I Walk Through Walls, I Float Down the Liffey

On the last night in Dublin we had gotten back to the hotel room and I still had plenty of energy and fire in my belly (Jameson) and so I reached into my suitcase and found the tall can of Guinness that I had brought with me from our previous hotel. Actually, it came from the Aran Islands, I had bought two cans before we got back on the ferry and only one got drunk, so I had stored it in my suitcase for a rainy night. As it happened, it never rained while we were there, except for maybe ten minutes. The mornings were crisp and the afternoons often warm, even sunny sometimes; the nights were chilly like spring in Chicago or summer in San Francisco. We couldn’t ask for better weather.

I took the warm Guinness out and knew what had to be done. Down a couple of flights to the small closet-size office where the night manager sat with his headphones on, I asked whether he could find me a wee bucket of ice anywhere. Our hotel was a small boutique type of place right on the River Liffey in the Temple Bar area, a block from U2’s Clarence Hotel, and so there weren’t your usual ice machines at the end of the hall. The kind man disappeared for a while into the attached restaurant, which had closed for the night, and I waited at the top of the stairs. A few minutes later he reappeared outside the door, giving me a thumbs up. A few minutes more and there he was with a healthy bucket of ice and I thanked him and headed back up to the room.

We were three to a room and the other two were asleep or almost there, so I put the Guinness deep into the ice bucket and went into the bathroom. There was a large tub that I had tried out the day before, complete with whirlpool jets and everything, and so I figured one last soak would be fitting. I turned on the water and let it fill up as I rolled the can of beer on the ice.

A weird note about the water: in Ireland it’s separated so that when it comes out of the faucet you can feel the hot and the cold on either side. This means that if you are in the bathtub while it is filling up one foot is getting the extreme hot water and the other the cold. It’s very odd.

Anyway, I grabbed a glass from the sink and opened up my now-chilled Guinness, pouring about half of it in. I have never been a Guinness drinker, but damn, was it good over there. Even in a can. Mother’s milk, as they say. I waited and watched it turn from brown to black and then took a sip. Delicious! I got in the tub and turned on the jets with my bucket on the ledge and my glass sitting in the ice alongside the can of beer. The lap of luxury.

It was after midnight, maybe one o’clock or so, and outside the hotel across the street was a late night club still going strong. I had the window open behind the tub to air things out and the volume was pretty high, so I could hear “Losing My Religion” and “With or Without You” quite clearly. I don’t know if it was a tribute band or karaoke but some peeps had spilled out onto the sidewalk and were singing along in their own drunken way. I laid in the tub and drank my Guinness and listened as some girls sang the “yeah yeah, yeah yeah” part from the Red Hot Chili Peppers song “Under the Bridge,” and this was my last night in Dublin.

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