My friend Amy Eyrie sent me a tweet that read: “I heard a Ruts song on the radio last night and thought of you.” I told her it sounded like the opening line of a song. Yesterday, walking the beach, I decided to make it the opening line of a piece of short fiction. Thanks for the prompt, Amy!
In A Rut
I heard a Ruts song on the radio last night and thought of you. You were an exchange student, only over here for six months. We met when I was busking on Grafton St. I sang “Simple Twist of Fate” and you said it was your favourite song. You went to throw me some money but accidentally threw me a dollar.
I still have it.
I walk the streets of Dublin looking for you now, even though I know I’ll never find you.
The city’s changed so much. I guess it was never the same for me after you left. The coffee shops have taken over this town. Every corner you turn, there’s another brand name shop, another conglomerate selling decaf lattes. Who knew people could drink so much coffee, eat so many donuts and bagels? I think there’s more here than there are in all of Manhattan.
I walk these streets looking for you. Merrion St. Dawson St. Leeson St. Kildare St. Anywhere you would have been.
Fenian St. You always liked that name. And I see you every so often. I see you in the faces of so many women. The clothes they wear, the way they wear their hair. The different ways you would have looked.
One day we were on Grafton St. watching another busker. He was singing that Ruts song. You turned around and looked at me, with that longing in your eyes. “We’re in a rut,” you said. “We gotta get out of it.”
I never did.