Other questions are still difficult but at least possible to answer. And other answers come easily, such as to why and how has my blog chapter about three days in Dublin stretched to six posts? Clearly it’s because I’ve been waxing philosophical, reflective and romantic to a greater extent than in some of my other US and UK posts. And I answered another more difficult question I must have sub-consciously posed to myself a long time ago: how do I write? I’ve dealt with why (I have to) and for whom (myself and anyone else who cares) I write. When and where and what are not really important questions. But how – beyond arguable musts such as having read widely and engaged in both formal and informal technical and creative writing education – is an altogether more complex question that can also seem unimportant, but on closer inspection is anything but. In a word, the answer is: motivation. In a few words: the expectation that writing will achieve something. And to go even deeper, especially in relation to personal writing: the firm belief that I will gain the opportunity to give and be given conditional love. These might look a little like whys, but they definitely are hows. It’s difficult to explain further right now. Suffice to say the horse is before the carriage, if you like. I’ve felt particularly certain lately that I will give and be given unconditional love, and even if I’m not convinced it will be given to and received from a particular woman I’ve had my eye on lately then I’m still committed to the idea that it will to and from another – even if there are a few frustratingly short-lived romantic transactions in the meantime. Such is life, and some people (maybe including me) never necessarily settle down with one person until death. And some people (maybe including me) never or rarely gain another person’s conditional love, not that it isn’t still worth their time hoping and trying for it – assuming they even want to. Obviously I do. These things are not otherwise linked to the writing, as in I don’t expect the reading of some of the probably millions of words I’ve written during my life to help enamour a woman to me. (Although I do express myself much better in writing than in person, especially when confronted by a woman I care for (I think women should be suspicious of any man who claims affection for her but appears to not be awkward in the least (it’s disingenuous at best, and disrespectful at worst)).) It’s all about giving one the peace and calm that comes from realising that one is not trapped alone within a cold, impenetrable walled fortress of a heart. The world is open to one, as is one to the world; which is the only state in which it is possible to genuinely and with (perhaps arguable) quality either love or create.
You might think the content of the above paragraph is nothing but over-thought gibberish; which is fine, because you’re still reading. So let’s continue with my tale of Dublin, shall we? I must’ve woken late, as this section of the journal only takes a few sentences in which to hit evening. It makes sense that I might have slept in, due to the old fat black guy and his alarm – but not slamming window – deafness I mentioned previously. Plus I would have been hungover, which always makes for slow going. By way of refreshment, this particular hostel’s dining area happened to be a little old attached former Catholic Church. The entire building must have been a school prior to some point in the 20th century. Very interesting indeed, to be eating cornflakes and drinking tea and struggling to recover from a binge drinking session at one of the two rows of picnic tables, under the gaze of an ornate, arched and square-bottomed window within which in colourful stain might once have dwelt Jesus or one of his apostles or saints. Considering the distinct lack of festive cheer among any of the breakfasters, it could easily have instead been a soup kitchen. Well, maybe it was (as well). I recall a very attractive young woman working in the kitchen, who if attracted to me hid it expertly. And naturally there were also the young French ladies keeping strictly to themselves and each other. From the outside, and factoring in the dining hall, it was one of the coolest hostels I’d stayed in – other than New Orleans’ Joe and Flo’s Candlelight Hostel, where I spent far too much time on account of what I feared at the time was terminal illness (on the Google Maps listing it actually reads “bed bugs” under the hostel’s name, so I guess I know where to lay the blame for falling ill). You might think the worst one would have been Las Vegas’ Tod Hostel (which incidentally now reads “CLOSED” under its Maps listing). Not so. That distinction would have to go to Hostelling International Vancouver, on Granville. The staff didn’t differ from the vaguely disinterested yet friendly fellow traveller types working at all hostels, but the people staying there had their heads as far up their arses as anyone else I met in that city. It’s tempting to regret staying there for the weekend, but I’d have never found out how bad it was if I didn’t. What’s the saying? Never assume? Never were truer words spoken, in relation to travelling, though I must admit on the other hand it’s also important to take leaps of faith in such circumstances. That’s the thing with adages: they often contradict each other. Just like the Bible apparently does. And at the unlikely mention of the Christian holy book, not to mention having written two very large paragraphs, I’ll leave my final night in and probably also departure day from Dublin for a lucky seventh post. How very, very Irish.