by Russ

‘Why is Tarzan’s monkey named after a cat?’

This was going to be a long four hours.

‘Good actor though, eh?’

‘I think it was a c…’ I stopped myself and took a sip of coffee instead, it burned. That’s what you get for buying train coffee, I suppose.

‘So, where is it we stop first, Paree did you say?’

‘Paris. It’s Paris. The capital of France.’

‘Nah, that’s…’

Don’t say it.


He said it.

‘F! Get it?’

I got it.

‘So what’s the plan then, in the city of lurrrrve?!’

He actually winked.

‘Well, it looks like it’s going to be a bit of a wet weekend…’

‘Oi oi!’

Oi oi? He was from Bolton. Under the table, I instinctively pulled my legs together.

‘So it’s shenanigans in le chateau is it, babe?’

I’m not sure what he was doing with his tongue, possibly practising his Cheetah impression. I tried to retrace how this had happened. This was my interrailing summer, I’d planned it for months, years really. I’d planned to go with Jenny. Two of us together, discovering our way around Europe. Culture, coffee, wine, cigarettes… men, maybe. Then she got together with Josh and decided she’d rather spend the entire time watching him play Xbox, and that was fine. Just fine. I’d go on my own and I’d have to spend far less time worrying about her Instagram, and it would be fine.

Except I got nervous, didn’t I? So when I catastrophically failed to eject this boiled ham of a boredom fuck after the first night, and he asked me what the map on my wall was for, I somehow let an invitation fall from my idiot mouth, and that was that. Not only had I not mustered the impetus to kick him out of bed before he fell limp, I’d then spent a month bottling the deinvitation. Now I have to deal with this shit for six whole weeks.

‘Is Hamsterdam where hamsters come from?’

‘It’s Amsterdam.’

‘Orwight! Is ‘Amsterdam where ‘amsters come from?’

‘Are you sure you want to do this? I know you’re missing…’

‘Babe! We’re on the train. I’m doing this! I’m well excited about Chomping down the Eleesees, and crossing the Sad Bridge…’

‘The sad bridge?’

‘The one that sighs.’

Oh, God.

‘Besides, when else am I gonna get the chance to bosh you in all the different countries, eh?’


He made a circle with the thumb and forefinger of one hand and moved the index finger of his other in and out of it while, I believe, his eyebrows were having a fit.

He could fuck right off.

‘Tunnel time!’

The carriage went dark.

‘Echo! Echo!’

‘We’re still inside…’ Never mind.

I thought about murder.

‘How many pizzas do you think they needed to make that tower?’

I needed a distraction.

‘Do you have that Travel Monopoly in your bag?’


‘Please, get it out…’

‘That’s what she said!’

I thought about suicide.

I thought about wine.

‘Do you want anything from the buffet car?’