On this singular morning, the birdsong drills and pins the world by the scruff of it’s neck.
It is easy to flee with the dawn, all impetus. The brine of the sea smells good.
The ferry cuts through the water. The land retreats.
I feel no nostalgia for round hills diminishing.
There are children’s entertainers on the boat. They are woeful. Their sing song shenanigans get me by the throat. I drink whiskey in the bar. One, two, three. I love you, you love me.
There’s always one who tries to talk, to tell a story, to make a connection. He was on the streets, made good for a while, went back to the drink, a bum in London. He couldn’t resist a look see at what the boom made of his old country but he’s happier now it’s back to the old days, the comfort grumblings of ruination, the fist in the direction of the ubiquitous oppressor, the head bent towards the snuffle shuffling of Italian-Irish handmade shoes.
I have no time for old men, looking back.
I feel no nostalgia for the faces of my children in photographs.
The hydrofoil makes good time.
When I came home – from the airport in those days – they would dance around my pockets for treats, they were always wanting something, always at me.
Deborah would be there with her mouth tight, her cheek flat against my cursory kiss, saying all the right things, an excess of manners. Had she ever writhed under my hand?
In the lap dancing club I threw fifties.
On the golf club I lowered my handicap while plámásing gombeens.
I raked it in while my gardener raked leaves in Dublin 4.
I walked away from the fella in the bar while he was still talking. Now disembarking, he’s lost in the crowd.
No matter how the plebs in the bank sing they’ll pin nothing on me.
I have a caseful of money, pocketfuls of excuses.
Like the pope they just beatified, (that was a moment of glory before the last economic fall, his visit, 1979, even I remember!) like him, I kiss the ground when I make it in to land. Anywhere but Ireland.