No. 77 Ouzo Man

“Give it to me” I demanded, Ouzo man smiled and I danced around him, jumping up, trying to grab hold of Fraser’s ‘Her Majesty’s Prison’ blue envelope.  Ouzo man held it higher and higher out of my reach, our bodies touching as I leaned into his large frame. This tall, Irish and previously aloof man became my final Pelekas lover.
I named Ouzo man Ouzo man because of the obvious, there were many Pelekas men that could have been named Ouzo man but this Ouzo man was different, too cool to go naked on the beach. Marni stumbled into the tent on us unexpectedly one afternoon. She’d caught us getting on or off I can’t remember which, but she joined us and helped us finish off our litre bottle of ouzo.
“That’s why he gets all the Abba-type Swedish girls.” She said later that day when we were on our own, naked on the beach. “Was that a semi-lob on?”
I felt like I’d won Ouzo man, he was the highest of fun. We drank 24/7 and shagged everywhere apart from the graveyard. When we weren’t shagging we were talking and unlike most of the others, he didn’t display any signs of jealousy that I had a boyfriend back home in prison.
Fraser had been given a sentence of four years for attempted armed robbery. His two accomplices got only two years because they hadn’t jumped bail and had set Fraser up as the ring leader in his absence.
“Yer man’ll be out in two.” Ouzo man said as a parting reassurance. “My mate’s arriving tomorrow. You’ll have a laugh with him.” But Ouzo man wasn’t as easily irreplaceable, it wasn’t the same when he left, I missed him and the depression I’d experienced when breaking up with first love (Ray No. 24) came flooding back. If Marni hadn’t been there to entertain me with our Ken and Barbie dolls I may have felt suicidal again. I was losing my sense of purpose, missing my voluntary work at the Samaritans, where at least I felt of use to someone.  MS symptoms seemed to have disappeared, probably cause I’d been in the sun for weeks, I was no longer binging/purging and promiscuity was suddenly at bay – instead I was feeling shit and feeling shit was just another symptom I needed to get rid of, and quick. Out of the three, promiscuity was clearly the most fun way to act out whatever it was I needed to act out, I still didn’t know what I was doing but the shame I was beginning to feel made me start to wonder about stuff.
The summer was closing in and there were little or no new travellers arriving in Pelekas.
“Let’s go somewhere else,” Marni said “before the tumbleweed sets in.” So in a last attempt to find fresh blood, we packed up ours and the French Frisbee throwers (No.54) stuff and got a bus into Corfu town. Sharing a feta and spinach pasty bought with drachmas we’d found in a side pocket of Freddy’s tent, we stood by the side of a road with our thumbs out.

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