Vlastik has been quietly encouraging me to get away from Sligo for some time. He was one of the first people I spoke to after my breakdown, and he has been sympathetically pushing me to get out of Sligo and into company. As I admitted elsewhere, I badly needed a support network to help me stand again, and I completely destroyed mine as a reaction to my self-hate.
I was originally going to take a trip down to Aafke’s on Saturday, but I had vivid aural hallucinations, and I was reluctantly forced to postpone the trip. I mean, literally, I had been awake for four days straight, and I a quiet voice repeated my name over, and over, and over. It was (heh) maddening. I let Aafke know this, took a sleeping pill and fell unconscious for a good ten hours.
Aafke (very) generously came up to Sligo on Sunday, and took me up around the Sligo and Donegal coasts as far as the gorgeous St. John’s Point in Co. Donegal. It was absolutely fantastic to get out of the house, out of Sligo, and into the company of a photographer and good friend. I relaxed, spoke and, took a great many photographs with my shiny new phone after a breakfast in Drumcliff, where I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich that the staff wouldn’t allow me to call a grilled cheese sandwich. No, really-there was a ‘grilled cheese toastie’ available, an object which, by any other name, is called a grilled cheese sandwich. Two slices of bread, and two slices of cheese cost four bloody euro. I feel bad that Aafke successfully browbeat me into allowing her to pay for it.
Words Were Spoken over brunch; Aafke delved into grief, and surprised me with how her struggle is similar to mine. I spoke at length to someone, I believe for the first time, exactly what went on in the breakdown, and what I battle on a daily basis. This isn’t the post in which to detail it.
I kicked Yeats’s grave on the way into the cafe on behalf of all the Leaving Certificate students on the island of Ireland. O you who suffer, I do not forget you in my prayers.
After this, I brought Aafke down to the wide wedge of land cornered by Drumcliffe and Grange: Lissadell. It was gorgeous. Gorgeous.
I’m a little sad that I never managed to bring Garrett or Caira down there on a fine day, but with no car it was simply out of reach. But I’m not too sad! The entire coast, all the way from Grange up to and past Killybegs is absolutely, astoundingly beautiful. If you ever do one drive in Ireland, drive from Sligo up to Killybegs; you will not regret it.
Aafke and I wound up at the desolate, beautiful (and pointy) Saint John’s Point after a drive around the bay. I had never in my life been past Donegal town, and on both occasions that I’ve travelled as far as Donegal town, it was very foggy. I was left with this weird notion that Donegal is a land of mist and fog.
And after that, back home to Sligo!