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"Come back in Kilkenny"

Like a guest at home



The prisoner of Riverside Drive

Kilkenny, Ireland

I'd put a flagon of Linden Village cider into the freezer. The other was in my bag. Bogdan (fake name) had heard me come in. He came, greeted me, and within one minute had opened the freezer and asked if the cider was for me. I said yes. He offered me the trade of four beers in exchange.

"Um..." I said. I knew that I was being compelled to agree because he had paid* to get me into the house. "What kind," I asked — unenthusiastically. "Heineken." Um, no.... "Bavaria?" That's another Dutch beer, its name notwithstanding. Ultimately I relented, as I was leaving the kitchen.

He recognized that I was not pleased, and said no — never mind. It was like when he'd wanted to show Adina my bedroom and I hesitated. "Never mind," he'd said — but then insulted me later in the evening with a scouring dismissal of my character.

"It's for Joe (fake name,)" he said — the cider, he meant.

Joe, the evening that he finished moving into the house, called me out of my room to ask me if I wanted a glass of cider. I'd been dry for a few days, being broke. I wasn't coy about it -- yes, I said. He then mentioned that he needed to get the rest of his possessions out of his old place that night. He asked me if I'd help him. I did, until late; and he never broke out that flagon. I even mentioned, hours later, that he'd not produced it -- he said we may drink it yet; but we never.

And now I'm going to want to give M_ any of the cider that I bought after a day's cash work and after a walk to the supermarket? I can feel how the concensus will be that I ought to have done so; but I do not feel as if I want to, nor as if I ought to. This narrative will not play out in recognition of my logical perspective.

I went upstairs to get my Swiss-army knife to open a can of soup, and when I went back downstairs G_ came into the kithchen. They're having a barbecue. How are you, G_ asked. I'm fine. Are you sure. Yeah, I'm fine. Can you help me get a visa for the United States?

Why should I, I asked. I know that's rude -- but fuck him. Here I was, just in the door, being greeted only as .. fuck it. I'm not even going to explain.


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I repaid Bogdan for the money that he'd spent, as soon as I was able. During the time that I did not have any income, Bogdan helped me — at a high price.

"Am platit," he argued once to a friend of ours, in Romanian. That friend understood why I'd stopped Bogdan from showing him my room without asking me.

To Bogdan , this was another provocation, and another excuse to disparage me.


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