I carry your warm disillusion with my pathetic confusion
Kept me from speaking the truth. I am simply a coin in your fountain
Lost like the seconds I’m counting till I am closer to you.
“Dublins wealthy lived inside these 5,000 square feet estates but that’s top to bottom. They’re actually 4-5 pretty narrow floors. They had running water poured into the basement—as well as coal deliveries. It was very sophisticated for the 1800’s, but imagine being the maid who had to scoop out that coal for the fireplaces located on each floor or carrying bucket after bucket of water up all those stairs.” Our guide went on to thrill us with other brilliant factoids. “All of the bricks on the houses you see there before you were ballast from the ships.”
Steve, a retired Coastie, loved that and couldn’t stop explaining what ballast was, but my mind fixated on the woods behind us and it was the tour guide’s doing (we had a different expert at each location, in addition to Liam’s overarching wisdom, and we were to tip them all). But ever since Mary here had told me about how Oscar Wilde, born to Dublin intellectuals, had been praised at the toasty tip of society and then imprisoned by the same crowd who had celebrated his genius (when it suited their fancy), I wanted to commune in the park with the witty expatriot (who had grown up in those mansions but had died young, broke & brokenhearted, his ex-wife changing her name to distance herself from his infamy). --Or at least go visit his statue, which peeked through the trees.
I shot off the bus when released and raced to the park but couldn’t find the entrance. (All that talking on the bus and now we only had twenty minutes to see it for ourselves.) When I was ready to hop the fence, a girl with a Trinity College backpack past, showing me how to get into the square, legally.
This glintzy remembrance seemed foppish and a little too much, a little too late. Oscar had been ritually destroyed. This was a compassionate gesture in its posthumous erection (?) but did the statue--garishly set with precious stones & gems--compensate an iota for the way he was publicly hung for his lifestyle? Spit in the ocean was the phrase that came to mind. That and Royally screwed, literally. But luckily for us, generations to come, not literarily.
Long live Oscar Fingal O'Flahertie Wills Wilde.