Friday, August 3, 2007

On leprechauns and other hiddenfolk

About a month ago I visited Ireland on business. I have a tendency to drink on ceremonious occasions and find Absinthe has a way of burning an image into memory such that the image takes on a life of its own, popping into dreams and taking on a symbolic value and finding its own little couch in the cabin of the personal unconscious. Such was my mood upon pulling into the Irish harbour, and I drank the shit straight and felt as though I had instantly crossed some kind of threshold between reality and imagination (though I sometimes think we use these words in a rather backwards way--do you, Everyman, have the nerve to call my dreams a lie? But I digress...)

You would think in such a state of mad lucidity I would see leprechauns everywhere, but instead all I saw was a lifeless city, dull and grey. "Damnit!" I exclaimed to the stranger beside me (a woman wearing a most peculiar wicker hat). "I hoped to see munchkins! My dreams are shattered! Oh cursed, cursed woe!"

Perhaps she and her horrid hat were imagined, as when I turned to see her reaction, she had disappeared. Drunk, alone, and wailing on the prow of a ship, I have never felt so existential. Undergraduates dream of existentialism, but if they ever truly felt it, they would piss themselves and cry.

Though my shadow often walks beside me, reminding me of death, I never see any leprechauns. Which begs the question: Are they real? Well, everything I feel tells me they certainly are, and there are certainly many famous intelligentsia who have encountered the bratty little buggers on more than one occasion. Yeats, for example, documented the hiddenfolk like Mendel did his peas. But of course the key to the munchkins is their utter shrewdness--they only reveal themselves when they are expected to be hidden; they torture the skeptics, not the believers, and I, sadly, am a believer.

Oh to will disbelief and see a leprechaun! My only consolation is how they frequent my dreams. I suppose that is something, though we shall never high-five or embrace.

No comments: