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Kilkenny, Ireland, June 2003 —

I had to get out of town. I went west. I hadn't any plans. I went to Killarney on a Thursday. Off the bus, asking about a hostel, I met a guy named Eoin, from Wicklow south of County Dublin. We went out on the piss. No accommodation the festival weekend, I hadda move on. Eoin suggested Tralee, and said maybe he'd go with me.

We went on the piss in Tralee. Tralee is a rough town, working class and rather charmless overall. However, the matron at the pub where we stayed made up for the lack of classiness in the town. I saw her reject an underage guy, then bounce him with a rousing "fuck off! I told you to stay out!" She had a sweet smile, too, gray to white hair, and breasts the size of watermelons, distended as would be soft watermelons over the years.