Yeah. I know. I snaked the title from James Joyce. But Adam and I are on a little Eurotrip, so creativity is waning in favor of staying up a bit too late.
Our first night in Dublin is anything but dull, not that dull has ever been a word used to describe Ireland. I’m not certain the word even exists here. The hotel’s a bit strange and the three flights of stairs criss cross so often it feels like we’ve walked twelve. But there’s a bar in there, adjacent to the lobby, so we don’t have to walk far before Adam gets his first real Guinness.
The Guinness is different in America. Anyone saying otherwise is wrong. It’s plain better here, certainly moreso set up against the background of a screaming group of lads watching the Hurling finals. You’ve never heard a thing so loud—the roar of waterfalls is gentler than this. Fish n Chips and Guinness Stew and I’m all set to gain ten pounds in just three days. Plus you Irish water down your vodka so it looks like beer it is—another kilo I can add.
As the night goes on, the beer goes down, and we get brave and gamble with the vodka at a Rooftop Bar where you can see the all of Dublin from the edge. The bar’s a bit full, so we sneak over to a table more empty than the rest, where two Irishmen, Owen and Declan, slide down to make us room.
They’ve got the mouths of sailors and the wit of a wiseass–I’ve never heard the word ‘fuck’ come out of a single man’s mouth so many times in my life. Not to mention Declan’s mastered the art of ‘fuck off,’ which can be a bit tougher of a sell if you don’t say it quite right. He also thinks my name is Jennifer, and that Adam’s must be Kyle, which are some of the two most generalized American names. We roll with it; it’s pretty damned funny anyway.
If I had the power of better memory, perhaps I’d be able to tell you a bit more about the night. But my mother reads this blog, so all the things we may have done or not will have to stay there on that rooftop (just wait until I write about Amsterdam).
All I know is that leaving the bar that night felt somewhat sad. Bittersweet may be a better choice of words. It felt like we made family, which is what Ireland is like. You go to the bar for a pint, meet a wiseass, stay three hours to shoot the shit and look at pictures of their kids. By the time the bar’s shut down, you’re all singing in the street and kissing goodnight.
We hug three times before they leave one way and us the other, stumbling off to one of the bridges crossing the River Liffey. I’m still laughing to myself, wishing that America was just a bit more like this. A bit kinder, perhaps. With better Guinness. And yeah, maybe with a few more fucks.
Owen and Declan, you sons of bitches, thanks for the laughs. Jennifer and Kyle from California are going to miss the hell out of ya.
Adam and I at the River Liffey