Dublin Was…

When I made my way to my second course today, a friend named Tommy ushered me over. “Well? How was your trip? Did you like Dublin?” he asked me. He’s an Irish boy with Dublin in his veins and, he said, he’d been worried the city would disappoint.

Where do you even begin to answer the question “How was Dublin?”

How was Dublin? Dublin was the view from the airplane: green valleys like half-healed scars, the trees on either side emerald scabs knitting them back together over hundreds of thousands of years.

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Dublin was music that made you stop in the middle of the street and stare, mouth open, wondering how much talent could be so concentrated and so overlooked.

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Dublin was late-night pub crawls, and early-morning tour tickets, and cheap salty noodles because traveling poverty is better than stagnant riches.

Sky Backpackers hostel.

Sky Backpackers hostel.

Dublin was the weight of history pitter-pattering on my shoulders in raindrops — death in the form of execution —

Kilmainham Gaol, where leaders of the Easter Uprising were executed by firing squad in 1916.

Kilmainham Gaol, where leaders of the Easter Uprising were executed by firing squad in 1916.

–and starvation.

Artist's rendering of the potato famine, 1845-1850.

Artist’s rendering of the potato famine, 1845-1850.

Dublin was a cliffside stroll in the grace of the sunshine, where I could see for miles and wanted only the view in front of me.IMG_0647

Dublin was story after story, falling from mouths like coins from a pocket, and I was a pauper, collecting them in a notebook instead of a coin purse, saving up to cash them in as something bigger than what they were separately.

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