"I want you to behave." She said something back to him that I could not understand, he stopped her and his voice was more firm. "Be-have!"
She got in the car bouncing like a little girl with her red hair flailing. He handed me money and I asked if he wanted me to give her the change. He told me that the rest was my tip and I will have earned it. "Just be patient, man," he told me. "It's not her fault."
I rolled up the window and backed out of the long gravel driveway. In a perfect british accent (west end) she told me she was really tired of that grump and just wanted to have fun. I asked her where she was from. She rambled something so very fast that I could not understand it, but midstream in the rant the accent changed to a Brooklyn accent and within two minutes she was a southern belle.
During the course of the long drive she would be Irish, Australian, German, French, Valley Girl, Texan and some accents I could not quite place. With each shift there would be a shift in body language, attitude and so forth.
At some point in the disjoined conversation she asked me my name. I told her. She insisted I was the bass player of her favorite local band because his name was Patrick too. I kept my patience and entertained the conversation. To be honest, I did not have to do much, I was essentially a prop for her ramblings.
Along the way we were driving in farmland and Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" was playing on the radio. She insisted that I roll down the windows and blast the radio so she could sing to the crops. She said they were soothed by her voice. I turned up the radio and rolled down the window and she did, in fact, lean out the window and sing along with the radio to the crops. She had a good voice.
Not too long after that I took a turn as instructed by my GPS. This was not an area we get a lot of calls to. As I took the turn she asked what I was doing. I told her I was going to her destination.
"Why the hell didn't you take the shortcut?" she demanded/screamed.
"If you were the REAL Patrick you would have known the shortcut! You, sir, are an impostor and I've a good mind to call the police."
"I wish you wouldn't do that. We only have three miles to go and I am very sorry that I am not the man you think I am."
"Who do you think you are, not the real Patrick?"
"Sometimes I'm not sure."
"I know the feeling, love."
"So, may I ask you a question?"
"Sure my love" she said with a whimsical grin.
"Is this an act or is this really you?"
There was a pause. "Sometimes I'm not sure, my pet."
For the first time in our drive there was silence. I heard soft and quiet sobs in the back. I reached into my bag and handed her a napkin. She gingerly grabbed it. The bar had a drop off section in an alley. We pulled up and there was enough money given to me for the ride and a nice tip.
"Patrick, thank you for putting up with me. You're a gem."
"Are you gay?"
If I had said yes, I wonder to this day if she would have not kissed me so damn hard I thought a tooth chipped before she skipped into the bar like a small child at recess.