My great aunt's first name was Dundee, hence my middle name. It's probably from Scotland, whereas my last name, Hannah, is probably from Ireland. (My first name, clearly English.) Because my father doesn't seem to know when my family on that side came over from across the seas, and I don't have talent for geneological trees, I figure that the important thing to know is not the time frame but simply that my blood was forged in the UK not too many generations back. And this does make perfect sense.
While listening to a rotating constant of U2, The Cranberries, and Sinead O'Connor, teenage me knew that the Irish soul was far superior to any other. As I penned volumes of poetry, I looked to Galway Kinnell and W.B. Yeats and Samuel Beckett. In college I lay awake at night in my freshman dormroom bed with a brochure in my hand for a small art school in County Clare, fantasizing about the smell of the salty air and the swell and quiet of the ocean lapping the unelaborated shore. I literally ached to be there. Later I devoted a semester to my Northern Irish accent for a part in a Martin McDonough play, and fell in love with the most magnificent of all the magnificently handsome Irish men there are.
After trying so valiantly, despite all personal shortcomings and external disappointments to make work work out, I've come to the conclusion that I might be happiest in a barn, mucking out stalls and milking cows. In worn overalls and bottle-green wellies, with a twig for a hairpiece if need be. Oh, the green rolling hills that I miss though I've never met. Hopefully, as I've forgiven myself for being sorely out of place in my country, the UK can forgive me for one indiscretion: I can't drink beer. Oh, but I love it. I love it.