I have no phone, no bank account, no watch. This is considered with trepidation in the waiting lounge at Shannon airport. American soldiers mill around in desert-colored fatigues, browsing duty-free Dior and Bailey's displays. They stare, chew gum, tell stupid jokes as if they are still bored teenagers. One murmurs to another as he checks his watch, This is not a bad place to be in if you get stranded.
Later I'm up up and away, five hundredpages into Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The scones are sad, pale and undercooked in their plastic wrappers, accompanied by rattling plastic butter pat and jam pot.
When the afternoon commences all over again, it is undeniably foreign after all that rain, wind, stars: humid and bright, with police, taxis, briefcases everywhere. The sky shimmers from sapphire to amethyst to gold in what seem minutes while cars bleat where once cows lowed and robins called.
My wallet contains a garda immigration ID card, an international calling card, a Metro pass, and an access card to the New York Public Library. No blue Burren nor husband, what tremulous parting, now two months of the kind of solitude I have not had since I fell madly in love five years ago. Hello, friends, libraries, and deadlines. Hello, myself.