I’ve always been a hopeless romantic, so I decided to go by ship. Maryland has treated me well over the years, but I need a change of scenery. So, to Ireland I go. My dad was disappointed I didn’t want to go to Italy; my mom was scared for me because she’d grown up in the thick of the fighting between the IRA and the Protestant government. Thanks to my mom, I never had a rivers of Guinness and Lucky Charms view of the Emerald Isle. The Irish have their bastards and assholes just like everyone else.
But still, this is what I want to do. The environment I’d lived in was poisoning me to some extent. Granted, I’d let that happen, but I had to go somewhere else to break past ties and past habits. Especially after everything that happened with Chev and Dizzie, it was hard to show my face around the house. I think I knew then that as soon as I was out of high school, I was going to go somewhere else.
The ocean is beautiful but it’s not really as blue as everyone says. There are greens mixed in and if you stare hard enough, the darkest blacks. I felt like that’s how much of my life has been, though growing up I never really used to look down at the darkness underneath. The younger Seamus would have looked down and saw only blue; now I can’t stop staring at the water, now mixed with reds and oranges from the sunset.
Having always lived on the East Coast, this is my first time seeing a sunset on the ocean. I can only say that I would recommend it to anyone. There are a lot of couples on the ship, holding hands and watching. The captain told us that the conditions are right for a green flash. He quoted Jules Verne, who called it the “true green of Hope.” I’m not sure what to look for, but I’ve never been so intent on the sun. I don’t care if it ruins my eyes. I don’t care. I want to see hope for myself, to know that what I’m doing right now is the right thing for future Seamus.
I can see heads turning as the sun turns a deep blood red. Ahead of me lies the greenest hills and the darkest beers. Ahead of me lies old family ties and a new beginning.
The horizon eats away at the sun and I wonder if the green will ever come out. Maybe some eyes don’t see it at all. And then, just as predicted, a tiny dot of the brightest emerald green glows at the apex of our setting Sol. And just like that, it’s gone.
I sit there long afterwards amidst the newlyweds sucking face and wondered if all there was to hope was just a flicker. For some reason, maybe because I’m a hopeless romantic, but I feel like I have experienced a change this day. My childhood has officially ended.