July 3, 2001

Ireland is a shocking array of deformity and disfigurement.  I suppose it is to make up for the incredible homogeny and racial purity of this little island.  I have seen many men with one eye permanently clamped shut like some old wrinkled character out of Popeye.  I have seen a girl with skin so pale and translucent I could see two strong blue veins running up her neck and behind her face.  A girl with one arm 1/3 the size of the other, dangling without bones and a bright blue bracelet by her chest.  A girl with two bruises on her neck like thumbprints.  A girl with half a bottom lip.  Some of the worst, reddest, pustular and aggressive acne I have ever seen.  A man with half moon ears literally at right angles to his head.  I wonder if he has a slotted pillow.  A man with his chin seemingly stitched to his neck who did not so much walk as throw his stiff legs out in front of him as if on very short stilts.  Hunchbacked old ladies who can’t be more than three feet tall with basketballs strapped behind them.

Irish women love short hair, and comb and get it down into very masculine cuts.  A large amount of women have disproportionate asses and breasts – huge asses, huge breasts, both, one or the other, or no ass whatsoever.  And it’s none of these very attractive.  Actually quite odd and packed into stretch fabric like marshmallows in sausage casings.

Dublin smells like piss and shit.  Mostly because people walk their dogs and let them leave monster defecations in the middle of high-traffic sidewalks.  I saw a pile today that only could have been left by a rampaging rogue elephant after a double-helping of botulism stew.  It’s not that the place smells like a boy scout camp toilet in the middle of a busy summer after chili the night before, but it definitely has a lingering, earthy acrid odor of shit.  I realized it this morning as I strolled through the relatively empty early Sunday downtown.  I looked at my shoes to see if I was tracking it with me, but I was clean.  It was truly the air of the place.  And the sidewalks are black polka dotted with hardened circles of ground-in chewing gum.  Not to mention the carelessly discarded cigarette butts.  For a country where it costs so much as it does to smoke, it is done pretty fiercely and regularly.

I think maybe I’ll try to sell myself to do English conversation hours.  Put an ad in the paper.  Speaking English is, after all, my only evident skill.  Would that be too much like Cliff Bradshaw?  Hey, it’s a job!


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