Let’s Call Him Patrick

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Travellers, Patrick and Ramona.

Patrick says he just got out of prison after a 31-month stint for kidnapping. He orders a fruity cider from Viv, while his girlfriend, Ramona, asks for a “cocktail.”

Viv needs more information, so Ramona asks for a concoction of milky liqueurs that, as I hear, included Baileys, Kahlua, and maybe Coke.

Patrick’s full of nervous energy. He wants to talk, but he also wants to drink.  I think, mostly, he wants to be alone with Ramona, which is why he’s at the hotel in the first place. Ramona seems smitten with him. She’s happy he’s out. They can’t keep their hands off of each other. I think Ramona dressed up for the occasion. Did her hair and makeup, like this meant a lot to her. Patrick says he didn’t kidnap anyone.

This is all a mistake. He says he’s a “traveller.” Ramona the same. I’m not quite sure what that is. I’m a traveller, I think. Where are they traveling from? To? “Nah mate, we’re Travellers.” Capital “T.” They’re part of a community of itinerant peoples with a rich culture that seldom inhabit permanent dwellings. You don’t call them “gypsies,” or variations thereof, and you most certainly don’t use the pejorative term popularized in Snatch.

You can tell that Patrick might be as hard “as coffin nails.” I’m a big dude, but Patrick is fearless.  I’m a bit anxious around him. As soon as I’ve met him, though, he and Ramona are out, to their room, enjoying the kind of reunion only those were separated from an almost three year prison sentence can enjoy.

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