We were walking home to the hotel—cold but no rain on Hallowe’en—and the city sounded like a war zone, fireworks rattling and banging in every direction, pink and green lights against the sky. Down one little alley the explosions were particularly intense and I saw a wall painted in colour by leaping flames, and simultaneously firetrucks incoming. “Let’s check this out” I told Lauren and without giving her a chance to wonder if it was a good idea, headed down the alley into a different Dublin.
Two firetrucks and a police car crawled down the alley to be met by a row of children hand-in-hand, some in costume, all under fifteen, dancing and shouting “go away,” then throwing rocks at the trucks. The firemen weren’t amused but didn’t have a lot of options and had to go away.
The bonfire was huge, in a vacant patch at the end of the parking lot between two apartment buildings; a glance and in its light saw this was not the colourful cheery up-and-coming part of town, these were walkups and had seen better days, and you could tell that life had been hard on a lot of the people standing around.
Fireworks were being launched everywhere, some going off scary-low, flinging green fire meant for arcs against black sky viciously into the ground and not that far away either. Still, among the crowd were respectable-looking young mothers holding toddlers up better to see the show.
Soon we left, and a block away looked back to see the moon over the bonfire.