Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Still feel like dirt

I'm fighting this beast but it's too soon to say if I'm winning or if it's taking a breather before it makes a serious counterattack. Right now, my nose is so dry, it hurts, but that's lessened the irritation of my throat. And I'm seriously pissed off, still, instead of morose or maybe that's good. And it's probably good I live alone, right now.

I remember the first time I visited Ireland...back in March 2002. My first night there, I went into a fish & chips shop on the pedestrian walkway to have a decent serving of the stuff. It had picnic-like benches and people would share the table without knowing each other. I was eating, this Irishman sat across from me, and he had the worst-sounding cold. Sniffling and snorting breathing like a Mack truck. I wrapped the remains of my food up and left as quick as I could...but it did no good. I started feeling it the next day, the little prick.

My B&B had a bar downstairs, and when I told the bartender what had happened, she made me the best hot toddy ever. Said it would kill the cold. It knocked it back, that's for sure...and if I'd had another, I'd have been fine but instead I got busy looking the city over and taking a ferry out to one of the Aran Islands and driving around the countryside and going to the Cliffs of Moher...and the morning I caught my bus for Derry, I started feeling it, again.

I was sick the rest of my stay. And when I ran out of Tylenol, it was on a Sunday...and just try and find a place to buy drugs in Ireland on a Sunday. The only positive aspect of it was, the beginnings of the cold made me fussy and irritable, and probably contributed to me missing my bus back to Derry from Grianan Aileach, the circle fort just across the I had to walk. And that's when Brendan began talking to me about Place of Safety.

And freaked the hell out of me. Fourteen years since then...that's how long I've been circling and working on this book. 14 friggin' years, and I'm still unsure of it. No, I'm unsure of me and my ability to tell the story honestly. Truthfully. Honorably.

And at the moment, feeling like I do...I really don't know if I'll succeed...

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