I am in Cork City Independent Hostel. I just took a shower. God, it was pleasant. This pencil, incidentally, is heaven I am sitting in a candle-filled room, with a tin-foil chandelier. Everything is a medium dark grainy beaten wood. The wax is spilling on is spilling over in stalactite white smudges. I am barefoot, dripping hair wet and happy. I had one pint of Beamish earlier in Charlies, where I heard folk music and met two American sailors. Chicago Joe and Philadelphia Sam Callahan. Two people are talking in this room and I appreciate having them here. I was a lonely puppy out in Cork City tonight. I came with a song to sing. It goes: "I'd like to have a little place of my own to be me and all my friends." I have a sore throat from my repeated vomiting of last night. I had some excellent batter fried mushrooms tonight. I still feel very unwell, unrested, and unhealthy. I will go to sleep soon.
Let me tell you a little about how I got to Cork City. I landed in the port city south of Dublin, and with my huge luggage and no idea of the train system in Dublin, started walking the ten miles towards Dublin center along the beach. It was a beautiful walk, I am glad I got to take the time to get a look, but it wore me out even more. I did not get the entire way, I found the next station and hopped aboard the Dart train that goes up to Connelly station, where I got off. Then I walked to the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin and looked around for about an hour. Then I walked to the center of town, still wearing my huge bag, and caught a bus to Heuston station, out past the Guinness brewery. I stored my luggage there, and hopped the next train to Cork. It was another beautiful ride, with many Castles and ruined cathedrals everywhere along the way. I was a bit disoriented when I got to Cork, but the hostel was right near the train station. From there, the German woman who worked there gave me directions around town, and everyone was full of smiles. It was very empty. I did go check out the town, and went to a few pubs that she pointed out on my map.
2 am. I'm in bed, happily awaiting sleep, but I've got a dilemma. I've been offered a bedroom and bath sharing the apartment of a friend of my sister's. She's an internationally recording artist with 2 cd's out and one on the way. She's also a postal employee. The renting would be on a monthly basis, if that, with two beautiful cats. It is in the Commodore, which is a fabulous building, I can't pass it up. So, here are the options: I find an apartment for my friends on Grand Ave., tomorrow, and then move in when Brian moves out, or go to England. Then I could come back and move whenever I wanted to. I don't think Mike and Keith will mind, even if they take the place on 2nd avenue. We'll see tomorrow. I wish I hadn't given a check to Steven's Community.
I wandered Galway alone, only a few bakeries and deliverers of papers trucked about at 0500 hours unloading. I'd left a note under Sam's glasses to meet me in the green park near the hostel at noon. I'm ten minutes early, as I just emptied my backpack of the books I purchased at Kenny's book shop an hour ago. I am going to learn the Irish and Welsh languages.
The woman at Kenny's promised she would notify me when they received a copy of Irish Miles. Obviously out of print it is. Bust she perked up and told me of the morning in 1944 Frank O'Connor stopped in and played a trick on her. "Who is the best Irish short-story writer," he asked her. She had never seen him before, so the trick must have worked. She also pointed out to me that the stained glass window upstairs was given to the bookstore by Dublin something er- other. It was the one mentioned in Ulysses in Marion Square. They also had good photo's of bunches of very important writers noted for my having liked them always and forever. e.e. cummings was amonst the ranks. I think I made a fair purchase of my books for just over #40.
A more·affordable bookstore was Charlie Byrnes in the Corn market, but they don't carry the rare out of print as much. Nor the Irish language texts. But they had a great Irish theatre section that I wanted to collect and take with me, but instead decided that I must move here, and then I wouldn’t have to buy the bleeding texts, just read them in store. Circling this square park: the 'Irish Cancer Society. Same song, bright orange road construction vests on. I'm being middling splashed by the fountain to my back. The sun is brightening out. And here comes Sam crossing the park.
The Spanish Arch Hotel Bar, 13:37 hours
I've just called mother to ask for my pin number on a credit card I never use. She's so happy to hear from me. I like being able to feel this close, and not having to pop in coins and wonder how much extra will be swallowed up by the errors I make. This is a very decorated bar, but the only reason we are here is for the Caffrey's Ale. We've been looking for the whole trip. It is very good, not a bitter, and takes three minutes to clear upon being pulled. Smooth taste, like a glass of warm milk with no bitterness. I do hope we walk around happily for a while. We have a long day before us, Happy loneliness of an open day of wandering.
Earlier, I walked past and photographed the Spanish Arch, it is not remarkable, but it is a piece of the original wall bridges that were medievaly surrounding the city in 1580. We are going to the museum that is housed in the Spanish Arch in ten minutes. The Blind Arch is enclosed on one side, and has some scrap metal stored in it, but it seemed the more interesting of the two in composition.
We spent two nights in Galway, and on the first morning, I went walking at 0700 or earlier. I had the best morning, just wandering on every street. When shops began to open, I went in to browse. I wanted very much to stop for coffee and pastry, but I had no money whatsoever on me, so it needed to be a credit accepting place, which are usually not the kind of places I like to go to. So I waited to eat until I was to meet Sam. I left a note saying where and when to meet, very neat, leaving him plenty of time to rest and prepare for the day, or to do his fancy all morning until we met. He saw the note, only read "I'll see you" or some bit of it, skipped the other four lines and waited for me, stopping at the Super-Macs. He wasted his morning away, and then read the note. Too bad. We ate at a deli, which promised to be good, very interesting building, but the food didn't cut it.
