SUZIE AND AISLING

AUGUST 7, 2007

It is time that we gird our loins and gather our flocks and generally hearken unto the Word, for the falcon spins in a widening gyre and the rough beast slouches back from Bethlehem and the Age of the Moron, begun by the onset of Bush, is now come unto fullness of time.

Meanwhile, Suzie sits over her book by the dim light of the bar lights as Aisling comes in the front door and orders a Guinness because Guinness is good for you. While waiting for the stout to "stack", he had himself a Redtail. For the lubrication.

At the end of the bar, Mr. Howitzer, looking at the television up in the corner commented loudly that the liberals were all a pack of fools. The GOP debates were in full swing at the moment.

Aisling mentioned there didn't seem to be much alternative as the GOP seemed rather stacked with dunces as well right now. To which Mr. Howitzer retorted that he supposed Aisling didn't care for terrorists.

This seemed a rather abrupt segue into nothingness, but then Conservatives practice abruptness every day.

Aisling commented only that he wished someone of responsibility would actually do something about terrorism instead of mucking about and Mr. Howitzer liked this not at all. He then inveighed against foreigners coming in and messing up the American culture. Mr. Howitzer was a businessman, a proprietor and a man of the community.

Suzie changed the channel on the television to ESPN and delivered the Guinness to the tall, dark man with an Irish accent.

Mr. Howitzer wouldn't let up on it and went on about the foreign "wetbacks" taking all the jobs and then doing them badly, as which comment, Suzie retorted that she was half Mexican and born in the country and her family went back in California in the generations for some 400 years.

Still Mr. Howitzer would not let go, for stubborness in the face of reality is another trait of the modern Conservative. He then went off against bilingual education and the refusal of the Hispanics to learn English, at which point Aisling sort of lost it and shouted, "Oh shut yer stupid gob ya feckin' omadhaun!"

Mr. Howitzer, seeing he was outnumbered, downed the last of his martini and stormed out.

Suzie asked Aisling where he was from after a moment of merciful quiet.

Enniskerry. South of Dubhlin.

You say Dove Linn?

O every place in Ireland has two or more names. Dubhlin means "black pool". Its also called "The Ford of the Hurdles". After a battle against the Danish Vikings. The Danes, of course, never have been Norwegian, he added, somewhat inexplicably, perhaps thinking of his meeting with Pastor Nyquist earlier in the day at the bus stop.

Now just why is it that you have two names for everything in Ireland?

Well the Irish didn't have street signs when the English came as there never was a need. Everybody already knew how to get anywhere and the Romans had made decent enough roads everywhere one was really needed. But the English went about with their 1877 Ordinance Survey making maps, putting up signs and generally causing a bother with this renaming into English every hamlet, road and town, for like Mr. Howitzer, they did not much care for bilingual education at all and so the Gaelic was forbidden. That's why Kingstown is really Dun Laogaire.

Suzie commented something of the sort had occured in California and so although her great grandmother had been a native speaker of Chochenyo and her great grandfather had owned a grant encompassing much of the San Bruno Mountain and what is now South City, here she was some four hundred years later, tending bar and listening to people like Mr. Howitzer.

What's that, he asked, pointing to a gilt piece of paper stuck to the corner of the bar mirror.

O that's an invite to the biggest wedding on the Island this year. Ms. Morales and that Senor Rodriguez. Everyone is going.

That a fact.

True enough, she said, falling a bit into Aisling's infectious accent. You can come to, if you are an Islander.

All my life, it seems, said the Irishman. What's that music there?

That was Bruce Cockburn playing over the System. And some fellow -- sounds Irish. Forget his name. I like 'em both, so I made this CD. Mix of things.

Luka Bloom. He's Irish all right. That Cockburn is playing at the Solfest coming up. You going?

Ah, don't know. Crowds . . . and by myself . . . um, and all. . . .

Well, a girl can have company if she wants . . .".

Everyday is the rainy season
Every night is a full moon . . .

As it turned out, Aisling stayed that night past closing in the Old Same Place Bar.

Goosebumps all around my skin
Whenever you come into the room
Fresh wild smell of jasmine
Love is a monsoon
Love is a monsoon

Lets just leave the two just like that, a graceful woman's hand reaching up to pull the cord and turn out the light.

That's just the way it is on the Island. Have a great week.

BACK TO STORY INDEX