A cold night with a mist. We walk with quick steps toward the old part of Dublin where there are numerous pubs. We have no particular destination, no special pub to find, just what strikes our fancy. Along the main shopping area of the old town the pubs are crowded and lively. Some more so than others. We pick one, Doheny and Nesbitt, which appears popular. Every inch of space is occupied, shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip. No television, no musical sound track. Just drinks and talk, drinks and talk. We elbow our way to the bar and get a Guinness.
middle of the roomwrapped inside a maelstrom
The wind is up, blowing off the River Liffey. It is welcome after the stuffiness of the pub. A brisk walk, trot to our next stop. A larger pub, O’Donoghue’s, just as closely packed with customers. Standing room only again. Between the pub and the building next to it is an alley, the smoking room. Open at either end, covered on top and warmed with large electric heaters the smokers and their non-smoking friends congregate here. We order a Jameson from a passing waitress and find two empty stools near a heater.
Everything flows–talk and laughter, alcohol and smoke. And the wind through the alley. We head back thinking that a two pub crawl is enough, but give in to one more on a side street. Quieter than the other pubs, with two televisions and space at the bar or in a booth. We choose a booth and have Irish coffee. It is clearing when we leave, but much colder.
across a three quarter moon
the flashing night
HAIBUN TODAY, Feb. 2012