When Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Irish man Dear Neighbor,

I don’t know who you are, but I know you are new to the building. Or, you recently learned to whistle. Because prior to last month, we had no whistlers. But, now your jaunty Irish tunes fill the corridors of Building B.

I smiled hearing your pitch-perfect rendition of “When Irish Eyes Are Smiling” waft in through the sliding door as I sipped my morning coffee that first Monday. And Tuesday. And Wednesday. Thursday, I had a networking meeting, but I had faith you were there. And Friday. By Saturday, I was beginning to wonder if you knew any other tunes. It’s not that I am prejudice. If it weren’t for the Irish, we wouldn’t have Saint Patrick’s Day or Guinness. Henry Ford was Irish and he invented the car I drive. Your people also invented the submarine, the tractor, the tank, and color photography. Did innovation skip your family? Sorry if that seems harsh. But, I can’t help wondering.

My bad. Did she break your heart? Because no sooner did my irritation at “Irish Eyes” escalate when you switched to the mournful “Molly Malone.” Of course, we don’t have fish mongers in Dallas and people rarely die of fever anymore, except when Ebola strikes. Were you in love with her, or was it a Tinder fling? Did she leave you, or did she die in a tragic accident texting on the Dallas North Toll Road South or I-35 E West? Roads here in Dallas are so bipolar. Oh, I hope she didn’t have a mental illness and I’ve offended you. I can be so insensitive. I’m sure she was a lovely, sweet girl.

“Óró, sé do bheatha 'bhaile.” I know that tune from the movie The Wind That Shakes the Barley. It’s a song from the Irish War of Independence. Anger. It’s the first stage of grief. I’m so sorry. She broke your heart. I hate her for what she’s done for you. How I wish I could hear “Irish Eyes” in the mornings again. You never appreciate what you have until it’s gone.

Rebound! What a surprise you had for me when you belted out “Weigh, Hey, and Up She Rises.” Early in the morning. Except that it was nearly midnight. Not that I mind rousing Irish drinking songs, but we have a noise ordinance. Quiet time starts at 11 p.m. and some of us go to work early in the morning, when you will undoubtedly be sleeping it off. What do you do with a drunken neighbor, what do you do with a drunken neighbor, what do you do with a drunken neighbor? I can’t put you in a long boat ‘til you’re sober but I can call building security. But, I hate to add to your woes after that Molly Malone incident. You really put me in a bad spot.

Oh, you tease! Make me mad, then appease me. “The Countess Cathleen!” Yeats? Really? How did you know? It’s one of my favorites. When I saw Michael Flatley dance that in Riverdance, I practically had an orgasm. Are you coming on to me? Is this some sort of secret Irish seduction? We’ve never even met. But, if you dance half as well as Michael Flatley. OMG! You’re like the Pied Piper and I will follow you anywhere. I’m part Scottish; is that an issue for you? I promise I don’t own a kilt or play the bagpipe.

Oh, my Irish whistler. I feel the restless stirrings. I know you like I know myself. You awaken something in me. You are the hand, and I am the glove. How do I let you know that I am here for you? I played Lunasa for a week. Do like your women more brazen? Perhaps “The Night Visiting Song?” I can be brazen. And, I promise not to break your heart. I don’t want to be too forward but I have “Haste to the Wedding.” Just whistle me a hint, my love. I’m waiting.

Gretchen Martens is a DCH graduate who performs with Been There Done That and Brain Wearing Pants. When she’s not working as an executive coach and trainer, she writes satire for her blog www.PotatoNationUSA.com. She is finishing her first play, sanINity, an irreverent look at losing a loved one to mental illness.

(Image: Jordan Levine)