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Come, hear something, read some things, I was saying. That spring I was staying at the Russell Hotel in the cheapest or, as I have been taught to say, the most reasonable available room. I have sat before the fire in the lobby, cold glass of Carlsberg in hand, realizing: traveling out the patrimony, a gift in my case, from all the years of my father’s fear of doing anything which would endanger his retirement. After forty-nine years of work at the American Can Company he survived two years of doing, as he put it: nothing. Died, he did, alone in a parking lot with strangers looking on at his performance. Upstairs, built into the cabinet next to the bed was a radio which received only Radio Eireann—stories always seemed to begin: In 193 . . . In 189 . . . They, He, She, and . . . the words flowed into never remembering a fact except the pause before the announcer saying a birthday greeting to someone’s Granny of County . . . who wanted to hear “Apples and Oranges” as performed by the Metropole Dance Band and then the female announcer would say three or four words in Irish, allowing me to remember this announcer, Ruth Buchanan, who had taught English to foreign students in the same school where I would work in Baggot Street when I had lived in this city with the Bulgarian, this Ruth who could also still be seen in cinema adverts plucking a little shampoo bottle growing in the center of flowers then blooming down there in Stephen’s Green; this Ruth who was now saying three or four words in Irish every hour, reminding people there are two languages in this country—and for me, one of those languages drowned in the ocean across which my grandfather at the age of twelve was shipped from Donegal to New York where that Bulgarian lived BUT let’s not go into all of that just yet. ———— 1 A fence of rocks piled one on top of the other, cement forced between, about an asphalt paved front yard. Will you come in? The house set back from the drive. Will you come in? Down there in the street, troops of high school bullies have been formed up to strut and twirl and shake their behinds for all they’re worth: St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, imported from New York and points west— them showing them how it’s done; bands and marching units in between flatbed trucks on which shivering girls stand throwing sample packets of dried peas and frozen fish fingers. Looking down from my window I couldn’t tell whether this was the end or the beginning of the parade. His watch on my wrist had stopped. H. A. MCGONIGLE 1924-1969 45 YRS CANCO SERVICE In the corner a red plush straight-backed chair on which I had been stacking the books bought in an effort to catch up for the years since in Dublin. I put the books on the floor next to my suitcases. I thought to sit, watch them down there. The window sill is too high for my feet or the chair too low and either way I couldn’t see with ease what was happening in the street. I couldn’t remember whether the pubs would be open so I called down for a couple of Carlsbergs to be sent up: three bottles and a glass. Waiting in thirst I again twisted the problem, what was I doing in Dublin, when as before coming in from the airport there was the same identical sinking feeling of why in whatever it is, had I come back, again, because I always had that feeling, back here again, never remembered of course until after the rush to find the bus for Busárus, find the change, find a seat, get all the luggage into the bus because I wouldn’t trust them to put it into the luggage compartment. St. Patrick’s Day ———— A SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT To ensure a comfortable journey through this day an ITINERARY is provided: Starting (obviously) in the Russell Hotel Walking to Grogan’s by way of Stephen’s Green and Neary’s Pub In Grogan’s Out on the Street to the Memorial by the Grand Canal and Baggot Street Bridge To Rathmines and Rathgar Starting Out Again Taken Apart McDaids En Route Again, Grogan’s To the Party The Corn Exchange Back here again riding in the bus across land...


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MARC Record
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