Friday, May 20, 2011

Bowie to Bowie

A man gets thrown against a wall and onto the sidewalk by two unarmed policemen.  Police in much of Europe do not carry guns or Tasers, they just knock the shit out of you old school.  I cross the street and snap a photo while moving down to the next bar with some college students that just finished their exams.  It’s an unfortunately slow night throughout Dublin.  The bar we go to is named Coppers, and most of the patrons are either nurses or cops.  The cops are all working overtime for the Queen’s visit.  I leave the fellas at the next bar and try to find my way back to the Pub where I left my hoodie; I'm not quite resigned to giving it up yet.  I find a wool blanket on the street and pick it up; fate.  Why not just sleep in the street?  The city is on lockdown anyway and most Hostels are filled-up.  I find my hoodie then stop for a beer on the sidewalk with a group of homeless men.  We discuss homelessness, sleeping outside and fear of the police.  One gets a phone call.  There's a huge protest across town where the Queen had laid a wreath earlier.  I hoof-it at lightning speed; the thrill of a righteous protest is exhilarating.  I approach the park.  Distant sirens are heard.  I see a few uniformed officers, but my search for youth on the streets is in vain.  The phone call is likely a prank, or misinformed, no one is there.  The days of protests occurred before I reached Dublin by train.  Others are likely to occur, but no one can ever get within a mile of the Queen.  I take my blanket and find a bush; my luck is good, it doesn't rain.

They're spending millions on the cost of the Queen’s visit.  Bombs have been found on busses.  There are constantly helicopters hovering over the city.  It’s all a show of intimidation.  The police are everywhere, blocking alleyways and standing on street corners.  I've seen female officers in pants 4-sizes too large.  Perhaps they're cadets!  Every manhole cover and utility hatch in the sidewalk has been welded shut to prevent the placement of bombs.  At least the cost of the Queens visit is less than the royal wedding.

I've found a few very Portlandia bars in Dublin.  They serve their own house lager and have an extensive organic menu during the day, with many vegetarian options.  At night they have live music on three floors.  One of the bands is a two piece group, one on guitar, the other on drums.  The drummer has braces.  They play all original songs in a Bowie fashion.  Their music is loud.  Actually, many of their songs are about David Bowie.  They dress like the clash and together can't weigh more than 220 lbs.  At the end of their set, the singer strikes the symbols with his guitar, distorts his amplifier, and drops his instrument onto the stage floor.

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