It was 6am before we plonked into bed, giggly and slightly dazed, confused as to how the night had transpired so that a friend’s friend was suddenly in our room, stripping to his boxers and crawling under the covers.
“I’ll sleep in that bed,” I said quietly, knowing I was the most sober of the three of us, and desperate for immediate sleep anyway.
“No, no, I will,” slurred my friend, M, and she fell back into the bed, eyes closed, an unmoving body tired from having bounced from bar to bar, dancing and clinking glasses along the Temple Bar area.
Just an hour beforehand, at 5, we had been stumbling across Dublin’s wet cobbles, my scarf providing the best protection from the elements, everyone talking way too loud without noticing it. The dark streets still hummed with car lights and the last few stragglers from bars just closing their doors. It was a very different vibe to that of sleepy Lancaster, where most of our Saturdays prior to this wet February one had been spent.
“Where did we even start tonight?” E giggled, ripping off her top which had become wet from a drink dropped on her two bars back.
“I don’t even know,” I laughed, the lids of my eyes becoming rooted together as sleep slowly took me.
In hindsight, I do remember where we had begun that fateful Saturday (hindsight is a funny thing, isn’t it?) and it was a corner bar, three floors up, with wooden floors and fixtures historicising the otherwise modern exterior to the building. The boys in particular had to duck their heads as we clambered into a booth, the Guinness and ciders flowing from the moment we got comfortable in our little nook. The significance and breadth of our suddenly international friendship group became apparent as we began discussing our holds on the world – Australia, Canada, America and England being thrown around as places within our grasp, not figments of disillusion and dreams anymore.
By 8pm we were at dinner, on the main drag of Dublin, sipping wine and composing our decorum in the presence of sophisticated adults dining on some of the best pizzas we had ever tried.
It was our midnight foray back into the Temple Bar area that really tested our composure: old hits playing from the stage, two of us hounded the band for more of this song and that, while I flirted with a lovely pink cosmopolitan in the most outlandish glass I have ever seen!
And so it was 4am, and we were in a 21-and-older bar (being 20 at the time, I had snuck in unassumingly with my older companions!!) sitting tight, singing at the top of our lungs, and altogether having a raucous time in what was undoubtedly the quirkiest, most decorative bar I have ever stepped foot into! As the night hit 5, we hit the concrete and began our travels back to the hotel, the friend’s friend in tow, and an interesting night ahead…xx