209.June 6

Post date: Jun 7, 2010 1:07:27 PM

Holyhead, UK

I packed some more in my luggage before I brought it over to David Faldet's and said good-bye. I mailed off a box of beer ware home. Kris and I had a good time talking and packing. In a cab, after playing my guitar for the last time, I sped off to the station and caught a train to Crewe and eventually Holyhead. I had a great ride, good music (Counting Crows and the Indigo Girls) on my headphones all the way.

In Holyhead, I had to wait for the 01:30 ferry, so I walked the town (another pub crawl solo). I played darts with an Irish ex-soldier, now living in Holyhead. He gave me some lessons. I throw too hard, and I move my body. I should only bend my arm at the elbow. We went to the Edinburgh Castle Pub to play pool. Sean McFauley then played a dart competition. I played pool with another bloke, who just barely beat me. After two pints at the Boston Pub before, we both bought five pints, as it was happy hour, and I had two whisky's. Caroline, a forty-year-old woman was playing on Sean's dart team. Sean beat everyone. She sat with us, and Sean tried to get her in bed. Sean was twenty-four years old. He made a chugging bet, and won. Three seconds to down a pint. He had hand grenade scars on his face.

Sean left for darts, and while Caroline was talking I got sick and went to the toilet. Sean took me out to the curb and set me there. Caroline and two of her friends took me to the ferry port, but I told them I wasn't going to get on the next ferry, I was going to rest in the train station until morning. They took me to Caroline's couch, where I slept until morning. I was surprised to find a woman in a t-shirt coming down the stairway of a house foreign to me as I woke. I had tea with her, and then walked back to the ferry. I took a Sea-Lynx. I was happy I chose to get some sleep, or I don't know where I would be now. They were good people, who told me how I had been hustled. I had left my watch without a band on the table in the bar, and Sean had taken it for himself. Caroline went in, decked him, and got my watch back. I guess I shall believe her. I was very untrusting of them, and would not get my luggage out. I was sure to not get in any more situations where I could get conned. I decided not to tell anyone about this situation.

1994

Galway, Ireland

Sitting in Lowry's Pub in downtown Clifden, sipping Irish coffee with extremely thick lumps of whipped heavy cream melting in the center. I just bought a sweater that makes me very happy about this trip. A purpose. Of course the only place I will appreciate it's warmth is when I'm here, or in a snowstorm.

Title: A Skull in Connemara

Color: Old red and green flower print

Style: Lots of electrical appliances with red lights

I gave the artistic director of the Druid Theatre my headshot and resume. Her name was Marie Flemming. The show was about a grave digger whose wife had died. All in the town speculated that he had killed her, although it looked like she died in an auto accident while he was drunk. Magrit, a boy in school still, helps him dig graves and empty them of old bones. They find his wife missing. Turns out the town cop dug her up and tried to tamper with the evidence. The end left many questions unanswered, probably for the good of the play.

Galway Tourist Hostel

Top bunk bed, 2300 hours, June 6, Friday night. Today, I spent more money. Yesterday was the most, with the #18 Tweed Flat Cap, and mother's black wool cape, #150, which I had sent home to her in Minnesota. Today I bought a #63.99 wool sweater and #29 darts, not to mention the silver necklace at #24. I guess I've spent all I can in Ireland now. I think I got all I want and need. If that is enough, I think I got exactly the right things. It's raining.

I was lost on the way to the Town Hall Theatre, where most of the theatre companies in Galway perform. I mistook road marks and theatres for other places. We went to Kashmir, a swank, tasty, and authentic Indian restaurant here in Galway City. I ate a vegetable rice dish. The food was very spicy, but great, and the atmosphere was luxurious, despite the color television.

Tomorrow promises to be a great day. That is, if I don't die tonight in this awful cot. The women in the bunk next to us are from Duluth, the U .M.D. What a coincidence. I've been to Duluth. They are headed for the Aran islands tomorrow. It will be nice to take it slow tomorrow, and maybe separate. A day alone might do me good, although I'd be broke. Maybe I should rethink this. I'm looking for Irish Miles, by Frank O'Connor. I know it can't be in print.

POSTCARD:This is Clifden. I hitchhiked there after biking to a hostel under one of the mountains you see above Clifden. 14 km away. But coming back took more than the 30 minutes of our walk/ride there. It probably took over 2 hrs. Oh well. Now it is 8pm. We wanted to climb a mountain, but now it has statred the first rain of our stay here. Lucky tomorrow we are taking a bus. We might go all the way back to Galway. We are catching a lift with the same man who gave us a lift on tuesday, and he leaves Sunday.

But why you get this postcard is another thing. I bought you, something here that you should get before I get home. It should come in two weeks by airmail. I hope you love it.

1997

Chicago, Il

We enjoyed a jacuzzi bath again in the morning. I had woken many times since 05:30, and finally Rachel woke up and we began to get ready. We didn't have to be in Chicago until after 15:30, so we took our time. We had enjoyed to beauty of our room. She had closed all the curtains to enable us to sleep longer, which worked, except the building was like a castle, and had some skylights, up near the top of the end tower that, as the sun rose in the sky, let beams of light pour onto the foot of the bed and the floor. It was glorious. Our jacuzzi warmed the room up a little too much, but we opened the windows and finished dressing. We had a coupon for free breakfast at THE COMEBACK IN downstairs, and the women we had met last night all turned out to be working Sunday breakfast. I had Cajun Steak Benedict, and Rachel had Stuffed French Toast with Apricot syrup. A very lovely breakfast, and then we left. We couldn't drive John Nolan, the fastest way out of town, or Washington, so we went along the Isthmus passed Monty's Blue Plate and my favorite neighborhoods, stopping at Olbrecht Gardens. Rachel was shocked by it's beauty, and we spent over an hour there. What a lovely day.

We headed off for Chicago, going via I-90, to the Kennedy Expressway. I dropped Rachel off at the Chicago Lyric Opera downtown, and was immediately smacked by a brief rain-storm on my way to The Field Museum. I parked underneath Soldier's Field, and spent just an hour with my camera and lots of dead and extinct animals. I was mesmerized by the quantity and quality of them. I got back in the car after some troubles with my credit card being denied at one of the paid parking meters, and got out fine. Rachel called me on my way to meet her, and everything timed perfectly. We headed home, and then Rachel asked me to go back for a quality Chicago meal. We went to a Moroccan place on N. Clark Street, Andolusa or something, and both had amazing lamb shanks served differently. Mint tea was great too. Then back on the road, and we listed to "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy over the 5 hour drive. We have to find sometime to finish it. We got home after 1am tomorrow.

2010