Our train whines its tracks downwards, and our faces are near-blinded by a glorious, soon to be blood-orange, sun setting into the Mediterranean Sea, just west of the island those Greeks referred to as the île de beauté (in ancient Greek, of course). And just like that, I am struck by my own, insistent commenting of seemingly inspiring things and places passing us by: ‘Look at that village!’. ‘An old station’. ‘Wow. A tunnel’. ’Is this the fifth tunnel? ‘Cute Cow’. ‘Look. Valley’. ‘Oh! Another Cow!’.
This commenting reminds me of something. Or somebody. Somebody I just met. Or does it?
Then I realize. My spoken-observations are clearly echoing those of a certain Mister Thornberry who, some thirty years ago (or more) ‘spoke what he saw’, according to the world-traveler Mister Theroux. They met on a train in Costa Rica. At one point, Theroux wanted to push Thornberry off the train they both were on. Why? Well. When Thornberry saw a motorbike, ‘Motorbike’, he said. When Thornberry saw a hut, ‘Hut’, he said. When Thornberry saw a pig, ‘Pig’, he said. And so on.
Thornberry saw a cow, ‘Cow’, he said.
She saw a cow, ‘Cow’, I said.
While this one Thornberry became Theroux’s rescuer, more than once, he is initially portrayed as slightly annoying – to say the least – equally annoying as I certainly am to my loved one, sitting next to me, trying to be in the moment, trying to enjoy the moment, trying to take in all the beauty passing us by, while simultaneously, trying very hard to ignore the persistent flow of my spoken-observations; this, my non-stop talk (noise), is more than likely driving him mad. As are my not-so-near-manic attempts to capture the rolling-landscape-in-magic-sunset-scenes, with my shaking camera, pressed against the dust-dirty window of the train rolling down and round those island-hills heading towards the red Island, our final destination.
The train is air-conditioned. This is one of the factors that saves me from being pushed off the train at the next stop, either by my darling one, or some other passenger, especially the one sitting on the seat just behind me. That, and the fact that I sometimes actually learn something from the reading I do. And Theroux’s The Old Patagonian Express taught me a valuable lesson: Sometimes you just got to SHUT THE FUCK UP. So I do.
And when I see another cow, nada, I say.
Anita B Krišto© 2017