Almost two hours to go. Still. I’m tired of sitting down and the fluorescent lights and green pleated curtains are making me feel uncomfortable.
This train arrives in Porto around 1 am. Last time I took it someone got electrocuted while climbing on a stationed cargo wagon at the station 20 minutes away from Porto and we ended up arriving at 3. It was a Friday and we all thought someone had just had enough and decided to put an end to whatever was troubling them. No. It was a joke, just for laughs. Saturday afternoon I was told it was the son of a friend. He didn’t die. He must have killed something inside himself.
Since my writing is not making much sense, I have tried to sleep. It didn’t work. I wonder who chooses colour schemes in public transportation. They’re hideous.
The gentleman sitting across from me is very slim and very tall. He looks bored but not uncomfortable. He has a perfect Greek sculpture nose and thin long fingers. The lady behind him is sleeping. She is wearing a yellow button down shirt, black jeans, brown suede booties and gold lurex socks. That’s where the fantasy is.
There are more people trying to kill time with Samsung smartphones than iPhones. There are more people wearing Nike than Adidas sneakers. The gentleman with the perfect nose is calling someone named Ana. She looks beautiful on the retina display. Photos always seem to look better on Samsung phones. Maybe I should trade mine for one of those.
There’s a baby dressed like a bunny. His dad is wearing a Hawaiian print t-shirt. His Nikes match the curtains.
Please mind the gap between the doors and the platform when alighting the train.
There’s a young man reading a book. Roberto Calasso’s “The forty-nine steps”. He got bored and put it down. The blonde girl next to me is sleeping using her oriental print satin bomber jacket as a blanket. She must have had a busy summer; both her wrists are covered with music festivals ticket bracelets. There’s a bleached blonde girl looking like an “it girl” and carrying a fake Vuitton Neverfull MM.
The train stopped. At the end of the car, framed by orange doors, there’s a guy with big white headphones and another bleached blonde girl with very long hair. There’s an older gentleman walking back to his seat. Red polo shirt, khaki shorts and sandals. It rained today.
The perfect nose gentleman is leaving. The three people standing to leave the train at this station are all wearing plaid. Green and white, black and white, red and blue. The guy reading Calasso is now reading Patrick Modiano’s La place de l’étoile.
The girl with the long bleached hair is very beautiful. She looks like a walking mermaid with a tiny nose stud. A lady wearing a pink leather jacket and matching pink studded stilettos walked past.
I fell asleep. The train has finally arrived in Porto. People going to Braga run to platform 1 to make sure they don’t miss the last train home. My black vintage chiffon dress is all crumpled. I feel as dishevelled as Blanche DuBois. Now I know why I bought it.
2 thoughts on “Night train from Lisbon”
Really enjoyed this piece, I felt like I was on the train with you. What makes it so effective is that we can all recognise ourselves and people we know or have seen in those you describe. Genius!
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Thank you Regina! I’m happy you thought so and that you took the time to stop by and comment 🙂 Thanks
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