Thursday, 24 December 2015

Chances

It’s just a matter of point of view, I guess. And of chances too.
As I said, there’s always some restlessness when starting a journey by myself, all my doubts and self-consciousness piling up and making sleep hard to come.

Thursday morning I was still asking myself what I’ve gotten myself into: yet, it was too late, I was on my way to Dublin and I got tickets for two concerts and booking for an hotel, not much else to do but go.

So Thursday evening arrives and I’m sitting at the bar of Vicar Street asking myself the question above until they opened the door of the venue and they pointed me to my seat for Colm Mac Con Iomaire gig.
Have you ever seen a concert opened by a poet? Until last Thursday I didn’t either, but then I set at a table listening to the magic of words by Steven James Smith.

Table? Oh, I see why on my ticket there was “Table 21” written on the seating: I was seating at a table, with a small candle lit on it! That’s first time I watched a concert sitting at a table.

Tables


Sitting at a table for a concert is quite interesting. In between the breaks between the acts, I chatted a bit with the other girl at my table. I don't know her name, we never got around to introduce ourselves to one another, but that was ok: I know she's French, she's a cinema journalist, she saw Glen Hansard play in Cork the day before and she watched Star Wars that morning. She also hinted about the possible link between fashion statement and ugly sweaters.

After the concert, I decided to wait in line and ask for an autograph at the end of the concert. It is not something I commonly do. No, scratch that, let’s rephrase it: I never do it, once concert is over, I don’t wait for the band, I don’t ask for the setlist from the crew, I just shoot away.
This time however was different, even before it began: first of all, I brought Colm’s latest CD over from Italy, so part of me had somehow contemplated the possibility of asking for the autograph (gone are the days when I contemplated which CD to carry with me while traveling, now I just sync playlist offline).
Then, CD in hand, I queue up with a lot of other people and stroke up a conversation with my queue neighbour. He told me he had traveled from the western part of Ireland for this concert, quite a long journey, but it was worthy, wasn’t it?

I agreed with him: “Oh, definitely worth it. I’ve flew over from Italy for it.”
“Italy?!?!”
“Yeah, took the plane this morning from Milan and here I am.”
“Wow.”

And that’s how I met Mike from Galway: journalist, writer, Pearl Jam fan, traveler and much more. By the time we reached the head of the queue, I found out he lived for several years in several Southern America countries, had been in Genova during G8, and he’s relearning Irish Gaelic and in the process of writing a book.

We could have parted way then and it’d be a great evening to remember already. But then Mike got us some passes to go to a little after-gig pub event (not really a party, more just some pints) where I met his friend Ruairí and his wife and chatted with some other people.
Hours flew by quickly amidst cider, cheers, chat and laughters. Many more "wow" followed: people were surprised and happy to see somebody traveling from that far and for once it didn't feel odd to say I was traveling by myself.

I parted ways with Mike outside Vicar Street. I brought back some good memories, a Lisa O'Neill LP and a CD with Colm's autograph.

Small treasure, with autograph

It's just a matter of chances: what would have happened if I had decided not to join the queue? Or to not reply to Mike's chatting?
Now that days have gone I wonder why I didn't ask him for a mail address, to be able to contact him again after the concert. Was his name even Mike? I've got this terrible habit of never remembering names when people introduce themselves, and to make up for it I just give them random name of my choice: so he could have be a Frank or a James for all I know.
Perhaps our path will cross again, who knows? It's just a matter of chances, after all.

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