Today’s story takes place not in a random, weird, unknown town in Ohio but in the exotic locale of Dublin, Ireland. But don’t worry – it’s not your typical tale.
Dublin, for me, proved that our world is indeed small and that Oscar Wilde is a beacon of the night for queer folks like moi.
Prior to turning the Big 3-0 last December, I understandably started freaking out – “Oh my god I’m old I’m not young anymore and I’m not married or rich” – so I decided to blow $750 on a flight to Spain. I figured that if I was turning 30, I might as well do it in style.
Since I flew with Aer Lingus, I had an 8-hour layover in Dublin, so I decided to explore when I was there.
While I was riding the bus from the airport to the city, I overheard two American girls talking in front of me. Lonely for company, I introduced myself and asked where they were from. Small world: Grand Rapids, Michigan, where I went to college and spent some of the most formative parts of my twenties. The coincidences aligned quickly: they’d gone to the same college as my sister, we’d been on the same flight – we even had a friend in common!
At our stop, we split off in different directions. After visiting the Museum of Ireland and walking around St. Stephen’s Square, one of the center city parks, I decided to check out Oscar Wilde’s statue, right near his birthplace.
In finding his statue, I immediately felt at home. He was family! A fellow queer and writer and lover of sarcasm. He smirked at me from atop his rock in his fetching dinner jacket.
And guess who happened to appear right then?
The two other Americans from Michigan!
They of course took photos. While doing so, I found out that one of the girls was a lesbian. “Me too!” I said. Again: small world.
Two weeks later, guess who I ran into in my flight back to the U.S. from Dublin?
The two Americans.
And so I bless thee, Mr. Wilde, sartorial saint of queers, dandies, and literati, for bringing us kindred souls together.
I’ll leave you with some witticisms of the great man himself to chew on:
“I always like to know everything about my new friends, and nothing about my old ones.”
“I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.”
“I don’t like Switzerland: it has produced nothing but theologians and waiters.”