Yesterday I took a trip down memory lane and Special Treatment came pouring out of my brain like chilled white wine on a summer day. There are several things I still feel like saying about my French Amy Winehouse Experience, so, here goes. I mentioned taking a night train to get there but I failed to mention how incredibly small a couchette really is. I had already been in them before, when I was younger and could still breath in the proximity of people I do not know but I had no recollection of how truly miniscule your allotted space really is. I took the top bunk, the ceiling was just a few inches above my head. For a few hours, my huge suitcase was on a bunk below me, until a fourth guy came in and took the place, throwing my belongings towards my head. I’ve heard that if you are concerned for your safety, you can ask to be in a same-sex couchette. I wouldn’t feel any safer with five other women in such a minimal space. As for any fantasizing about random sexual acts with fellow passengers, only Lilliputians could possibly fornicate in such cosy surroundings. (and not very well.)
At 5AM, I arrived in Toulouse where I waited two hours for my connecting train. There was an amazingly beautiful sunrise on all of the pink and red walls of the city yet I had this nightmarish feeling from lack of sleep and probably a strong desire to drink or bail. This drunken woman was yelling and drinking beer from a big beer can. She had a huge German Shepard and a backpack. She became more and more angry, yelling obscenities and eventually the cops came to shut her up. It was odd because I was on my way to treatment, I was in no place to judge her but I did judge her. It is not as if I had never been drunk in public myself, and I still am in that state quite often…the only difference would be that I am of an incredibly non-conflictual nature. Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than a scene. She was totally making a scene. She was hissing and spitting like a rabid dog and I wondered if I was in the middle of some kind of Divine Intervention. I may be wrong but I don’t think that I will become homeless or be a toothless street drunk. Being next to one does make you examine that possibility though. She probably never thought she would end up on my path either.
To be continued.