The Sea-Bell

March 17, 2013 — 5 Comments

Today I drove around for a couple of hours, to nowhere in particular. I do this a lot lately.

Trying to stay in one place for a bit, save some money for the next round of wandering. But I tend to get in my car a lot and just drive, mostly the back country roads, so I can listen to the radio and get lost in my thoughts for a while. I’ve driven these roads countless times over the years, so I’m always searching for a new, unexplored route.

I bounce from classroom to classroom during the week, a different teacher every day. Some days I sit in the corner of a high school class while they watch 40-year old films to learn about World War II. Some days I entertain eight-year olds and they think I am a god.

Often I see former students and former Limelighters, and it is always a happy reunion. Still smiling about the bear hug I got from an eighth grader I had a few years ago; he stopped by my room every passing period of the day, just to keep saying hi.

On one of my drives I swung by my house, where another man now lives, where my neighbors are complaining of branches that are creeping across the divide into their patio. I forgot to bring any branch cutters, and so the small tree continues to grow and trespass onto another property.

Sometimes I stop driving and I walk inside a school and I sit in the back and watch my former company of actors and directors move on without me. During the intervals new ideas flood into my head and I scribble them down in a small black notebook. I have lots of ideas these days.

I continue work on a new play I started last fall, back in the writing course I took at UCD. I dust off an old one and I strip it back to only what’s necessary. I outline, I write dialogue, I collect pictures and think about color palettes and light plots and scene design.

And I think about teaching, the real job, and I wonder what I’m going to do with myself.

The old life is right there, if I want it. I can move back into my old house, my old classroom is waiting for me, and all my old friends are here. Everything could go right back to the way it was.

One of my best friends mentioned something about “getting it out of your system” when I moved to Ireland. My grandmother said the same thing. A lot of people say things like “Well, now you can say you’ve done it, and you’ve got no regrets.” Like it’s a box I wanted to just tick off on the Brian Fauth Bucket List.


Once upon a time, I could have settled down and loved a woman and raised a family, and maybe that would have been a good life.

Once upon a time, I got on a plane and I flew across the ocean and I saw great cities and I met lovely people and I climbed green hills and I watched a continent pass by my train window.

Once upon a time, I thought I could go back to doing what I did before, and what I did better than anyone else, and I thought that would be enough. But that was a long time ago.

I’m like one of those guys in the old stories, the ones who forget the instructions and accept the gifts of the Fair Folk. There’s always a price to be paid when visiting the Twilight Realm; when you return home, nothing is ever the same again. You drift through life as a shadow, and try as you might, you can never find your way back again.

And so I drive and I drive and I drive, through the end of a bleak and cold winter, and I watch the snow melt along the roadside, and I stare out into the horizon, searching for a new route to take me home.


5 responses to The Sea-Bell

    Mary Kay Longwell March 17, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    Brian, you sound as though you’re not certain you should have returned from Ireland.  I worry about how it feels to you with someone living in your house, and someone in your place at limelight.  I don’t want you to feel unconnected.  (Feeling the love from your former students has to help you there.)  Just make sure you’re taking care of yourself. 

    Forgive me, (there’s no reason to respond to this) for emailing you like this, but I just felt a need to see how you really are.  Something in your writing.  I just want to make sure you’re ok.  That’s all.




    “Real strength is not just a condition of one’s muscle, but a tenderness in one’s spirit.” — McCallister Dodds Live simply . . . Love generously . . . Care deeply . . . Speak kindly . . .

    >________________________________ > From: >To: >Sent: Sunday, March 17, 2013 10:01 PM >Subject: [New post] The Sea-Bell > > > >O’Brian posted: “Today I drove around for a couple of hours, to nowhere in particular. I do this a lot lately. Trying to stay in one place for a bit, save some money for the next round of wandering. But I tend to get in my car a lot and just drive, mostly the back coun” >


      Heh. I’m fine, don’t worry. Just missing the life I was building over there. If I could have stayed, I would have, believe me. Just no money for it. And no jobs over there, so options are pretty limited, at least as far as returning to Dublin. But I’m not depressed about it or anything; just wistful. And tired of this limbo life I have right now. We’ll see where that ole road takes me, though…


    New life! I love it and am happy for you.. .wherever the road may take you.


      Thanks Della! Great to hear from an old blogging friend. We’ll see where I wind up…even if it’s back to what I was doing before, at least I had a year to wander!

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

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