The city was sweating; dripping drops that matted hair and sprayed faces with letters cast off by strangers. From O’Connell Bridge I gazed on it, Ha’penny Bridge arched like a whale with a lung full of air. Beneath metal lattice, city lights shimmered; hues of green, silver and orange as if the earth, moon and sun were trapped within watery jaws. Bodies rushed by, feet caught in their own dance, treads and heels acting as fleeting umbrellas. Wheels turned and paused, their movement determined by the trio of lights intersecting D’Olier and Westmoreland Street.
Everything was so familiar; like the comfort of an old friend’s arms or lips cushioned against those of an ex-lover. But yet it was over. The place I spent my life had turned its back on me; spat me out to go in search of another. Standing there I knew it would change; morph and evolve in my absence into another version of itself. It was the little things I was going to miss; a treasured drinking hole, soaking up the sun in Stephen’s Green, the tang from Guinness brewery perfuming an errant wind.
Now Ha’penny and its surroundings exist as a fragment, a celluloid of memory prone to warp and fade. It is shadow of itself, a ghostly spectre roaming in my head. But the feeling still remains, tight and warm; a place reserved somewhere deep inside. My Dublin, the only place I can ever call home.