Oh no, it wasn’t a crush, I loved him when I was fifteen and a half until I was seventeen. I spent all my pocket money on airmail stamps to write to him and ask him to come to Ireland where I would sooth him and look after him. But he never listened. Which was really just as well. For everyone.
I prayed he wouldn’t arrive on a Friday, as that was the day our house smelled of fish. You see, in those days you couldn’t possibly eat meat on a Friday or you would burn in hell. We crouched in fear of being somewhere away from home and eating meat on Friday inadvertently. And however badly we cooked meat, I can’t tell you what a disaster we made of fish. Fish were meant to be a penance, and they were cooked penitentially. One of the many awful things about being fifteen and in love with Marlon Brando was that if eventually he had obeyed my fan letters and come to find me, I’d have had to welcome him to dullsville old Dalkey. Now I’m so proud of Dalkey that I’d love him to visit – though I am very happy in my life these days and I stopped wanting to marry him quite a long time ago.
I was sorry he had such a troubled life with all the ladies and his children who were a great worry to him. It would have been more peaceful for him in Dalkey but he wasn’t to know that. And anyway I don’t think Marlon was looking for peace.