I had a dream a couple of nights ago about a singer called the Truthseeker. Part of it is here, but another, earthier, perhaps raunchier part may unearth itself later depending on whether I actually get it written. However, I kind of like this version. It’s sweet. Maybe just in time for the heart holiday.
“You haven’t been listening to the Truthseeker, have you now?” the older paunchy policeman asks as he sits in the booth with the other three off-duty policemen swizzling irish whiskey and pints as fast as the waitress can bring them.
I have no idea of who he’s talking about until Devlin halts next to the table, his eyes straying toward mine, hurt and vulnerability coalescing into a miasma of pain, and then he’s gone, and I realize that he’s the Truthseeker.
I glance toward the table where Devlin has sat, slumped down, an unlit cigarette propped between his lips, those lips, those full sensually kissable lips, his hazel blue eyes focused on his recently filled coffee cup.
“He’s not for you, girl. You need someone respectable like Reilly here.”
Reilly’s face flames. His hair is cropped so short that his blush knows no restraint. He burps then rubs his palm over his face and mouth. “That Devlin is a right shite. I’m the better man.”
And, yet, not ten minutes later, I am sitting next to the better man, the better man my heart knows, the poet, who has quoted Dylan Thomas, Keats, and Mary Oliver in a heartbeat, and, in a flourish of words, his own, an ode to the crow who has a nest of silver in the evergreen just outside the door.
“Why are ya here?” he asks.
His eyes mesmerize me. “Because my plane—”
“No. At this table? You have the finest the county has to offer over there, as they well told you.”
“That’s a question, isn’t it?” I ask with a laugh, a blush, a feeling that maybe I should have found my own table in the corner of the pub until flight time. What do I lose by answering truthfully? “You.”
“Me?” he says, pointing to his chest.
“I’m from a rural town in the US. I don’t know men who can quote poetry, or if they do, they never feel comfortable doing it. I don’t know men who aren’t afraid of being vulnerable or themselves.”
“You and I aren’t quite there yet, luv,” Devlin says.
I laugh, suddenly uncomfortable. “I know that. I’m just saying, that I don’t know men who are smart and allow themselves to be vulnerable and don’t talk about their trucks or football—American—all the time. It’s a stupid sport. And I’m not saying I’m in love with you.” God. Yet.
“Okay, then. That’s a lot of words,” Devlin says before standing up, stretching, his bare arms sinewy. Then he retreats behind a door that says: Employees Only.
Oh. I stare at my pint of bitter or at least the third that’s left. I just successfully scared an Irish man off, not that I know whether that’s an achievement or not. I wonder if there’s a scorecard for my achievements. Surely there must be. I can’t be the only traveling loser in this entire freaking world! There must be someone who traveled to Greece and said that baklava was the least creative dessert in the world or a woman who arrived in Tokyo and said sushi was only for cooks who couldn’t boil water.
And then, a thumb strums across guitar strings. I look up. There Devlin sits on a stool, a guitar perched on his thigh. His eyes stray toward me. The song he sings is familiar and yet not. I know the words but not the pace until I recognize the Beatles song, “I’ve Just Seen a Face.” All the while he stares at me, except for split seconds where he connects elsewhere.
And I feel myself falling, oh, yes, I’m falling.