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Alter Egos - I Am Done Watching This

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Friday, June 23, 2006

Sightings of Bono

It was a sunny Saturday afternoon I remember that. I was walking along Nassau Street in Dublin across from Trinity College, my old alma mater. The horse drawn carriage tourist rides weren't long in operation. I saw one of them making its way up the street. Suddenly someone stood up unsteadily in the carriage with a camcorder pressed to his eye filming the shops and the pavement I was walking along. It took me a moment to realize it was Bono. The Edge was sitting across from where he was standing and reached up in an embarrassed way to try to get him to sit back down. I often wonder if Bono played the video back later and whether I would even be noticed.

It was Christmastime. I decided to buy my wife silk pajamas. There was a discreet but rather exclusive store in a posh mall at the top of Grafton Street. The store was very small, not much room for more than a half a dozen people. It was not the type of store to have prices displayed which worried me a little. There were two women working there and I was just about to ask the cost. A few people came in behind me and made their way to the counter. Bono and two tall glamorous women who looked like models. Bono looked tiny. The size of the store seemed to suit him. The two women who worked there rushed over. I tried to get the attention of one of them, but it was pointless. I waited next to Bono for ages. He looked quite scruffy. I noticed the dark hair on his fingers. I don't remember what anyone was talking about. I left after about five minutes. If Bono was shopping there, I couldn't afford it. I wonder what turned up in Ali's stocking that year.

It was two years later. I was sitting in a small cottage in Donegal looking out at Lough Foyle. I was determined to get a story published in The Sunday Tribune, but I didn't seem to write the way the paper like. A lot of social issues stories, a lot about contemporary Ireland. My stories to that point were located in nameless settings. The last thing I wanted to read let alone write was a story set in Ireland. As for issues in stories I would sooner swim with sharks if not sooner (sounds a bit Runyonesque does it not?). Besides the stories could only be a few thousand words long which really put the short back into short story. If it was any shorter it would be indecent. Anyway I duly sat down at my word processor and decided to write a very short story set in Dublin. The first time I had ever written to order. I looked out at the white caps on the water, saw a pilot boat pass by. I remembered the hairs on Bono's fingers. I remembered pints of Guinness in Kehoe's bar. I would start there. Bono would pass by on his way out of the Gents and Ellen would look up from her Irish Times crossword and her glass of Guinness and she would see him. And she would see him again and again. In a horse drawn carriage. In a discreet lingerie store on Grafton Street. Just about anywhere she looked in fact.

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