Every week we have the honor of reading the many blessings of our contributor, Marlon Hayes. He allowed me to post his October 31st gem. – Victorine
This Week’s “Cool Shit” List;
1. I thought about weights, balances, and I tried to keep it simple; I only packed one pair of shoes, and I wore a pair of boots to the airport. For $1, anyone wanna guess the colors of the shoes AND the color of all my shirts, sweaters, and hoodies? Lol.
2. I have kind of gotten away from birthday parties for myself. Maybe for a drink or two, or dinner, but I’m good on social gatherings. I’d rather celebrate a rotation around the sun by going on a much-needed vacation. I’m already plotting next year’s adventure…
3. Big Shawn is 6’5 and I’m 6’0 (shut up Kymberlee!), and trust me when I say that climbing to the top of Blarney Castle is more than a notion! Two people cannot pass each other on the tight, winding staircase. The floor is uneven and the ceilings are low. The builders of the castle purposely did these things to inhibit the movements of any invaders who might breach the defenses. Can’t swing a sword in a tight spot. Brilliant.
4. Jamaica sounds quite lovely.
5. My first client had a ball in Rome and other cities in Italy. I’m happy you all enjoyed yourselves, and I’m proud of my efforts on your behalf. Twenty repeat clients is my goal.
6. In the middle of the St. Pancras station in central London, there’s a piano and a stool sitting unoccupied… until someone walks towards it, sits down, and begins to play whatever their heart desires. Amidst the hubbub and bustle of the train station, we witnessed random people on their morning treks to work decide to sit down for a few moments and play ‘Fur Elise,’ ‘Chopsticks,’ or ‘It Had to Be You.’ Magic in the middle of the morning. It’s a beautiful thing to witness.
7. We stepped outside for a quick smoke break, and Shawn suggested we walk around the corner from the hotel, just to see what was around the corner. He had on flip-flops, no phone, and we thought it would be quick. On a whim (due to my desire for a shot of Jameson’s), we wandered into a bar called ‘Murphy’s Law,’ where we encountered real life magic, and our entire outlook for the trip changed. There’s a lot more to be told about ‘Murphy’s Law,’ and I’ll blog about it on my website, marlonhayes.wixsite.com/author. Check it out and follow it.
8. The drinking age in Ireland is 18.
9. I’ve learned that no matter the relationship, everyone is not a good travel companion. I am fine with the people who I travel with because for the most part, they get me. I might have them touring lighthouses, climbing to the top of castles, drinking and mingling with strangers, eating new things, and being open for adventures. I’m good on large group trips because there’s too much time wasted standing around waiting for someone to make a decision. There’s only one question to be determined; “Is you going?” I already know who is (lol), and who ain’t.
10. When I thought of Irish food, I thought of Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage, and unseasoned victuals. Maannn, was I ever wrong! The food was insane, and not once did I miss American food. For real.
11. With me, a lot of my desired destinations were decided a long time ago. It’s just taken me a bit of time to visit the places I’ve dreamt and read about. My desire to visit Ireland had more to do with legacy, Yeats, Frank McCourt, and Joyce than whiskey (although the whiskey is everything!). London is more Dickens and Rowling than anything else. My current adventure was sparked by a tale about a young man named D’Artagnan and an ugly yellow horse…
12. Birthdays are humbling. The amount of love shown is overwhelming, yet there’s a hint of sadness at the realization that I probably have more years behind me than in front of me. That’s why I’m not letting any grass grow under me.
13. We had the absolute worst seats on the plane, the row in front of the washrooms. It was cramped, etc., and I couldn’t wait for the short flight to be completed. A stewardess found out it was my birthday from Whats-her-name and the next thing I knew, I had a card, strawberry shortcake, and a bottle of champagne. Silver linings indeed.
14. I held a baby boy the other day whose physical appearance is a nod to his lineage. He’s quite a handsome lad… like his granddad.
15. Everybody’s got a story to tell, but some stories seem more like reruns instead of epic tales. Repeating the same idiotic actions is insanity, not growth. Nah, I don’t wanna hear them stories.
16. I’m still with the teachers.
17. Mama, I have your birthday cards with me. Thanks to you and Whats-her-name. Tomorrow, before I “sally forth” on the day’s adventures, I’ll read your cards and hear your voice, and you’ll be here across the ocean with me. “I carry your heart with me…” e.e. cummings
18. The attainment of fancy brown liquor has become a thing, inspired by my cousin Shayne who’s amazing at giving motivational speeches about liquors that weep…
19. So… about that Tullamore Dew tour was epic, rewarding, educational, and I was happy and satisfied to leave with just a new hoodie. Yet, my wonderful, amazing life partner decided that there weren’t enough memories and she bought me a bottle of whiskey sold only at the Tullamore facility. Yup, she’s a keeper.
20. I already had the Gift of Gab, but I don’t think it hurt at all to kiss the Blarney Stone. I always hedge my bets.
21. As far as writing goes, I’ve only jotted down ideas in my notebook, wrote Facebook posts, and I plan to write a couple of blogs. When I return to the States (sounds really cool, right?), I’ll edit my accepted story ‘The Deadman’s Hand’ for Saddlebag Dispatches, negotiate the contract for ‘The Delicious Escape,’ and continue working on ‘The Ascension of El Padron.’ It would be great to have that finished by my next vacation…
22. With every step forward, I humbly thank Him for all of my blessings. At dinner last night, a fudge brownie with a candle was brought out for my birthday. It took me a minute to think of a wish because honestly and truly, I have everything I could want and the talent and brains to continue my ascension. He is amazing.
23. Y’all know this is only half of the week, right? Still on vacation.
24. I’m becoming a walking, talking, living and breathing billboard. Marlon’s Writings, Is You Going?, Oghma Creative Media, Voices from the Bleachers, and a few other things quietly being unveiled. Renaissance man, indeed.
25. We drank at the oldest bar in Ireland, Sean’s Bar, where we met a gentleman who once lived in Chicago and lamented the absence of deep dish pizza in his life.
Thanks to all those who helped me see the silver linings in my life. Remix in any order. God is…
Marlon S. Hayes is a writer, blogger, author, and poet, who has fallen in love with his grandson, and gets emotional when he talks about his daughters. His books can be found on Amazon, and he can be followed at Marlon’s Writings on Facebook and marlonhayes.wixsite.com/author. Life is a banquet…