chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing


See the Shadows of Innocence and Sanity

a shadow of the day

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chicks, pants, showing it all, dancing
From Sin.

“It’s not really you, Trick. Really. Mom just…. Well, I…. Couldn’t you just get a small haircut? Just for prom?”

“But, I thought you liked my hair.”

“It was cute… for a while. But, I mean, there are places for it. But it’s time for you to… grow up.”

“Grow up?”

“I don’t think we’re gonna work out.”

What she said rang in my head louder than I could remember anything having done before. It wasn’t Lila’s fault I wasn’t ‘up to snuff,’ though it would’ve been nice if it was. I was a good boy, though.

Lila’s parents just didn’t approve of a prom date with long hair and a motorcycle, even if I was well-dressed.

I grumbled, taking a swig from my bottle and chucking a rock across the lake. I never met anyone’s expectations, I thought morosely, loosening my bow tie. I’d eventually have to go to prom. Waste of 50 dollars if I didn’t. The whiskey was beginning to affect me, though, and there wasn’t a chance of making it to the place in one piece. I giggled at the thought of arriving to prom legs separated from torso. A flippin’ freak show, I grinned. At least I could try to dance with two girls at once.

This was why I shouldn’t drink, my conscience reminded me. Aww, shut up, I thought again to myself, laughing harder at talking to my conscience. I flung the bottle towards the center of the lake, just barely missing a small flock of ducks. They squawked and dispersed, flung apart with the wild force of the throw. I yelled out at them, the very epitome of the drunk Irish teenager.

There was a reason my mother told me not to drink. There is always a shred of truth in stereotypes. Not all Irishmen are drunks. But the affinity with liquor is something no Mick could run away from. Alcoholism ran too close in my blood for me to pick up drinking now. And it would be harder to give up when it came to it. But that wouldn’t be until later, I smirked, wishing I hadn’t thrown the bottle away.

I started walking back up to my house, empty of all life. Another fine night in the Dougherty house, I slurred in my mind, my accent showing through when I most needed to forget it. Lila loved my accent.

I slammed into the kitchen, dragging my feet on the tiled floor. If I had sense, I’d go directly to bed, sleep off the hangover that was destined to come. No one ever accused I of having sense. I began rummaging through the cabinets, looking for something else to drink. Unhappily, there was nothing.

Bloody parents, I thought, finally dragging myself up to my room and passing out on my bed.

* * *

For all my heritage, for all the madness I put up with when I’m reminded that I’m just another Mick, I never feel lucky. I never really feel as Irish as I know I should be. Even when I was younger, I was too far off to be truly lucky. I’m too tall to be a leprechaun, and have always had more length than was absolutely necessary to function. I still get drunk at any chance, though holding liquor is so very far away from me I wonder how I could even stand straight after the last kegger I went to.

I shake my head and look back at the papers I’ve tried to write every day over the course of my break. The papers that should’ve been written two weeks ago, on dance theory and the history of Celtic dance. Two separate papers to be written during the course of the semester, gathering all the information I could on practical applications of dance theory and history that had probably been drummed into me during my lifetime. All I can do is stare at the blank page in front of me, the blank document window on my laptop, and sigh.

My head feels soft and I’m flying in 7 different directions. I thinks of Pacie, of Pats, of St. Patrick’s Day and the parties I promised to attend tonight. I think of drowning, of funerals, of rain showers, of endless beer to drown endless sorrows. I think of Finnegan’s Wake and how I wish I could just have beer tossed on me to make me feel alive again. My mind is everywhere and nowhere at once and I can’t seem to focus beyond the sight of an empty Word document lying open on my screen.

I sighs, and put my name in a header at the top of the page and stop. Would it hurt to drink? Just relax the evening away and sing at the top of my lungs old bawdy drinking songs about how I long to see Ireland and being a child of the green. God knows I mean it when I say I long to be away.

I close my eyes for a moment, and wish myself anywhere but here. And, for a night, I am. I float away on a tide of Guiness and Murphy’s Stout and cider mixed with real Irish whiskey and vodka named for long dead kings and toasting all in attendance while I still have the voice for it:

May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head be always strong. And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you're dead.
May you live to be a hundred years, with one extra year to repent.
May you live as long as you want, And never want as long as you live.
Here's to me, and here's to you, And here's to love and laughter- I'll be true as long as you, And not one moment after.


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