Missing calls

Jun 8th, 2007 | By | Category: Ireland

It is two weeks since I last saw the Traveller I have got to know well. He usually calls every week, but there has been so sign of him.

He was sheepish when he arrived a fortnight ago, standing at the front door and looking at his feet.

“How are you?”


“How’s the wife?”

“Don’t know.”

“What’s happened?”

“She’s gone these ten days, and the children with her.”

“Gone where?”

“Maybe Waterford.”

“Why would she take the children to Waterford?”

“They do have a women’s shelter there.”

“Why would she want to go to a women’s shelter?”

“Don’t know”.

“Had you a row?”

“No we hadn’t, that’s the point. If we’d had a row I could understand it”.

“Have you phoned her mobile.”

“It does be switched off”.

“Have you phoned the shelter?”

“They wouldn’t tell me anything if I did”.

“What about the children? What about the school?”

“They do have school in the shelter. I got a summons about the boy not going to his school.

“What will you do?”

“Don’t know. Maybe I will go to try to find her.”

My heart sank. His wife had talked a couple of summers ago about going on the road again. She didn’t like the settled life. She had spent time in hospital with depression and I think she associated living in a house with her stays in hospital. Life on the road would mean the children would never receive the education they need.

“Where will you go now?”

“Maybe I will try to go to Waterford”.

It is two weeks since I saw him. Sometimes I wonder what the future holds for him and for his wife and for his children.

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