They yelled from across the intersection. It was one of the last discernible phrases I heard them say. A thick drunk accent from a Russian dialect was pouring out of their mouths like globs of syrup. I had just bought some staples of beer and Paddy's Irish whiskey (Jameson's bastard step-brother) for the night. I walked with these crane operators from Latvia. "Say bleeeed, say big bleed bitch." They could hardly stand. "You want fish?" They had a grocery bag full of small trout-like fish that they likely caught in the canal. They didn't have any poles. I didn't care to guess the method of these former soviet anglers. I offered them my staples; they offered me a place to stay. Ivorg began hurling after a long pull on the whiskey. Edgar fared better. They warned me of Ivorg's wife. He said he was afraid of her. We nearly made it back to Ivorg's apartment before they began tackling each other. "I break your neck bleed." Their laughter was contagious. I had to carry Ivorg the last few hundred feet. His rail thin wife was not pleased. She began slapping him as I put him on the couch; what was supposed to be mine. She was cursing him in fast Russian. She offered me coffee. I explained how we met, and the offer of a place to stay. She glared at me. I left.
The bars were luckier for me in Mullingar, a midland city of a few thousand. For a Sunday night, their clubs were still brimming. I danced and cohorted with what must have been 19 year olds, between Secondary School and College or work. Everyone wanted to show the Californian their weed. I wasn't impressed. I was out of cash, but drinks were plentifully left around the dance floor. A girl stole my hat. I managed somehow to get it back. Later a group of guys tried to get it from me, but when asked, had nothing to trade. I still have my hat. Everyone goes to the closest Take-Away after closing. I made my move and managed to make my way home with some middle aged women. One of them had picked-up a gentleman. While walking to the taxis, she face-plants into the asphalt. Her nose is gushing. I help clean her up and make sure her nose isn't broken. She isn't very oriented, but she wasn't before the fall either. Later at her home, I could hear the injury didn't deter anything between her and her gent. I woke and followed the steady Monday morning traffic out of the suburb and into town. Like ants parading in one direction, burbs are often easy to navigate an escape.