Tuesday, November 9, 2010

6. Back to Dublin the Kinsella's in Bray and Home

It rained. Great buckets and splashes down my back. A hundred cars passed me. None with any passengers. They slowed down. Some waved. None picked me up.

Trains and buses are expensive here but I've had it with hitch-hiking. I walked over 2 miles back into Skibereen and paid $5 for a 60 mile bus ride.
While Rockefeller investigates the CIA and destroys Teddy Kennedy while absolving the CIA.

Cork. The train tomorrow to Dublin. Bray and home. Soon. I'm tired and have been abusing this delicate wee tummy.
Today wasn't part of my holiday. I had adapted so well to pure survival that I came to with a start and a shiver in a coffee shop up out of my newspaper an hour ago.

Craziness on that magical island and an irate warden kicking us up and out of bed at dawn for waking him at 1:00 by b&e'ing his hostel. The bus to Cork. And here now and maybe a pint of Murphy's at Bridge Street with a woman from Australia who I met on Cape Clear.

Rocking side to side on the train to Dublin. A very well dressed clean-shaven man sits diagonally from me looking out the window, occasionally a piercing scream imitating the whistle and brakes.

And the Irish Times. Some purpose and integrity. There are personal experiments with style within its reportage. A commitment to civil rights. A frequent anti-gaurda slant. The best wire coverage outside the New York Times. And a history of supporting some of the best Irish writers. Brendan Behan, Myles nCopaleen. But strange, really twitty "formula" film critics. Self-important. Intellectual.

Without too much trouble I get over to Grafton Street, reconfirm my flight home, order a couple of books, drag my pack through the crowd at Bewley's for lunch of plaice a huge piece of chocolate cake and up here to the sunshine in St. Stephen's Green. Slept poorly last night in the noise of Cork and am still recovering from the train ride. Today in Dublin and a night in the hostel where I'll leave my stuff tomorrow while I go to Bray. I'm sure I see among the sunbathers Brigitte who I met a couple of weeks ago in McDaid's. I'll go see.

It was and a friend whose name is also Brigitte. Between us we sort of threw a language together and had a very nice chat, interrupted only once -- by a greasy young Irish kid lying nearby rolling over and trying to slip his hand into one of their purses. She beat him  severely with her eyes and we moved away. We trade travelling stories and talked about Quebec. The friend had just finished a childcare course, hates Paris and will move away from there as soon as she can. She lived in Germany for 2 years and liked it much better.

I finally find the hostel on Morehampton Road -- after several bum steers -- and by the time I'm to meet Brigitte and Brigitte at McDaid's they were gone. So I had one by myself then went for a walk. Through the very impressive Trinity College. An oasis of Greek architecture and rough stone roads. Green lawns and magnificent trees. Located Tara Street train station from where I'll go to Bray to meet the Kinsella's.

This hostel will do nicely -- it even has showers -- until it's time to catch my flight home. Dublin-Shannon-New York-Toronto-Vancouver.
And now my last evening. A day of some walking and shopping and pleasure at being able to get around this city (and pleasure that I don't have to stay and try to support myself here). A shower. The most wonderful refreshing thing. And a very beautifully bound and set copy of Ulysses. A present to me. Wishing me all the best.

Putting in time. At this point I am ready and eager to go home. Later I'll scratch my last Irish currency together to see if I have enough for the bus to the airport, as well as a last pint in McDaid's.

A day after meeting the Kinsella family. Family situations always make me feel that I'm chained to a seat at a Pinter play that I don't want to see.

I hoped there'd be nobody home. There was. It took only a few minutes for the teenage daughter Leigha to collect me at the train station. High energy and a brain three sizes too large. Talk and talk and talk. Beautiful energy of the other 2 kids now living at home too -- out of a family of 8 kids. Charming small talk, giggles, performance. It's a little too intense but is all made to make you feel at home. The mother a mother like any other and the mirror of my own. She sat very properly and grinned so sweetly. "Ah, and isn't it sad when families move apart. Ah, poor Paul. It was a misunderstanding between him and me, I think. He wanted to go to university so badly." And is his hair long and does he have a beard? "Well, you know the daddy didn't have a very good job then and we couldn't afford..."

The remains of decades lined the walls in the way of books and prints. A family portrait. Eight kids. Sport among the 3 youngest was to sort through and share stories of Great Fights of the 
Family, when one hit the other for insulting the other. 'Round and 'round. The incidences are laughed off and those concerned remembered affectionately.

Father finally arrives. This Pinter play was written especially for me. An Irish good natured slap on the back, shoot the shit, and make you feel like you're an alright guy. Feels so good to be an alright guy. Jokes too numerous to not be pointed about people who don't work. Scorn at the Tinkers and out and out patronization when young Mark tells about what good handball players some of them are.

On the off chance that a certain wailing one-year-old has gone into the terminal, I'll hazard this disgusting musak and suffer through the hunger pains for 45 minutes at the Shannon Airport awaiting the flight to New York and stay on this plane that is idiot-ridden and muggy. I could go into the terminal and try to buy some Irish currency and then a sandwich but I'd hate to miss any of the food on this plane that I've already paid for. I'll see 5 airports today. I don't like airports.

Last night I met Ray and the Two Brigitte's (appearing nightly) at McDaid's. Brigitte #1 who I had met when I was first in Dublin told me that she had a flat for £5 a week in a house where her friend Jean was living. Her, Jean and a Malaysian mercenary (!) in Irish Army (a pro-American) share kitchen and can. She's in Dublin to be with her boyfriend Ray. He lives with his parents and has just finished engineering school.

John Kehoe's, Dublin 1975
We went to O'Donahue's the famous musicians and politics pub. It was so packed that we had to split. To John Kehoe's and the artists and writers scene. The pub much more "done" than McDaid's. But older and very tasteful.

Brigitte #2 is small, probably 22, short blond hair and an almost dull kind of prettiness but sparkling eyes and a warm smile and laugh. An invitation to stay the night at their flat. But I wouldn't have time to get to the hostel before it closed and not nearly enough time to collect my stuff from the hostel and then rush to the airport by 11:00 this morning. I've very little to base them on but I'm left with glorious fantasies.

This morning I ran into the Australian woman who I've been meeting around the country. She said she'd write me for social work possibilities in BC. She seemed pretty down. To try to get into Canada to work right now is a pretty depressing task. and Werner last night talking about the next plane back to Hamburg. I'm glad to be on my way home though this airline is having one fuck of a time getting us out of Ireland. We are at least an hour behind schedule. The Atlantic crossing is evidently 6 hours this way though only 4 on the way over. I've had nothing to eat all day and I'll choke that baby the next time it makes a sound. But first, this asshole ahead of me who won't sit still....

Dublin weather moves in on Vancouver. The house is empty and still, save for the music of a saxophone  now bumping and slinking out of the radio. Numb. Clock here says 2:15 yet it's 10:15 at night and I slept all afternoon. 12,000 miles. Not quite far enough to see Myra. Fucking tree planting! A note from her seems to say she'll be here in a day or two. Drag myself downstairs say hello to Dick give him a hug. He says Myra wanted my letters to say I miss you I love you. I did and I do.

A sextet led by Charlie Christian and a recording from 1940. Away long enough to have a pleasant re-experience of this house. Little traces and scents and arrangements of a newly re-acquainted house.
The beginning of the long dash followed by 10 seconds of silence indicates exactly 10:00 a.m. Sunday June 22, 1975. CBU Vancouver with 90 transmitters on the Pacific Network.