Found Writing

From last year, three weeks out from leaving Ireland. 

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A cool breeze lifted the leaves on the trees. the sky was grey, not steel grey or threatening grey, just unassuming, dreary grey. It made the multri-colored buildings all around stand out like brightly packaged litter in the gutter, but with more charm. There is the hint of rain in the air, just a hint, because there always is in Ireland, even on the sunniest of days. Rain lingers, like a thought in the back of your mind, present in its absence.
*
She stood by the railing on the little bridge, one of many in the city. It was so different from home, where the river rushed by through a deep-cut valley, inaccessible, unless you wanted to tumble in. Unless you knew where to go to access it. it was wide and daunting and could be crossed by only a few bridges throughout the city. Here, the river was close, like a friend. You could reach out and touch it at high tide, when it could reach as high as the bottom of the bridge. It glistened, reflecting back the rundown, quirky buildings in its surface, looking like an oil painting. Bridges crisscrossed all over the place, one every 500 meters or so. The city was so walkable because of this.
*
Thinking of home was painful. She longed for it like she had not known she could long for anything. She longed for the comfort of her own bed, the warmth of her boyfriend against her back in the night, the familiarity of streets she had walked for years, the accessibility of food items she loved, like peanut butter and perogies. She had been dreaming of going home since she had landed in Ireland, and now she was going, in three weeks exactly, and the pain that thought engendered had  little to do with longing for home and everything to do with the confusion of feeling  like she had found another home and had to leave that too.
*
She loved the warren of streets that comprised downtown, alleyways veering off into wide sweeping streets that branched off into other side streets, all packed with stores and restaurants, pubs and cafes, tattoo parlors and gift shops. Every inch bursting with character in its brightly painted facades, brick faces, run down wood and ancient majestic stone. Turning a corner was an adventure, where you were sure to come face to face with something interesting, whether it was the grand columns of the courthouse or the chrome and glass monstrosity of the Topshop store. She loved that there was a point less than a block from her apartment where she could stand on a bridge and see the imposing spires of three different churches in three different directions, all within a five minute walk.
*
She loved the way things glittered at night, reflected like magic in the river. She loved how the night felt safe, even in the sketchiest areas. She rarely clutched her bag protectively, only in moments of personal anxiety that had little to do with her surroundings.
*
She loved the friendliness of the Irish people. She hoped she would never forget the night in Cissie Young’s pub when the bartender, laughing and friendly and open, had offered to charge her iPhone for her because he noticed it was low. She walked back from the pub in a light drizzle, stopping at a chip shop for the best french fries of her entire life.
*
She felt a deep connection to Ireland. She felt like she could belong there, like she could have a life there, like it would embrace her as much as she had embraced it.
*
But she was going home. She knew it was the right thing to do, she could tell by the way her heart sang at the thought. But part of her felt bereft too, like an infant being pulled from its mother’s breast before it is done suckling. She wasn’t finished here. She did not know if she would ever be finished here.
*
Staring moodily into the river, she promised herself fervently hat she would come back. She would make sure that she set foot on this amazing island again one day in the future, and maybe this time she would have Bryan with her and all of the things she needed to make a real go of it here. Not forever, but for a year or so.
*
The thought made her smile, and she pushed off the railing and turned to go home. She looked back in the direction she had come, tracing every detail with her eyes, committing it all to memory, stamping it upon her heart. Still smiling, she walked home, eagerly observing everything, remembering the absinthe green glow of the pharmacy across the street, the rush of traffic, the quaint delight of walking down her tree-lined street and seeing all of the colorful doors waiting to admit people. She let herself in through her own red front door and let it slam shut behind her.
Found Writing