Corrigan's fiction has appeared recently or is forthcoming at VerbSap, Pindeldyboz, Monkeybicycle, The Dream People, Rumble, 55 Words, Defenestration, and 3711 Atlantic. Her nonfiction appears regularly at The Nervous Breakdown. For more on the Capuanos and Hogans, check out Dawn's previous six: On Singing.