Back about eleven years ago, my husband and I took a trip to Spain. On our last day we took the overnight train from Granada to Madrid, where we were catching our flight home the following morning.
My husband and I were in our mid-twenties back then, just a couple of years out of grad school, so we were pretty much still in the “poor college student” mode when we took this trip, which meant that we booked ourselves into what I’m pretty sure was the eighty-seventh class compartment, which meant that we each had a bunk in a room that slept six people-and we were in the middle two bunks-which meant that we spent those eight hours in a space not unlike those prison cells they build where you can neither sit, stand, nor lie down.
But, I digress.
The two travellers sleeping above us were a guy and a girl from Ireland, and the two below us were from Columbia, and after I was able to calm down a little bit, because, OMG, CLAUSTROPHOBIA! AND STRANGERS! SLEEPING WITH ME! IN PRISON!, we all had a good time getting to know each other.
At what was apparently our officially designated bedtime, a railroad employee came by to turn out the lights in our cell compartment. And then, in one of those totally spontaneous, yet perfectly scripted moments, from the Europeans above us, and the Latin Americans below us came a chorus of, “Goodnight, John Boy.”
I bring this episode up now because I was reminded of it the other day by a conversation I overheard my husband having.
His cell phone rang, and when he answered it I heard a woman’s voice respond to his, “Hello?”
“Oh, hey,” he said, in the relaxed tone of someone speaking with a friend or a family member. “How are you doing?”
There was silence as he listened for a moment, and then I heard him retort, “Well, f*%# you!”
“Oh,” I said, as the light of realization dawned upon me. “It must be your sister.”
And it was. Just like it was up on Walton’s Mountain.