ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is spillover from the July 21, 2015 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] dialecticdreamer. It also fills the "peace" square in my 5-18-15 card for the [community profile] origfic_bingo fest, and "The Elephant in the Room" square in my 6-10-15 card for the [community profile] genprompt_bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the series Polychrome Heroics. Dated May 22, 2015 in the chronology, it follows "In Dublin's Fair City" dated September 18, 2014; bear in mind that these happen later than most of the other poems.


"Come Through Your Door"


The vote was running high for
gay marriage, and oh sure there were
other measures on the ballot, but that was
the one everyone was gabbing around at the bar,
the elephant in the room abruptly revealed.

Dylan kept the drinks coming and tried
not to think about one more new thing
dumped atop all the other changes.
It hurt, somewhere under his ribs
that he couldn't quite reach
to rub away the ache of it,
and he didn't know why.

Buach Maccarthy slouched
at a tiny table beside the door
grumbling loudly about the poofs
pushing for what they didn't deserve.
The Reunification had unsettled his work
for the IRA and that left him restless.

Ticker had a corner table, and
of course he was all for it, going on
about some folks he knew in Italy and
their odd habits, and how some states
in America already allowed gay marriage.

Dylan didn't know if the boy was fey
or knew someone who was or just
didn't care because he was a supervillain
and they tended to do whatever they wanted
whether it was legal or not.

When the result was announced in favor,
a roar went up on the telly and in the bar
and echoing along the streets outside.

Dylan couldn't help remembering
Reunification Day and all the changes
it had brought to Ireland. Today he felt
a little wince of sympathy for the folks
who had wanted to stick with Britain.
It always hurt to lose a big battle.

People wanted refills, so he hurried
to serve them, either to celebrate or
to drown their sorrows depending
on their personal preference.

Then two strangers stepped into the bar,
holding hands. The taller one wore
a hot pink t-shirt printed with male couples,
while the shorter one had a black t-shirt
that read, It takes balls to be a fairy.

They didn't look much like fairies,
but then what would Dylan know about it?

That was the trouble of being a bartender:
you never knew what might come through your door.

Of course Buach wasn't about to take that sitting down;
he stood up for the particular purpose of
bumping into the two men.

Buach was big and tall enough
to rock them on their feet with no more
than the weight of his body and momentum.

"We don't want any trouble,"
said the taller of the strangers.

Dylan saw Buach's hands start
to curl into fists, and he reached
for the persuader that he stashed
under the bar to keep the peace.

"Lay off, you great ape, or
there goes this month's bonus
out the window," said Ticker.

Dylan hid a smile. It had taken time,
but his policy of neutral turf and his
methods of enforcing it had eventually
soaked into the thick skulls of his regulars.
He only paid extra on the loans for the bar
in months that didn't feature a barfight.


"What, and let those gayfaces
walk in here like they own the place?"
Buach snapped at him.

Dylan didn't even have time
to pull his persuader out.

Ticker froze Buach in place,
excused himself to the stunned strangers,
and tossed the belligerent man out in the street.
Then he closed the door and returned
to his table in the corner.

"That man is becoming a pain
in my arse," Ticker muttered.

The couple stared at him, eyes wide.
"Did ... we walk into the wrong bar?"

"I'd say that's for you gents
to decide," Ticker said quietly.

"So what brought you in here?"
Dylan asked, hoping to defuse
the tension before it got worse.

The shorter man grinned,
bouncing on his toes like a boxer.
"He said yes! I asked him to marry me,
now that we'll be able to, and he said yes!"

"Well then, I'd say that calls for champagne,
on the house," said Dylan as he reached
for a bottle and a pair of glasses.

It was what you bloody did
when a chap got engaged, nevermind
Dylan's personal opinion of the chap's habit.
He was a bartender, and he had a job to do.

"Thank you," the taller man intoned.
"I'm Abban Eiler, and this is
my boyfriend Tadhg Ó Broin."

"Pleased to meet you. I'm
Dylan Flynn, barkeeper of
the Merry Wren," he said,
pouring the champagne.
"May your troubles be less
and your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness
come through your door."

"I'll drink to that," said Tadhg.

The two men came to the bar,
claimed their glasses, and
sat on the high stools.

Behind them the other patrons went
back to whatever they had been doing
before, and the room returned to its chatter.
The peace, however uneasy, was kept.

Abban and Tadhg had eyes
only for each other as they
drank champagne and
dreamed of the future.

They were just like
any other couple, except
for neither of them being a woman.

Try as he might, Dylan couldn't quite
chase away the sick ache in his chest,
that sense of wrongness that crept up
when he thought about what two men
might do in bed together. It was a sin.
His uncle the pastor had said so.

Maybe he'd call Graham tonight,
after closing the bar. His cousin
had a way of setting things right
that Dylan didn't always understand,
but respected and trusted anyway.

* * *

Notes:

Buach Maccarthy -- He has fair skin, light brown eyes, and ginger hair. He is big and tall. Buach works as a supervillain henchman. Originally he was an enforcer for the IRA, but that's breaking down after Reunification, which leaves him looking for other opportunities. He likes to think of himself as a good Catholic boy, but he doesn't actually follow any of Christ's guidelines very well. Much the same is true of his motivation about Ireland.
Origin: Caught in a bomb blast as a child, Buach survived without a scratch on him, even though several classmates died from it.
Uniform: He dresses to look tough, usually in dark colors but often brightened with green or an Irish flag. He wears Irish motifs a lot.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Strength, Good (+2) Loyal, Good (+2) Supervillain Henchman, Good (+2) Underworld Contacts
Poor (-2) Christian
Powers: Average (0) Tough
Motivation: To protect Ireland's interests.

