Friday, December 2, 2011

Dubliners

(image taken from Barry McCall Photography)

(image taken from Study Languages)


Today, this morning, I arrived in Dublin, a town where the sun, purportedly, does not shine, the people a pale, yet gentle and friendly, folk. Through a mistake, a continually ignored oversight between myself and the travel planner for this particular business trip, and, of course, my client, I am here a few days before my actual meetings occur. To my dismay, though not to my surprise, for the predominance of this afternoon, I was encapsulated in my comfortable but basic hotel room, working away. Finally, after little sleep and a number of hours of work, I was able to escape, and head to the great outside, to explore, to obtain sustenance.

At the recommendation of the front desk hostess of my hotel, I went to a Thai restaurant for dinner, alone, with my mind and a copy of Henry Miller essays. Initially, I had contemplated journeying into the town center of Dublin, rallying my adventurous ego, however, fatigue and practicality conquered me. Then, as I entered a local Thai restaurant, mere blocks from the door of my hotel, I instantaneously felt a surge of regret, remorse that I had not taken full advantage of being in a new city, a new world, something beautiful and apart from my home.

Sitting in a local restaurant, I immediately realized, an arms length from the next table of patrons, is an incredible type of intimacy. This could also, potentially, be labeled as voyeurism, though, in choosing to have a meal in a restaurant, there is an embrace of the possibility of the other. Beside me, a father and daughter dine, a father and daughter not unlike myself and my own father, a bit older and in a different cultural and familial circumstance.

The father is visiting, for a few days, his children; he and his wife are divorced. They joke about a son, who proudly and very publicly took them all to dinner, then secretly borrowed small portions of money from each individual at the table. The daughter teaches pilates, and has been in some type of theater production readying to go on a tour. She is tense, though does not look it, from moving into a new apartment, gleaning her belongings and shifting them into a new home; the dog is agitated, and she fears will urinate in all of the wrong places. She complains of the lack of flat surfaces in the tiny bathroom, no space for cosmetics, and proclaims that she will be building shelves. There is talk, father to daughter, of safety, in a new neighborhood.

Something I do not yet want to contemplate in my own relationship: the daughter expresses concerns, his health, arthritis, bruising on his hands, a heart that has lived long and hard and is sometimes very tired. The topic does not linger; he is not exactly gruff with her, but abrupt, calmed by her concern, but not willing to divulge or to dwell.

For the holidays, the daughter plans to accept an invitation from a gay friend and her girlfriend; some other place, wherever she was last season, she did not want to return. I imagine it is the mother, but I have no way to tell. They share a bottle of red wine, a house cabernet, drink it surely, and the daughter pours her last splash into the other glass. They do not order dessert, and neither do I. I pay my check, satiated, and leave, pass into the cold night.

5 comments:

  1. Hey! Thanks for stopping by to see me :) I've only been to Dublin once but totally fell in love with the city & the people. Would love to have you as a follower & I'm happy to follow you too xoxo
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  2. In love with the first photo!
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    xx

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  3. I love the first photo !:)
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