July 2015 and August 2016
Earlier in our trip that summer, Blake and I had made friends from Dublin, named Hannah and Maud, who promised to so us Dublin's nightlife from a local's standpoint. JW Sweetmans was the pub they decided on. We walked in at around 9:00, and at first it seemed pretty nice. The atmosphere was pretty relaxed, the drink selection was extensive, and the music was not too loud in the background. We sat at round, dark brown wooden table next to a group of people from Brazil to our left and an Irish group to our right. Then we ordered pints...
The first round finished quickly, as did the second... and third... The radius of my surrounding awareness began to shrink. I looked over at Blake, whose speech was increasingly slurred and impaired by his uncontrollable laughter. Maud and Hannah, despite being significantly smaller than the two of us, seemed completely unfazed, casually finishing off their rounds. And then the dancing started. As I said earlier, this place was a pub, not a club or dance bar. But that did not stop anyone, as people shoved the tables aside to clear space, or as in some cases, just danced around them. And remember the two groups to either side of us at the beginning of the night? Well, by now we had fused into one giant amorphous unit, knocking over stools and making wonderful, glorious fools of ourselves.
I cannot pinpoint the time it all flipped the switch into ridiculousness, or exactly how it happened. It just did. And nothing about it felt forced or manufactured whatsoever. It seemed like some sort of a bizarre natural progression, and it was awesome! No worries, no stress, no concern over whether we looked like raging idiots, and no judgment of anyone who looked like one either. Just reckless joy. And when 3:00am rolled around (which actually come up quite quickly), I couldn't help but feel entirely fulfilled in experiencing the Dublin nightlife. And nothing, not carrying a heavily inebriated Blake back to the hostel, who now suddenly felt the need to repeatedly shout to everyone that he was of Irish descent, nor the monstrous hangover lurking just around the corner could change the fact that this was one of the best nights out I had ever ha