Abban Eiler -- He has fair skin, gray eyes, and short brown hair going silver at the sides, with a mustaches and beard. He is tall and trim. He has wrinkles starting under his eyes that curve down in echo of his solemn personality. Abban works as a clerk handling sensitive information. He has a bad habit of waiting too long to act on his ideas. Abban is homosexual and recently accepted a marriage proposal from his boyfriend Tadhg Ó Broin. Although often quiet about his orientation, especially at work, he shows it off for special occasions.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Runeclerk, Good (+2) Limber, Good (+2) Serious, Good (+2) Trustworthy
Poor (-2) He Who Hesitates Is Lost

Tadhg Ó Broin -- He has fair skin, brown eyes, and short dark hair with a beard and mustache. He is short and sturdy. He has crow's feet at the corners of his eyes that curl up in echo of his smile. Tadgh plays a variety of musical instruments and sings in Dublin taverns. He has a bad habit of jumping into things without thinking carefully first. Tadgh is homosexual and recently proposed to his boyfriend Abban Eiler, who accepted. He is consistently blatant about his orientation.
Qualities: Expert (+4) Folksinger, Good (+2) Activist, Good (+2) Merry, Good (+2) Strength
Poor (-2) Look Before You Leap

* * *

Irish marriage equality passed through a constitutional referendum. This reflects the country's changing views on marriage.

The IRA has evolved through various forms, generally focused on Irish freedom. It has been a source of heartache and pride, often to the same people, and has shattered many families including the Flynn/Finn family in Terramagne. Following the Reunification, many IRA members in T-Ireland have found themselves at loose ends for lack of having any plan beyond that goal. This is a whole new flavor of trouble.

Buach
Say: BOO-ock
Means ‘victor or conquerer’. http://www.dochara.com/the-irish/first-names/traditional-irish-boys-names-a-c/
-- Irish Boys' Names

poof -- a rude term for homosexual
-- Irish Slang

Gaybashing has a long history in Ireland, and still happens. Dylan is sensitive about it in part because Declan Flynn, a famous victim, was a relative of his and a black sheep in the family. Due to heavy harassment of gay people, Ireland has taken steps to stop hate crimes. Know how to fight gaybashing in schools and in the community.

ape -- fool
-- Irish Slang

persuader -- a nonlethal weapon, typically used for crowd control or crime prevention, in Terramagne often a zatzer or a sleep pistol
-- Dictionary Reference

gayface -- someone who is gay and does not hide it
-- Glossary of Hiberno-English Slang and Jargon

May your troubles be less and your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness come through your door.
-- Irish wedding toast

Abban
Say: ab-an
Means ‘monk’. There was a 6th century saint of that name.
-- Irish Boys' Names

Tadhg -- means "poet" or "storyteller," famous in the names of Connacht and Munster kings.
Pronunciation varies; this fellow uses "teeg."
-- Wikipedia

Tolerance means different things to different people, but generally means respecting people even when you disagree with them. However, it does not require putting up with intolerance.

Many heterosexual people feel uncomfortable with homosexuality. It's okay to feel uncomfortable, it just sucks. What's not okay is hurting other people because they make you uncomfortable. Understand how to deal with your homophobia. One good method is anchoring. Know how to handle public displays of homophobia.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-20 03:26 pm (UTC)
thnidu: Lucy bright and bold. Lucida Bright font, boldface: backslash, small-o, slash: YAY!! (yay)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
APPLAUSE

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2015-08-20 11:30 pm (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu

You succeeded very well.

Q: Ticker froze Buach in time and then manhandled him out the door before releasing the hold?

Re: Thank you!

Date: 2016-03-26 04:01 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)

I was reading your through the forum posts e and thought you might be interested in this resource page.

I have a 3000 word article on Irish weddings, blessings and love traditions.

https://www.giftofireland.com/2016/02/25/irish-wedding-blessing-customs/

Could you add it to the resources?
Tks
Dan

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-20 04:34 pm (UTC)
technoshaman: Tux (Default)
From: [personal profile] technoshaman
YAAAAY, a followup! Well done, Dylan.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-20 11:14 pm (UTC)
thnidu: Tom Baker's Dr. Who, as an anthropomorphic hamster, in front of the Tardis. ©C.T.D'Alessio http://tinyurl.com/9q2gkko (Dr. Whomster)
From: [personal profile] thnidu
Could you add notes on pronouncing the Irish names?

Re: Done!

Date: 2015-08-21 01:12 am (UTC)
thnidu: my familiar. "Beanie Baby" -type dragon, red with white wings (Default)
From: [personal profile] thnidu

Thanks, it does.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-08-31 12:41 am (UTC)
stardreamer: Meez headshot (Default)
From: [personal profile] stardreamer
Blessings on those who are willing to be uncomfortable for the sake of what's right. They deserve both encouragement and sympathy.

HUGS all around

Date: 2015-08-31 02:42 am (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
First to Ticker, for keeping the bar neutral, even for a difficult topic.

Then to the happy couple, who will hopefully have many, many wonderful years together.

Then to Dylan, for doing his best, even when he was clearly uncomfortable.

And last of all, to Ysabetwordsmith, for creating people I want to hug, even when my brain reminds me they're fiction. (Here.)

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
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