As if by magic, I was walking around Dublin’s City Centre when the next thing I knew I was unlocking the door to my empty, stuffy house.
It felt so good to be at home, finally, after spending a lot of my time in Ireland wishing I were still here in Metamora. Only in the last couple of days did I finally feel completely comfortable in that completely foreign city, when the next thing I knew I was hoisting my suitcase into the coach and boarding it before getting on an airplane and flying 4,000 miles across the Atlantic. As I sat around with my closest friends – Bob, Beau, Dirty Dave and Cigarettes Jon – the night I returned in an effort to try and stay awake to get back on a normal sleeping schedule, I realized I really was going to miss Dublin.
The yearning to go back started on the plane, actually, as I was proofreading the journals I had turned in for the second check after receiving a burst of energy from an unknown source. Maybe I should have proofread these once more before turning them in the first time, I thought. But in looking over them on the plane, and making the edits on my computer Saturday, I realized that I covered a lot of ground in two weeks.
I saw a jail, a handful of museums, the Irish coast in two unique spots, an art gallery, a castle, a lot of pubs and a lot of people. And I saw a good portion of the city by foot since I did a lot of walking. I picked up some Yiddish terms from my new Jewish friends Melanie and Carolyn. I learned that a schlep is an exhausting walk. For example, when they took a wrong turn in City Centre and wound up 45 minutes away in Rathmines, that was a schlep. (Schlep, apparently, can also be used as a verb: “We went schlepping all the way to Rathmines today.”)
I also strengthened pre-existing relationships with Dylan and Gabby. Dylan, who I’d met in our basic reporting class with the incomparable Dr. Netzley, had asked me to room with him because I wasn’t, in his term, a bastard. We didn’t know each other all that well, but he was always friendly in class so my feelings toward him were mutual. I was actually going to submit that term to him as my reasoning to room with him, but he beat me to the punch.
And then there’s Gabby, who I’ve known since we were in high school through working at Didley’s and Metamora Martial Arts. Realizing I’d traveled with her to Chicago, spent two weeks with her, and knowing I’d be riding home with her, I asked Gabby as we were boarding the plane what our plans were for that night when we finally got there. She didn’t say anything, but the look on her face was priceless, as if to say, “Are you freaking kidding me?”
The plane ride home wasn’t as bad as the ride over. I think it had something to do with the fact that our flight was an hour shorter than our itinerary said it would be and landed even earlier than that. We also got to see daylight, which put me in a cheerier mood than the dark skies we had for the majority of the trip to Dublin.
Overall, I’d say my adventures in Dublin make for a great experience. I shared a lot of memories with a select group of people that can never, ever be duplicated. I didn’t have a major list of items I wanted to accomplish over there, though I fell short of getting a tattoo and visiting a martial arts school. In place of those, however, I think I saw as much of the city as I could in that time.
So long, Dublin. Hello, Metamora.