The train trip took enough time to absorb most of Tahar Ben Jelloun's This Blinding Absence of Light. A cuckoo bird skulked among the elderflower trees beside the tracks. Its voice had already changed, so it must have been looking to unload a particular gift for an unsuspecting tit.
In Dublin, we country mice squeaked from one gallery to the next. Since country mice have little brains, I don't remember much: A goat bending its horned head back to lick water off a leaf; M. bellydancing with roses entwined in her chestnut hair as she snaked across the stage at the Olympia Theatre; the little blond girl behind the counter at the Hari Krishna diner, smiling, beatific, as the silver painted between her brows caught the light; Gustavo, the teapot-shaped concierge at the Parliament Hotel, glaring from under a black Art Deco satyr across the marble tiles as we chatted for ages; M. mentioned that not only was the telephone broken, breakfast was served by candlelight. . . .
Haughty shop girls, the swollen Liffey, a plate of lamb kebab and coleslaw, braised fish in sweet chili sauce, a breakfast of baked beans and croissants;
As well as more little bits, a word here, an image here, to line a nest fit for two country mice.