Dublin down!

Centuries–old stone bridges jutting out from dusty streets. St. Patrick’s clocktower reaching toward the sun.  Faint aroma of potato crepes creeping along the morning fog.  Mid-morning breakfast along Liffey River as elfin creatures meander to work.

A three-hour trek through downtown Dublin.  Leprechaun Lair looms large in plans, if only for the tale.  Guinness Storehouse atop a cobble-stoned path, its barley scent floating through dumpy alleys filled with Broguishly slung slang.  Seventh-floor panoramic view of the city’s two million inhabitants, most of who are foregoing recovery from last night’s drinking binge and heading out to the pubs for Ireland’s seemingly 24/7 happy hour.  In some sections horses pull hansoms, their steps cadenced to the whistled Irish folk tunes of bored drivers.

Trinity College co-eds trot about in flannel skirts and hooded sweatshirts on their way to imbibe something dark and cluttering.  From beneath a ubiquitous green overhang, a tattered and bleeding male makes violent gestures toward a woman whose jack-o-lantern smile and excessive facial jewelry suggest she’s been through these battles before, and won.

Dublin is un-romantic, blue collar at best, blessed with the Obama/Bob the Builder slogan “Yes We Can” the way that large dogs have signs on their fences stating “Beware of Dog.”  Stained t-shirts and scuffed jeans adorn well-muscled blokes whose blistered hands and tar-stained teeth shout “hard labor.’  One gets the feeling the Sunday Church confessional will have a long line.

It is Wednesday evening now.  The banging of something being constructed is coming though my window, attached to the smell of another something distinctly digestive.  A layer of brown and gray hovers above the city.  Sunsets in Ireland come through a haze, as if clarity could be possible with all the drink (sarcasm).

Along the streets, the workforce appears to be heading home for a change. The Liffey is quiet.  Darkness brings a looming sense, as though the city has taken a deep breath and is holding it for the evening. The air feels like a taut balloon.  In unlit corners, Leprechaun mill about.  Somewhere a glass is filling.  A hard night impends.

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By ccxander

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