Dublin by night. 

I feel home. More at home than anywhere else. Passport stamped. I'm here. Taxi ride politics. Freedom and heartbreak. Dark streets and flashing lights. Dublin hasn't woken up yet. The train station at 5 am. It is half lit. Half open. I can smell the coffee and the rubber. A few stray workers are getting ready for the first journey of the day. Everything is a haze. A dizzying blur. Homes, businesses, fields.. we watch the sunrise through the window. Ireland is waking up and I am as well. You cross the point of exhaustion and you start running on fumes. I'm trying to feel it all. I take a bath to wash away the grime of travel. The smell of transportation has seeped into my skin. I let it all soak in. I fall asleep in the white room with Modigliani's The Boy staring down at me. It's a heavy sleep. It is a dreamless sleep. But there is no more time. We must get up and see the world. Walking around the streets of Cork. Streets that I would soon know like the back of my hand. It is crazy how something so new will become so familiar in a small amount of time. Markets, shops, and new faces pass me by. Hidden pubs that are full of conversations. But there is blood in the streets; it's time to go home. I am up too late again. Filled with dreams. Filled with life. The church bells ring and it is time for a new day. Castles, stones, hawks, and owls. Lots of stairs, paths, and old couples walking hand in hand. We stop off at the Gap of Dunloe. There is nothing but the sound of air and streams. I am struck again. I feel the change happening again. A new world. A world that I have always known but haven't been able to access. Doubts, fears, anxiety... all keeping me back. But there is no more going back. I'm here now. Chance encounters and late night walks in the streets. Dancing to Fast Car played by some buskers. Everything lined up. Everything was so beautiful and heartbreaking at the same time. Up too late again. Saying goodbye for the first time. I can't sleep because I can't stop crying. The next morning I wake up and wonder if it was even real. But it was. The day is filled with love. Laughing, crying, dancing. Johnny Cash and The Chieftains. The Muppets and Bach. Everything is under this one roof. Crying while walking through the streets. Trying to process it all. The long train ride back to Dublin. Trying to write everything down so it doesn't feel so far away. I don't want things to slip through the cracks. I want my words to feel as alive on the page as they do in my heart. How do things that are so far away feel so close? Our hearts and souls are imprinted with these memories. They can't leave us. We carry them. But there are more blessings to come. Sneaking on the rooftops. The bullet holes on O'Connell street. The history surrounds me. We keep passing the angels. They are watching over us. Dancing through the streets. I swear we don't meet a stranger.  Jim sings us a song and Frank treats us like his own. Hugs and kisses. Too much cider. More laughing. More singing. More tears. It's everything and everywhere. 

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Hello! I'm Kirby. A stylist and writer based in Birmingham, Alabama.