So, why aren't you guys yelling at me for not blogging at least once a week? Seriously guys, seriously. All two of you.
I was just reading this post on Sociological Images about how still, silent, and empty London is on Christmas morning. I've been to the places pictured, and seeing them without scads of tourists toting cameras and umbrellas--well, it's surreal.
It reminds me of Dublin. I wasn't out and about on Christmas, of course--that day I had a friend over, who had to spend the night twice because there is literally no public transport on Christmas in Dublin, as all the train and bus drivers get the day off... so we didn't go anywhere on Christmas day but church (we got a ride from the priest), and then we went home and ate and drank and were merry for a while.
I'm thinking about the morning of January 1st. Back up a bit: For New Year's, I went to a party with the same friend I spent Christmas with. She was born in Uganda, raised in Sweden, and all her friends at the party were from France. I think she knew them all from work? At least, she knew the hosts from work. They all spoke in thick accents, were unabashedly sweet, and stayed up all night drinking something like 15 bottles of champagne between the six of them. I think my drinks of choice were cider, gin and tonic, and pina coladas (hand mixed by the party host!). We all got quite drunk. You couldn't NOT at a party like that. But it was a very safe and laid-back atmosphere. I was offered someone's bed and slept in it, relatively undisturbed, all night (when I finally went to bed--at something like 3 am--I got a few hours of sleep before another girl came in to share the bed. The girls and guys stayed separate like that, I think it was a two- or three-bedroom place, and it was fine). I think my friend went home with someone she met in a pub next door and kissed at midnight. Later, they started dating.
Anyway, I got up in the morning and decided I wanted to go to church (I think it was a Sunday morning). I bid farewell to everyone as they continued drinking champagne and began cooking breakfast. They offered me some, but I declined. I was in a really melancholy mood for some reason. I was pretty close to church, already south of the Liffey, so I went walking through the back streets and alleys, making my way to the Lantern Centre.
It was dead still. Not a soul stirred--even the birds seemed hungover, lurching about on the sidewalks or huddling in their perches, hiding their reddened eyes from the world. There was hardly any traffic. I felt like I had the entire city to myself. All the shops were shut; most of them would be anyway, on Sunday morning, but even the ones that never closed were closed. It was very peaceful, and probably one of my favorite walks I've ever taken in that town. I reached the church very early and sat near a heater for a while, reading a book about icons. The Lantern Centre was open, unlocked, but empty. There was something wonderful about that. Something wonderful about entering this warm, inviting building, and being alone, being trusted to take care of things, to be honest, to sit and read until the others arrived.
I miss Dublin very much. I know the streets so well, either by foot or bike or bus. Remembering this small moment we shared, I feel like, maybe, well... maybe Dublin misses me, too.