Saturday, March 21, 2009

The Train Debacle

In the summer of 2001 Tyler and I were in Europe with his parents when we had the idea to take an impromptu backpacking trip by ourselves. We decided that now since we had graduated from HS it was our God given right to see the world without supervision! So how this made it different from any other day of the last 4 years of our lives, I am not sure, but just go with it! From the moment we left Tyler’s parents we started to go crazy! Everybody we knew was in Europe at that very moment backpacking with a few of their friends and we were going to make it a point to track all of them down and see how crazy we could get things before the police showed up. London, Paris, Madrid, I barely remember anything from our first 2 weeks of travel because I was so very intoxicated and chemically enhanced that I am pretty sure my brain shut off for the majority of that adventure. 

However when we arrived in Lisbon I suddenly decided that I was sick of partying and I wanted to be an actual tourist for awhile! I had been to Portugal before because they have great surfable beaches! I mean I could spend my life driving down the coast finding all these crazy secluded spots with choice waves and perfect weather. Anyway I wanted to see the sites this time and Tyler wasn’t having it, so while he was having threesomes in our hotel room, I saw multi-colored palaces and the most awesome street performers. As we were heading onto our train to Barcelona, Tyler was beyond exhausted! Walking into the train was a pleasant surprise. We knew it was going to be a sleeper train but this was more like a hotel on wheels! We were even given keycards to get in and out of our room which of course had bunkbeds and its own sink, and a mirror (for a train this was royal treatment!).

Tyler passed out the second he got onto his bed and there I was full of energy BORED out of my mind! I decided to do some exploring on this crazy train and see what else it had to offer besides our kick ass room. I found a lounge area with big comfortable couches and great lighting for reading, a bar, and a restaurant! I decided to get something to eat and then maybe go back to my room and grab a book to read in the lounge. After my meal I pulled out my MD player and began walking back to my room. On my way there somebody had their door wide open and I just happened to look in right as she was pulling her MD player out of her backpack and I noticed it was the exact same one I was using! It stopped me dead in my tracks because I thought it was pretty cool that she had one too! So after a moment of debating whether I should say something, I decided that of course I had to go over and talk to her about it.

I stood in the doorway for 5 minutes before she invited me in. We spent the rest of the night talking about EVERYTHING! Her name was Stephanie and she has had a pretty interesting life so it was fun listening to her tell me about it. It was one of those strange moments in time where a stranger becomes your best friend, and you know that after the moment passes you are probably never going to see them again, and that’s probably 2/3 of what makes it so easy to share. That night I learned she was Japanese, born in Hong Kong, then sent to boarding school in America, and she spent most of her summers with her aunt and uncle in NYC (Which I would later realize explained her atrocious grasp on the metric system and her inability to drive on the other side of the road). And I told her all about me, which to me, really wasn’t as interesting of a story.

At some point we realized the sun was starting to come up and we decided to call it a night. Leaving her room I see a guy laying in the hallway with no shirt on. It took me a few seconds to register that it was Tyler, and as I walked towards him I was really confused to see him on the floor, but the more I thought about it the more I knew he was going to be EXTREMELY unhappy when he woke up. I couldn’t have been more right. The second he woke up he was yelling at me! It took me awhile to actually understand what happened, but it turns out that at some point during the night he’d gotten up to use the bathroom. He’d assumed that I was asleep above him and I would let him back in so he didn’t bother turning on the light to look for the room key. When he got back the room was locked and I was no where to be seen. He tried looking for an attendant but it was like 3am and he was S.O.L..

Looking back on this now we both laugh pretty hard about this. But at the time Tyler wanted to rip my throat out and I wasn’t about to apologize for something that I felt was complete and utter stupidity on his part! So we did what any pair of immature teenagers do, we got in a huge fight and decided split from each other. By the time I was finished packing my things I had already calmed down, but I wasn’t about to apologize because I NEVER SAY I’M SORRY! Especially when I didn’t do anything wrong! I told him I was going to take off to do my own thing for the next couple days but then I would meet him back at the hotel he was staying at and we could go from there. That’s when it hit him that he was being an asshole and he began to apologize and try to smooth things over, but I was already making all sorts of plans in my head and was actually looking forward to this time apart. So I gave him a hug and told him I’d see him in a couple of days.

I caught up with Stephanie as she was leaving the train and I asked her if she didn’t mind me tagging along with her for the next few days, she didn’t. We had an amazing time in Barcelona! We discovered that there’s an albino gorilla named Snowflake at the zoo, Gaudi architecture is kind of breath taking, and both of us would be attending NYC’s finest learning institutions that fall.

This whole scene played back in my head, as well as the 8 years of friendship that followed, when Stephanie asked me to be her “man of honor” at her wedding in June. My first thought after processing her request was, “That night on the train, I should have kept walking!”. Unfortunately I didn’t, and that night we became friends, and now I have to fucking hold her train as she walks down the isle or some shit! I mean seriously guys, I am not that kind of gay! But how in the hell could I say no!? This has been one of the most stressful weeks of my life. From what I hear, it’s only going to get worse.


Anonymous said...

What a serendipitous encounter! This girl prolly thought one day she'd be marrying you, but after you came out this was her next best option. Have fun with it, this is going to be a great experience for the both of you.

If I were Tyler I'd have been pissed with you too. I get how it's not your fault, but in a way you left him hanging. Its good you guys can laugh about it now.

Mike said...

"Man of Honor"? Is she a lesbian?

Is "Man of Honor" in lieu of "Maid of Honor" or in addition to?

Can you wear a more contemporary dress or do you have to wear one of those frilly traditional dresses?

Dude, if I were you, I'd try to get out of it.

Some of the best trains are in Africa - the old british kind - Narobi to Kenya and Capetown to Joburg - hint!

Jason said...

From what I know about Stephanie she works in the fashion industry. What the hell kind of input does she think you are going to be giving her that you could possibly help out with!? Alas, I think this is going to be a lot of fun to hear about in the coming months.

Anonymous said...

Blame the MD player! They were an evil anomaly in the evolution of electronics. Survival of the fittest, and MD's were never the fittest.

T said...

Yip, the Cape Town to Jo'burg trains are the best, especially the wine route ones! In the mean time good luck walking behind her, zooshing her dress and what not...

dan said...

hey I just noticed you turned on comments. of course you guys are awesome friends, you seem like the nicest guy prolly ANYONE on a train would want to keep up with. just DO THE WEDDING and SHUT UP! ha ha. j/k... hang in there pal.
btw LOVE the fight post.