Home Is Everywhere
I grew up in Providence, RI, a smallish city in a famously tiny state. Rhode Island’s smallness extended to its perception of travel distance, which said that Boston, a whopping forty minutes north on I-95, was too long a trip to make without very good reason. At nineteen, having taken a year’s sabbatical from school, I found myself feeling penned in by Providence and its claustrophobic familiarity and convinced my closest friend to accompany me on a great adventure to London. He agreed, and six months later we touched down at Heathrow. We found lodging at a B & B, which was really just a cheap hotel with communal bathrooms. And a bar. I was only nineteen, but this was Europe, where if you wanted to drink, then by God or whatever they believed in there, you could drink. One night I was sampling my first cocktail, a Malibu Rum and coke, when I heard a familiar sound. That sound was the word, “Gawd,” spoken by a young woman—and then by another young woman. I looked up as a herd of them paraded by, all speaking in what sounded like but couldn’t possibly be what is known in Rhode Island as a Cranston accent.
“Who are they?” I asked the bartender.
“Oh, they’re from a school in America called Bryant College.”
Bryant was located approximately twenty minutes from the Kenower family front door. They’re following me, I thought. So my friend and I soon made our way to Dublin. We traveled by boat, crashing across the Irish Sea in the black of night and arriving in Ireland’s capital at 7:00 AM on a Sunday morning. Dublin at 7:00 AM is a quiet place. So is its one bus terminal. My memory of that morning was that we were the only ones in that deserted terminal. I was wrong. But sometimes you see what you need to see so you can finally have the experience you want.
Two years later I was back in Providence and bartending when in walked Tony Lee. Tony was a happy guy I had worked with for a few months when I was senior in high school. We shook hands and said how great it was to see one another, and then Tony wagged a finger at me and said,
“Hey, Bill. Have you ever been to Dublin?”
“Yeah. I was there two years ago.”
“And were you in the bus terminal on a Sunday morning?”
“Yes . . .”
Tony smiled and slapped the bar top. “I knew that was you!”
If you like the ideas and perspectives expressed here, feel free to contact me about individual and group conferencing.
You can find Bill at: williamkenower.com