I’m staying in Emily and Thomas’ house after their wedding, with Mary, one of Emily’s bridesmaids. Fortunately for everyone concerned, they are not there; they’re in downtown Cork staying a hotel, on something they have dubbed a “mini-moon.” Sunday nights in Cork, they say, there’s a band that plays down at Counihan’s, and they tell Mary and me that they’ll meet us down there. Mary convinces Isaiah, the photographer from Em’s wedding, to pay for a $50 cab from where he’s staying because it’s our last night in Ireland. We meet Isaiah out front, where we’re lectured by a very drunk Irish gentleman that we need to have a good time and not tell everyone inside “Hey, I’m a Yank.”
“Um,” I mumble “We never say that.”
Mary and Isaiah are nodding and smiling, because they’re having trouble understanding him. His accent is so thick and his slang so profuse, you could make stew out of it. We shake his hand several times and then go in.
The band is playing probably the best traditional Irish music I’ve ever heard in person. There’s a South American flair to it, and it makes me want to get up and dance. But nobody else is dancing, so I sit at my table and clap vigorously instead. Emily and Thomas show up and join us, and we drink Guinness and Beamish. Mary drinks something a bit lighter in color. Soon enough, I feel the need to find the ladies’ room. As I go in, I catch a glimpse of a blonde girl in the mirror as she stands at the sink washing her hands. She looks like someone I know. For the next minute, I’m trying to remember who. Maybe she looks like someone famous. And then I remember: she looks almost exactly like a girl I’ve seen in yoga class a few times in my town of 10,000 people. I bolt out of the stall to get a better look at her, trying not to seem creepy. And sure enough, it looks like her identical twin.
“Are you from Sandpoint?” I blurt out.
“How’d you know that?” she asks, obviously startled.
“I’m in your yoga class,” I say, still trying not to be creepy. “Hot yoga. The one Noelle teaches.”
She doesn’t know who I am, but it doesn’t matter. “I’m Katie,” she introduces herself.
So we go downstairs, and of course we take a picture together and tell our mutual friends about it. And we go back to drinking our Irish stout.