The Best 24 Hours of 2010 (So Far)

I’ve been thinking about a running list of “reasons I want to go back to Ireland,” which reminded me:

I never told you about the best 24 hours of 2010. So far. It all started 36 hours prior…

Monday, April 26, 10PM, London: I read on The Swell Season’s Facebook page that Glen Hansard, my all-time favorite musician and mascot for the kind of passion with which I want myself and those around me to live, is playing a solo gig in Dublin. On Wednesday. In less than 2 days.

10:45PM: After several IM, in-person, and phone conversations, with me asking, “Exactly HOW crazy do you think it would be for fly to Dublin, like tomorrow…?” I booked a ticket to Dublin on RyanAir. Um, no, it was not £5. The gig was at a private club in Dublin, so I couldn’t get tickets, but was assured by several friendly Dublin-based Glen fans on Facebook that I’d have no problem getting in.

Tuesday, April 27, 9AM, still London: I wake up ridiculously joyful. I turn 31. I find out that the Glen Hansard show is sold out. I receive this news via phone from the only non-lovely Dubliner I will encounter in the next 36 hours. I proceed to celebrate a lovely birthday with lovely friends and am surprised by a VERY lovely homemade cake. I cry a little. Happy tears, shocked at how deeply I love this new branch of my global family. Blessed.

Wednesday, April 28, 11AM: I arrive in Dublin. See lovely airport stories here.

1PM: Armed with an email from an Irish friend-of-a-friend in the know, I stroll up to the Odessa Club. It’s closed. I ring the buzzer. I enter, no one’s there. No one’s even around. “Hellooo…?” I wander around until I find someone. The following dialogue enuses:

JS: Hi! I’m here about the Glen Hansard show.
Odessa Club guy: It’s sold out.
JS: (smiling broadly and twirling hair) Yes, I know, but I was just wondering… What’s your name? Peter. Well, Peter, here’s my story… did I mention it’s my birthday?

1:10PM: Peter acquiesces. He puts my name on the list and says the bouncer will let me in “if there’s room.” I remind him that (I honestly said this) I’m “narrow.”

1:15PM-5:45PM: I fall in love with Dublin, helped along the way by St. Stephen’s Green, a charming used bookstore owner, and Terry.

7:00PM: I have a pint of Guinness at the pub around the corner from the Odessa Club where my friend of a friend said I might find someone trying to sell tickets. I don’t, but I do learn from the bartender that Glen DJs here on Fridays. I write my adventure manifesto, gearing up to have a great night even if I don’t get tickets. I promise myself I won’t cry if I don’t get in. I wipe a tiny tear away at the thought.

7:45PM: I arrive at the Odessa. I glance at the bouncer’s list and don’t see the handwritten name that Peter had added. I start to explain that I’d spoken to Peter, and he’d put me on the list if there was room, and the bouncer replies, “Ay, you must be Jennifer.” He flips to newly typed portion of the list, subheaded “Extra.” Mine is the only name on the list, with the note, “Please let this lady in if there’s room.”

7:50PM: I find a seat on a couch SO close that I have to be careful not to kick Glen when he arrives (around 9). I frantically text and Facebook that “I’m IN! I’m IN!” I thank God several dozen times. I play it cool, sipping my stout, while I squeal like a little girl on the inside. After 25 minutes of hearing some stories from a lone super-fan on my right, I meet two of Dublin’s loveliest boys on my left. They tell me they’d had a bet running about whether I was Glen’s girlfriend since I arrived. I never did figure out which one lost that bet, but I certainly won. They proceeded to extend the most lovely Irish hospitality (kindness and pints) for the rest of the night.

9PM-12AM: Glen plays. FOR THREE HOURS. Mostly off mic and without his guitar plugged in, sitting less than two feet from me. There’s really no describing it. Roughly 140 people in a room. Transcendent.

12:15AM: Paul and Eoin, new Irish friends, convince me I should get a photo with Glen, against my, “I don’t want to bother him,” protests. Paul snaps a shot.

12:16AM: We realize Paul didn’t actually press the button and no photo was snapped.

12:25AM: We try again. Eoin successfully snaps the photo. Glen stops to ask me my name, we chat for several minutes about New York, his Radio City gigs etc. I beam like a giddy schoolgirl.

2:30AM: I walk back to my hostel singing “Heyday” through the streets of Dublin.

The remaining eight hours included too little sleep, an early morning walk, a trip to the airport, and a huge revelation that if God cares enough about me to give me such a huge, joy-filled evening with my favorite musician, who KNOWS what He’ll do when it comes to the significant things in my life?


3 Responses to “The Best 24 Hours of 2010 (So Far)”

  1. 1 Jeff Crabtree 14 August 2010 at 16:44

    Go girl! Woohoo! Proud of you!

  1. 1 The Best 24 Hours of 2010 (So Far) | Trackback on 14 August 2010 at 12:32

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