Landed in this troubled town last night, the plane from Heathrow filled with men and women all carrying Irish babies, ginger-haired, dark-eyed round-faced Irish girls and boys, all strangely quiet, staring at the American.
Michael Duke and his wife (also carrying an Irish child, their daughter Nora) picked me up and then Mick and I toured the city. Standing in front of the Hotel Europa, which has the dubious distinction of being the most bombed hotel in Europe, I felt a shiver. Could have been the travel catching up with me, could have been the northern Irish wind.
Haven't been here long enough to know if the ghosts still walk, but there's no doubt that it's an English city.
Meeting up with the other writers in about an hour and then the actors join us this afternoon. Tomorrow night, election night, we put up Swing State Cabaret at McCracken's Pub, downtown Belfast, and then gather around a television with our rosary beads and whiskey.
Strange to be away, but good to have a job to do.
Our MMMQ honors the great rock and roll mystic and son of Belfast, Van Morrison. Van is too cool a name to be handed down, it had to be crafted out of what the boy had been given. So, was the wee lad christened:
1. Ivan Dmitri Morrison
2. Evan George Morrison
3. George Ivan Morrison
4. Grigori Ivan Dmitri Morrison
5. Ivan Dmitri Dmitronovich Dmitrivonovonovich Morrison?
Winners get a Moondance with a partner of their choice, losers fall like a Domino.