This is a piece I did for a new-ish Dublin magazine called daydreamer. This was their love issue and they asked me to write something about my take on love in that town. Anne Atkins took the picture.
Dublin loves you
It’s just bad at showing its feelings
On cold nights when the wind rushes at you from up and under and the walk home is long, and the home itself is cold as the dead and the milk in the fridge might still be in date but probably isn’t and who knows what tomorrow will bring but maybe Youtube will cough up something fresh, love descends on Dublin like a raggedy fire blanket suffocating a flame.
It’s not easy to be alone here. The beds are too cold. The windows were installed by monkeys. You wake three times in the middle of the night to beat life back into your hands and feet. The couch needs a counterbalance or it flips you on your arse and the cheap wine makes you depressed if you drink it alone. You build a home on an island that eyeballs the cold side of the Atlantic and you won’t convince anyone you’re a fan of easy.
See, Dublin is a problem, so you share it by giving a half to someone else.
And that’s what brings them together. There are no Cupid arrows, but there are darts and last buses and no one wants to take one on their own. Love is not blind in Dublin, it’s just able to compromise and strip away looks and personality until all you’re left with is some warm bones and hopefully enough loose change to bring your combined buying power to the price of bread and rashers Sunday morning.
And in Dublin that’s enough ingredient to make a whole batch of love.
Expectations aren’t high, because the need is strong. Couples have a shared enemy in the wind and the rain and the mess. The shit makes your love shine.
Dublin knows this. It’s part of its dirty charm. You take a step out of any bar at any hour of the night with a slight feeling of regret that you didn’t have the stones to talk to that person who was throwing you signals across the room, and a sudden pitter patter of rain or a howling gale will send you right back inside to force destiny.
It’s like you’re on a plane and the captain’s just come on the tannoy to say ‘Ladies and Gentleman, that large bang you just heard was the left engine exploding. And the bang before that one was the right engine doing the same.’
And you look around and land on a pair of brown eyes looking back and you think to yourself, why the fuck not?
Dublin loves you. It may feel like the plane is falling out of the sky, and you may ask if wet socks, neck cricks and a constant runny nose are the way this city shows it cares, wouldn’t I rather be alone? But no, Dublin loves you. It’s just playing bad so you’ll see the good in others. And when you’re staring into your lovers eyes, and those eyes are jumping two different directions around a face more lunar than lovely and you say ‘I love you’ and they say ‘I love you’ back and it’s impossible that you can but you do, then you know this grand ugly mess of attraction has occurred for one reason, and that reason is Dublin loves you.