The Drunk Train

Amtrak_Cascades_BellinghamDrunk people can be hilarious sometimes. Not alcoholics. They’re just sad. But you know the type of people I’m talking about, the ones who hardly ever drink, but after a long week at work they want to relax on a Friday night with friends, probably in a bar, a club or a restaurant, with a few beers or a nice bottle of wine. Then as the night goes on you notice they’re a little more talkative than normal. So it begins.

Now, drunk folks will talk your ear off if you even look like you’re remotely interested in what they have to say (i.e. if you’re awake at all). You know. You’ve probably been “that guy” every once in a while. Probably in college. And you always just nod your head and wonder what it would be like to know what they were talking about. That’s because drunk people usually skip around in narratives, totally forgetting their main points and circling around to things they’ve already said.

Oh, and they’re not in a bar, or in a club, or at a restaurant this Friday night. They’re on the drunk train. With you. Good luck.

You’re not drunk, though. Maybe it would be easier if you were, but you’re the designated driver so you have to be good tonight. Your bottle of water is incongruous with the atmosphere of everyone else carrying half empty bottles and staggering around the train car. It looks like someone is stuck between cars, actually, and he’s shouting for help. You ignore him, hoping he’ll find his way to safety before your ear drums explode.

And the laughter! If you think drunk people are hilarious, how funny do you think other drunk people think they are? They laugh at their own jokes, even before they’re finished making them, and even when they’re not funny. Then they laugh at each other’s jokes, and at each other in general. Because in their heads everything is chuckle worthy. They stumble past your seat declaring their sobriety for all to hear. While slurring.

Then one stops and plops into the seat across from you. You’ve never seen this girl before in your life, but she moves like she could be graceful if she weren’t three sheets to the wind. And she’s funny, this lithe girl in a short dress who swears she never does anything like this… while she’s doing something exactly like this. She tells us her life story, and we are a captive audience, but she tells it in a disjointed way, like drunk people do. But I can see where she would be very professional if that’s how we had met.

But we met on the drunk train, the Friday night hangout spot for those who don’t normally get drunk but who want an excuse to do so at the end of the week. And she wanted to dance, but I didn’t bring dancing shoes. Then she staggered back the way she had come, just another passenger on the drunk train. But not quite as funny anymore.



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