In A Rut

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.


24 thoughts on “In A Rut

  1. Bittersweet? Sad? Being a happy endings fan, i still hope it works out for him. Maybe a later blog he can find his happiness? I’ll be hoping…

    Good writing. Deep. Effecting. So much so, that now I’m depressed for him. Got to go read your xlent heart warming blog about your anniversary to cheer up. (check it out!) : )

  2. Derek,
    Your post reminded me of the below Nanci Griffith song. I am sure you understand the song much better than I. Someday I will walk the streets of Grafton Street.
    Thanks for the great post.

    On Grafton Street
    On Grafton Street at Christmas time
    The elbows push you ’round
    This is not my place of memories
    I’m a stranger in this town
    The faces seem familiar
    And I know those songs they’re playin’
    But I close my eyes and find myself
    Five thousand miles away
    It’s funny how my world goes round without you
    You’re the one thing I never thought
    I could live without
    I just found this smile to think about you
    You’re a Saturday night
    Far from the madding crowd

    The buskers sing by candle light
    In front of Bewleys Store
    And a young nun offers me a chair
    At a table by the door
    And I feel compelled to tell her
    Of the sisters that we knew
    How when they lit their candles
    I’d say a prayer for you
    (repeat chorus)
    The church bells ring for holy hour
    I’m back out in the rain
    It’s been twenty years or more
    Since I last said your name
    I hear you live near Dallas now
    In a house out on the plains
    Why Grafton Street brought you to mind
    I really can’t explain
    (repeat chorus)
    On Grafton Street at Christmas time
    The elbows push you ’round
    All I carry now are memories
    I’m a stranger to this town

  3. OMG! I got to be a muse! This piece is deceptively simple, open and poetic on the surface, yet you capture the complexity of memory and how people haunt us through time and even space. Beautiful.

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