A Tale of Two Streets

Dublin is a rich city.

Sometimes I forget how rich this city can be. Right place, right time, fortune makers are no fortune tellers.

I asked a fortune teller once. She had no good news.

So rich, Dublin city.

It is easier to forget than to remember.

I know the grit better than well- groomed hedges. I can’t help it.

I have a bit of time of left.

Dublin can be such a rich girl. Pearls like fists. You know what I mean. Don´t you?

Golden frames, windowpanes, fine teak, true antiques. Big cars. Bigger cars. A Ferrari. A yellow one. Playful, sweetlike. Aren´t we all children sometimes?

Sweet kids, of course. Such a rich city, rich city girls waiting for the car valet.

The men make business, the children breath entitlement, the pavement too, the women look good, sometimes they look even better when the divorce gets through.

I stand there in the rain, window shopping is just another word for waiting. Oil paintings, hunting scenes, the empire is not dead yet. Red coats, dead hogs, a man drinks old sherry. Dublin is a rich girl. Christmas trees, candlelights, button-up or button-down, your so silent rich girl I think, when do you ever speak. I am leaving. Such a rich girl you are I think

I don´t know thing about you. I walk back. It is not a long way.

Just a one way.

One bridge,

Two traffic-lights,

One zebra crossing

Two pharmacies, one deli, one Supervalu later, Dublin is poor again, or at least poorer. Just an ordinary street.

A pizza place.

A Laundromat.

A bakery. Orange brownies. What is not like?

Puddles of all sorts. Water, dirt, puke. It´s Christmas season after all.

All souls.

An ATM machine.

A vegetable shop.

600 metres maybe more, maybe less.

I stop.

They have honeymelons in the window.

They just look like a summer day. A day without shadow. Blasting heat. Hell I am roastin, the Irish say. I am so cold. Always cold. Rain is dripping. I could go and buy one, I want to convince myself here. It is turnip season after all. I have a bad conscience. But the honeymelons, I can smell under my tongue. I look up, suddenly. Why did I look.

A Woman on the street stands somehow awkward at the corner.

She looks cornered. Sometimes my English can´t follow my eyes.

The woman is still there. Standing still. Why is she standing so still? Is cornered actually a word? I forget the honeymelon, I hear a man shout. I am not surprised. Men are shouting all the times. Couples have issues, don’t they? It’s Christmas season after all. Finally I listen. Listen what the man shouts at the woman. The woman, still the same woman, standing there. He shouts, but I don´t, he shouts like a child would, looking for words, but finding any. I takes me a moment, because sometimes I don’t trust me English. Am I getting it wrong? Am I a not? More shouting, louder and louder, and the woman still standing there frozen. It takes another moment until realize that this man and this woman have never met before. She just meets his scorn.

Out of the sudden he jumps forward and grabs her by the arm, drags her with him. A massive lad, he is wearing stained jeans, and cut off bin bags, he has a firm grip at the woman he just shouted at. Finally I grab the woman by her elbow. So cold, I think, my hands are always cold. I want to tell her, I am so sorry for my cold hands. The man is shouting trying to drag the woman with him. Strong this man. A heavy grip, my cold hands are clammy.

Don’t be afraid I want to to tell this woman, but the words do not come. So strong is his grip, I shout, finally two men come to help.

Arab men, vegetable sellers. The honey melon still behind the warm windows. Three pairs of hands finally, the man caves in, all so sudden, we land on the pavement. The vegetable vendors keep the shouting man at bay. So loud, his voice is a boomerang, a grinding piece of metal. The woman cries. A man calls the police. There is a man who grabs women on the street. He fells silent, the police needs twenty minutes. The woman is shaking.

I want to tell her that she will be ok. It is just 6.30pm, this is busy street, but I don’t tell her. I can’t. Your fingers, she whispers are so cold. She covers her ears.

The man throws a beer can at the two men, then he turns around, walks across the street, disappears, is gone. We are still waiting. The woman, the two men and I. We don’t speak. I look back. The street makes a swift left turn, where the street turns left, Dublin is a rich city, grand houses, proper fire places, security alert, fine wreaths, careful measured scorn. Warm windows glowing, silk tapestries, heavy linen, brass plates, velvet curtains. Dublin is a rich city. Sometimes I forget the riches. I don’t buy a watermelon. Count your blessings, the policeman looks so young. The woman shivers.

“Can you tell me what happened?”

It is still raining and my hands are still so cold.

8 thoughts on “A Tale of Two Streets

  1. Unfortunately, it’s not only Dublin. It’s Berlin and London, Leipzig and Vienna; it’s everywhere. Violence (not only against women), the difference between rich and poor. Everywhere. No wonder that you’re hands are always cold.

  2. Dublin is a gamer, an old gamer, a rich one. Needs the audience, is in need of us. With cold hands or warm onces. We war part of it, always, all equal where we are. Doesn t need to be Dublin, could be just anywhere.

    • Das sehe ich genauso. Ihr Herz ist warm und gut.
      Bei den grauenvollen Nachrichten die wir tagtäglich lesen/sehen/hören. Bei dem Elend und der Verzweiflung die um uns herum herrschen (egal wie nah oder wie fern), da kann man doch nur kalte Hände bekommen. Und ein schweres Herz…
      Wie schön zu wissen, dass es Menschen wie sie gibt. Menschen denen das nicht egal ist, die da sind für andere. Die die Augen nicht verschließen. Die helfen selbst wenn es sie selber in Gefahr bringt. Was wäre die Menschheit ohne Leute wie sie liebes Fräulein readon.

  3. Wie gut, dass Sie da waren. Wer weiß, was ohne ihre Hände passiert wäre. Denken Sie nicht an die Temperatur Ihrer Hände, sondern an die Sicherheit, die diese kalten Hände der Frau gegeben haben.
    Andere Menschen, mit wärmeren Hände, haben nicht zugegriffen, nicht gehalten. Ein Dank Ihren Händen.

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