Last night I had my head on the pillow for approximately 0.6 minutes…and then the phone rang. Everyone was gathered down in the hotel bar for some drinks (and more drinks) and they wanted us to come. Mary looked like she’d been flung up against the wall and happened to land on her bed, so I let her be. I looked in the mirror before I headed down, but my left eye was suddenly swollen up so it was almost closed. It didn’t hurt, the lid was just itchy, but I looked like Popeye. I just put my glasses on and left with my dad to go to the bar.
My cousin Andy (the last one to join us this morning) looked at my eye thoughtfully and suggested maybe I was allergic to Eurotrash. He’s a trip.
Andy had already had adventures at the hotel in the hour since he’d been there. He and his brother JJ were sharing room, which happened to designed to accommodate wheelchairs and special needs travelers….even though Andy and JJ don’t require such a room. Right after he checked in, Andy had to use the bathroom immediately. The lights in the rooms are designed so that once you enter, you have to put your key card into a slot in the wall before you can turn the lights on. Andy didn’t know this, and it didn’t really matter to him since he had to use the restroom so urgently. He set his bags down and went to the bathroom in the dark. Unfortunately after he was done, he had some trouble finding the flush button on the toilet. He looked up in the dark and saw what he thought was a spider hanging from the ceiling. Then he realized it probably wasn’t a spider, but the flush chain hanging down. He pulled the chain, and nothing happened. Another thirty seconds and still nothing happened. Confused, Andy asked JJ to help him out. The two brothers were drunk and disoriented in a dark bathroom with an unflushed toilet when someone knocked on the door. A member of the hotel staff had come to check on the person who had pulled the emergency help chain in the bathroom… In short: Andy warned me to watch out for bathrooms with spiders. I ordered another Guinness and, laughing, wiped tears from my swollen eye.
Today I decided to wander off on my own for a while to discover Dublin. Sometimes I really crave the feeling of being completely surrounded by strangers. Anonymity is filled with such possibility. I found the perfect street jammed with Saturday shoppers and tourists and high-end retail stores next to kitschy souvenir shops. There were young families and teenage couples making out and jaded graduate students and old men with walkers and artists and just so much life.
There was slow groovy music playing in the background and everyone started walking in time. Strangers nodded at one another and shook hands. Birds fluttered in the sky and bunnies jumped out from behind trash bins. Four artists vending from the side of the street stood up, put their arms around one another and sang in barbershop style harmony. Just as I was jumping up on a lamp post to swing around it and sing an exhilarating climactic solo expounding on the joys of freedom found in obscurity (but still hinting at the underlying tinge of regret that the moment can not, by virtue of the joy being rooted in solitude, be shared with another human being) a woman with a cigar scowled at me and showed me a rude hand gesture. I love Dublin.
All joking aside, I did make friends with a street performer (I’m bringing home his CD, Jessie) and we took a cheesy rock and roll picture together. My neck looks really weird in the photo.
Later on, back at the Whiskey Shop, we ran into the Swiss guys from the Brazen Head last night and talked to them for a little while.
Tonight: we're off to a B&B in the country.