We could hear the sounds of a fiddle singing a Celtic tune, as we neared our hotel. There was something happy in its sound that cut through the damp cold, and made me immediately want to immerse myself in it.
“I don’t know where that’s coming from, but I want to find it,” I said.
I grabbed Dr. A’s hand, and we began searching the streets for the enchanting melody. There was something exciting about searching for this foreign tune that made me feel slightly intoxicated.
“I think it’s just over this way,” Dr. A said.
And he was right. We turned the corner and saw a pub lit up with a live band playing near the front. The patrons were clapping and some were stomping along to the beat. A number of couples were dancing their own version of whatever came naturally, spinning and moving together with the music
We got a table for two near the bar and ordered a couple of beers, which we immediately downed. I’d recently been teaching Dr. A how to chug, because he’d never learned in college, and it seemed like a worthwhile skill have under your belt. As it turns out, Dr. A was a quick learn, and could almost beat me now in the downing of a pint. Drinking quickly allowed us to move from beer to music, immediately feeling the warm combination of the two; and what better way to experience Irish culture than in swallowing down this physical embodiment.
It didn’t take long for us to get swept away together, at first stomping in time to the rhythm, which led us out onto the dance floor. It was clear neither of us had any idea what we were doing, but we moved and spun together letting the music dictate wherever it was we were going. After each song finished, Dr. A would twirl me once, and then dip me back, before bringing me up into a kiss. This small ritual added some structure to the free for all.
After the band finished playing its last song, we sat down sweaty and exhausted. We each ordered one nightcap and then another, both taking a smoky Irish whiskey that seemed to envelop us in a mellow drunken haze, giving way to a sleepy infatuation. His hand traced my knee, the heat of my breath along his neck, the laughter and forgetting of oneself. Clearly it was time to go. Slowly we made our way out, back into the cold night, refueled now by the whiskey. When we got to the hotel room, we each stripped off our jackets, and then our matching sweaters. Still half clothed and in our boots we fell on one another, in a messy, drunken, make out session.
“So I can’t tell if the whiskey I’m tasting is from you or me?” I said.
“I can taste it, too. Maybe it’s some combination of us,” Dr. A said.
At this point we both paused to take off our boots. He tugged at mine, and I loosened the laces on his, and we kicked them off in unison. After that, everything else easily fell to the floor, socks and shirts, in a series of half learned motions, until we were left together, completely nude, me on top of him, him on top of me, lost in where one began and the other ended.