Slip the hematite ring on your left thumb, and squeeze your eyes shut to make a wish from your heart, as the shop owner tells you to. Follow her instructions, and wish for everyone to shut the fuck up.
Interrupt that very important wish to make a better wish—one that feels productive, relevant, valuable. Wish to finish the two books you came here to finish. Across the ocean, in Ireland.
On your way out, the shop owner adds, “You can change your wish, if you want. Just cleanse the ring, and make a new one.” Feel some relief at that, and the fresh air.
Walk down sidewalks and over cobblestones, overwhelmed with information and interaction, ready to snap at your beloved, who can tell you’re off kilter and wants to help but doesn’t know how. Wish you could express what you need without sounding like an asshole, RE: wishing for everyone to shut the fuck up. Wish you could’ve told the beautiful shop owner that you loved all the books and jokes and thoughts she was sharing for twenty minutes without pause, but you had no more room for information and really needed to leave. Feel bad that you couldn’t, wouldn’t, didn’t.
Sit by a statue of Oscar Wilde, and ask your beloved to take a picture. Pretend you’re having the most hilarious of conversations, and wonder if that might loosen your throat chakra. Work the corners of your mouth into the semblance of a smile.
Pass two gelato shops, tempted to go in both, but don’t choose either. Do you need gelato or quiet or to be left alone for a while? Maybe C. All of the above.
Sit by the River Corrib, and notice the raven perched on the wooden pillar by the rushing water. Comment on her mighty beak, long and sharp, the color of coal. Notice her broken left wing, dangling.
Watch the seagull drag her feet through the water, float and dip her head, catch something—a flash of silver wriggle—in her beak and sail to the other shore. Watch her spit it into the river like she’s sending the fish she didn’t order back to the kitchen.
Work up the clarity to say to your beloved: I need some time to myself. To walk home alone, to write.
Set off with disgruntlement, frustration, and fatigue. Realize you’re not alone after all. So many voices in your head, like some weird speed dating meet-up. All of these attempted conversations, connections, flirtations.
Tell everyone in attendance to shut the fuck up.
Walk. Stop talking, even to yourself.
Look at the way the daisy quivers in the wind. White petal flags waving.
Feel the way the sky quivers, shaking loose a bit of rain, here and there.
Listen to the woman in the salmon pink hat say into her phone, “I’m looking for information.”
Notice the dryness in your mouth, the thirst for water and solitude, the urge you have to give everyone around you a timeout.
Give yourself a timeout.
Smell the garlic and saltwater floating out of some restaurant by the Galway Atlantaquaria. Lick your lips.
See the tiny girl twist her wrist, wiggle her fingers and tell her brother with the tomato red hair, “That means you have to go.”
Take your time stepping across the grass and feel the ache in your feet. The cramp in your toes from so much wandering.
Enter the code for the first gate. Let the door slam behind you and make you jump. Enter the code for the second gate and push the door more softly as it buzzes you in. Ride the elevator up three flights and enter your temporary home. The apartment with only views of other building walls.
Take out the salad mix and avocado, onion and garlic you bought at Ernie’s Market. Ernie, who almost charged you too much, then corrected himself. Who had the easiest way about him. Made a joke about not climbing the walls as you left the market. Now, keep out the head of garlic and break off a clove. Peel it, cut it in half, and drop one half on the floor. Rinse it, and pop it in your mouth. Chew your way into the bitterness and the burn.
Take a packet of the terrible powdered cappuccino your host has left, and empty it into the yellow “Globe trotter” pig mug. Fill it with hot water and cringe at the weird gummy clumps that won’t dissolve.
Remember last week when the driver said, “Now we’re in Limerick. When we cross the bridge, we’ll be in Kerry,” and you said, “Ooh, do we do something as we cross?” He swallowed, nodded, and tilted his head to the right. “Well, you can make a wish,” he said. “You can always make a wish.”
Oh globe trotter, remember you can throw the fish back into the river and cradle your broken wing. You can say what you need and find your way home through the language of your body. You can step out of time and be quiet enough to see the world speak to you. I’m looking for information. This means you have to go. You can always make a wish, and then another.
Cleanse the pig mug, and take out a wine glass. Let it sit empty and still, quiet and clear. Enjoy.