We found a place to play darts that night, Flanigans (after asking two bouncers (at a bar over the river where no tourists would likely be) where a bar with a dart board was (so as to christen my darts here in their native city)) we played many a game of cricket. Then 501. Then to the Black Rose, Rosue Dubh or something. There was a band called the Prayer Beats playing country or rock or imitation covers of other bands. They played their own stuff at the end, or at least that was my assumption since it soundly lively and not like the rest. It was great fun over Caffrey's, of course that was why we were there. We talked even to people. One had lost a bet that we were Canadians. A man there thought we were pimps because of Sam's earrings and my glasses and our combined smart looks. He threatened me inaudibly, and wanted to beat us up, or something, he was too drunk for me to understand. I left to follow Sam out, who I'd thought caught on, but instead was in the toilet when I went out into the street. Then realizing he was back with the guy I had just left, I returned right as Sam was catching on that he was a redneck weirdo. I picked Sam out of it, and we walked home, laughing about the people we met, the way the dogs barked, the cats squawked, and various other things.
We laughed our way to SuperMacs for ice cream cones. I asked for two vanilla. She said "We don't have banana." I physically enunciated it immensely and made her feel silly. She said "I imagine it tastes like banana ice cream." after I said "Interesting." Then home to bed, we were the first back in our hostel room.
Looking for vegetarian restaurants and whole food shops in Galway has been profitable. I've discovered this would be an excellent city to move to, live in, and die in, excepting the digging up of all the bones anytime after seven years, and then the smashing of them with stone mallets in the living room of some old wife murthering gravedigger.
The ability to take the ferry to the Aran Islands for the weekend any time sounds grand. The books here, and the theatre possibilities. The tourists and the accessible Irish language tutors would be great. Not to mention the craic I could have living here. I bought darts here, what an excuse to live here. Either a hotel to stay in, or being able to buy eight or nine items to bring home. That's what us poor people must often opt for.
The King's Head
The King's Head comes complete with a severed head of a King under red light and glass at the bottom of the stairs leading down from the Gallery bar. The walls are all original bare stone, and the supports and ceiling are undecorated bare wood. It is incredibly interesting as a bar. We are sitting against the stage, where Sam is watching pre-football entertainment. There is a fan blowing directly at me. I want to play darts, I do. Otherwise I could sit down with someone interesting to talk with, if I could find that person. I had such a thrill this morning, but it might have been better with money. I finally found out my bank balance.
Cafe de Journal
After a pint of Connel's cider, slightly vinegret, at the King’s Head, nothing suits the chevalier like a good cup of Italian coffee. Sam is reading Irish Times. Tied at half was the football match, so we freed ourselves for another place. The Cafe du Journal was not overfilled as it was in the afternoon, so why not. I sit on a nearly heart shaped wooden low-stool. Delta blues guitar is vibrating from behind me.
We are tasting apple crumble with soft whip cream. It is a wonderful tart, as many of ladies here seem to be. Hard covers on a four stacked ceiling bookshelf. New people entering. Thin with a French hair-cut, all bellied out look, but actually bellow T-shirt under purple over velvet top. Eyes on ceiling with blonde and lips all downward thrusting. Unhappy about being here or having to leave, the blue jean jacket big eyed woman stood, at this only leveled her eyes with the effort.
Another blue jean jacketed short cut brunette settles spread legged in caterpillar shoes, sprawling the menu, an overleaf with an insert of the same plastic. She strips bare shouldered down to her vest and unbuttoned dark leather looking, but it’s a shirt, sleeveless of a heavy natural fabric.
Drip-candled wine bottles over aged and many mixed colored are leaning into the wine with wicks backing. Irregularly short woman with auburn lips sucking white sticks with fire fringing on the ash end, looks sometimes at a long brown tassel hair smooth black shirted bared wedge back over-leaning revealer wearing Converse All-Stars new design. Healthy hair and blue jeans too, Lee.
Dead poets painted as vapors ghostly rising from ceiling white books, unnoticed, one typing. A single small doorway bar with one green stained arch. Four cut wedge glass is the thin slit bar hand over where chef is now talking "I don't haves," and back to my two blue jeaners. The short one stands and approaching takes the Irish Independent from Sam's droppings. The other with a thick leather-blackened belt proudly noses and eyes is quiet, as in-prayer to Christmas presents, long time there.
The servers are similarly hair-bungied. They seem careless, yet taxed. Blue jean-less best long arming the paper to our near table, a marble gray over speeds it, and landing just so and in balance just shortly then in her mind and mine coincidentally pre-tipping, we both reach together and catch it in its possible fall and share a shared smile. She got exactly half of it. I the other. Elf ears and all, back slit shining out on the other, there comes a time when the watcher must leave, and I feel I've reached it. Yet it comes well full happy, like the end of a good hug.
POSTCARD: I'm in Cork City Independent Hostel. Last night, I walked around Cork City. I am renting a bike today from the hostel, and heading Northwest, with a stop at Blarney Castle to kiss the green stone. The sun is shining now, and I am positive. I just had yogurt and an apple for breakfast. My trip to Cork was a ragged tiring one. I stopped in Dublin and rambled with my monstrous backpack. I stored that in Dublin at the train station. Now I am carrying only a small red backpack. On the train here, I saw a different ruin in every other field. This hostel is wonderful. Candles are burning all around, and the shower is secluded and hot. The floors are all wood. My bed was soft. I don't know how to call home from here yet, but I should figure it out soon. I have a Let's Go Ireland book that gives good directions. I wished I had used Let's Go more in other countries. I am longing to come home, but I think I will enjoy biking around this area. Wish me safe travels.
A very tired day for me. YOOH board meeting tonight, which I spent lunch preparing for. We had our first choreographing session for the show tonight with Anna.