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01.04.06, wednesday afternoon

After several parties, we get lost on the way to the riverside apartment where we are staying for the night. Too many lit construction cranes in Cork. We crush town on the road to Mallow, greasing our monikers on the bellies and napes of the city, in doorways, on signs and other urban bits; slylike, you know, to run as long as it can, longer even than our own bodies. By morningtide we feebly nibble on dried, old man apricots and I notice mussed hair, unzipped flies, and misbuttoned coats.

Later we stumble around looking for cheap hostels (none) and get dared by Jack to stay at his place. "Georgian flat with views of the city. Irish Polish breakfast. 50 quid." J/K. It is modest, with a shy, wild-eyed neighbor, an unlit hallway, and a bay window that looks out on the city, a landscape of cranes and spires and factory chimneys.

We meet the girlfriend, Daschka or darling, we can't tell, who painted the tiger stripes on the living room wall. She has a ferocious temper ("all our glasses are broken") so I guess correctly that we are human shields or pretty offerings to appease her, this crooning brunette poem of a woman who was abandoned on New Year's Eve by this young man that I can tell is a first-class rascal, charming and ever-lovable. "Look Daschka, the perfect couple with their tiny suitcase!"

Daschka or Darling or Agnes, we can never tell which, paints, snaps photos, hopes to get married in a wooden church in the mountains of Poland, and wants to write and illustrate fairy tales. While we watch The Pianist, she tells us stories about the German occupation in Warsaw. I can see her doctor auntie, small and dark-haired like Daschka or Darling, walking around with an amputated leg under her arm to disgust German soldiers who have sat down to eat the patients' meal.

Now I am so happy to be home after the weekend in a big city. To hang laundry, look out at the beach, write friends, and eat pickled gherkins and scones with blackcurrant jam and sour cream. Happy New Year! Many kisses to you and if you want to read a book that you can't put down, try Peter Hoeg's Miss Smilla's Sense of Snow.


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