Spent the day wandering Dublin. Not much accomplished but it was a nice day and I can get used to living like this. No stress. No possessions except what is in my three (hopefully down to two magically) bags. No errands to run. No obligations to anyone. I choose the day and have complete freedom. Not bad…
Went to the CORRECT O’Donoghue’s near the Shelbourne Hotel (where I stayed traveling with my brothers and their wives and a niece in 2009). Sat down very early for the 9:30 start of the music, but was lucky to be joined by two thoroughly enjoyable men. One was related to Aaron Burr (I believed it, don’t you?) and the other his customer who lives in Dundalk, the same town I am traveling to tomorrow to see family! We had a great conversation, or as the Irish say “good craic” (pronounced “crack” — a phrase that can get you in trouble if taken the wrong way!) which means a lively time of it. They seemed to like this bonus life idea. That new perspective on these extra years to view differently and with purpose. Fun. The music was wonderful.
An example of the dry Irish humor. After my new friends had left, I stayed to listen to more of the music. There was a man standing behind me that I hadn’t spoken to or even turned around to see. At one point in the night a young, handsome-and-knows-it man stood up, as is customary, to sing a cappella. He did a pretty good job but warbled through a bit of it. I must say it wasn’t a horrible thing to see him put in his place a bit. After he was done, with a perfect beat of timing, I hear from behind me “good rehearsal”. Well, that just cracked me up. When he saw me laughing, again with a dry straight delivery he said “time for Take Two”.
That night in Dublin was a good picture of how it seems to be here. Conversation in pubs is easy and friendly and often full of laughs as well as insight. Good craic. No one really out to pick up and get picked up, although of course that happens. Just there to enjoy the music and the conversation. I would love to have more nights like that in restaurants and bars in Chicago. Not just with my friends, but making new friends for the evening. Guess I need to put myself out there and make it happen myself. Take Two at home.