January 17, 2022 by ellie892
January 28th, 2020
We land at 4 a.m. for a nine hour layover in Dublin and it is nine Euros to board the bus to the city centre. We wait in the sleet and cold. There are some heaters in the shelters but they flicker red and fade out. The wait is forty minutes at this hour of the morning. My bits of baggage are in a rented locker at the airport so it’s good to have free hands.
By the time I arrive in the historic part of Dublin, it is 5:30 a.m.. The streets along the Liffey River are still dark and foggy, but the cheerful hanging baskets of flowers teeter from the lamp posts while I notice the striped awnings over the entrances of the brick and sandstone buildings. I think of James Joyce and of the secrets held behind the facades.
Everything is slick with rain and the shops are still closed. I’m starving for breakfast. There is a rainbow flag indicating the location of a gay bar on one of the better lit side streets. I walk toward it and am impressed by the bright yellow chairs and the tables outside, and the well tended, full flower pots along the window ledges. A sign on the window boasts of the ‘Best breakfast in Dublin’. Opens at 6 a.m., but today the door is broken and the owner, a large brusque man with a grey beard, is struggling to fix it.
He shares his frustration and we discuss the cold wind.
“Never mind me love, come in take the chill out of your bones, I have a fresh pot of tea. Sit and have a spot.” he says. I ask about breakfast and he hands me a scanty menu and directs that I sit at the far end away from the door because his worker will be arriving with tools and it might be noisy. Shortly afterwards a small well muscled man in his late twenties arrives with tools and a quick greeting.
He jokes about the Corona. They both laugh. I add the flight from Toronto was nearly empty. “Well,” the owner says. “We’ll see.” The man with the tools adds his neighbour, a young mother, passed away the night before. “She had to fight her cancer again, but this time it took her.” I’m eager to order and move on. Everything is suddenly awkward.
night air brings stories
darkens the day as it breaks
the babies left behind