The following takes place between 11pm and 12am, ish. Events in occur in real-time, roughly. The subsequent declaration is formulated of accentuated extracts from one of the most awkward journeys of my life. Featuring a jaded, beige jacket wearing female, a perturbed male that simply would not relinquish his beanie hat and the star of this exposition, a drunk Glaswegian transient (I know, for a second there I thought I had put “transvestite” too!). It’s also worth noting the farcical retention of alcohol consumed by this one insatiable individual who appeared to have pillaged a small vineyard worth of stock. I can not stress enough that this is by no means a reflection on the Scottish populace, just one exemplary inhabitant. Names have been altered to protect the stupid.
“There are two seats back here” an unknown voice bellowed. I soon realised why! Receded behind layers of shifting passengers jostling for positions on the coach, with the indifferent luminous lights casting sporadic glimpses at our travel companion whose features were difficult to distinguish from afar. It wasn’t until we reached the rear of the carriage that I understood the reason for his isolated desertion at the hind of the coach. His hair was broad, greasy and styled straight up, but the spiralled positioning was a clear indication that he had adjusted it recently rather than wash it, which left his lubricious follicles almost conical, like an ice cream. The stench of alcohol was immediate, stinging my nostrils as I leveraged my modest backpack into the over head compartment above. He greeted me and my girlfriend curtly, courteously offering the window seat to my other half to which I promptly offered my hand as a gesture of good will. “I’m Reed” he said, shaking my hand as he accosted. “Karl” I replied before taking the seat next to him. “Nice to meet you” he retorted. “Don’t worry mate, I’m not that drunk” he slurred, trying to zip up his bag that was already sealed. His reputed sobriety was rescinded amidst his shaking hand, his slumped demeanor and sloping posture as he battled to retain his beer against the motility of the coach. Saliva began secreting from his open mouth, glinting luminous down his chin like some feral rodent. His attempt at stifling a cough caused his breathing to become erratically irritated, before succumbing to its encroaching whim. His breathing sounded gnarled, encumbered by the coughing fit he sustained before once again regulating his breathing (please don’t puke).
Gathering his wits, or what was left of them, he began engaging me in conversation. “Where are you going?” he enquired, offering what was left of his palliative concoction that almost rattled at the bottom of his Pepsi bottle (other carbonated beverages are available), with fumes that could possibly be revealed as nail polish remover–though that assumption is unsubstantiated–with limited ventilation only strengthening its aromatic potency. After gesturing content solidarity to his donation, I replied that I was heading for Stoke. Nonsensical gibberish and derivative remark was his response, I think? He began looking at me expectantly, as though his sluggish speech impediment required some form of retort. His black expressionless eyes were like that of a shark, with his glacial stare piercing into me like predator analysing a wounded prey. I meekly respond with an impartial, though adequately affable laugh, with a hint of desperation that he’s either too drunk or indifferent to detect. This was apparently the applicable response as he instigated a fist pump, one he made a concerted effort to make sure I complied. By this stage however my presence appeared to be tenuous to him, as he had decided to utilise his misguided charms of misogyny and omitted sanitation to attract the attention of a less than reciprocal lady in front of us, before diverting his attention to the vacant toilet. After attempting, and ultimately failing to pry open the door to the facilities–seemingly averse to the latch that prevents access to the compartment he began verbally prodding the “courted” female who appeared benign to his increased fixation, by further enquiring into the accessibility of the facility. Though admittedly his persistent inquisition was uncomfortable to watch and it was rather un-chivalrous of me not to intervene, I was glad of the reprieved deviation.
My serene sabbatical was seldom however as his restricted urination (or regurgitation) appeared to pacify any (very!) subverted human decency, as he began presiding over the coach with encroaching reverence, encouraged by his alcoholic beverage, yammering assent with a deluded sense of clarity and loose association with the concept of walking. His persistent duress of my vulnerable disposition continued, seemingly provoked by my perpetual ignorance of his influence and suitably aggrieved by the coaches silent response to his verbal distinctions. “Where are you going?” he asked me inquisitively, again. “Stoke” I responded, again. “Where am I going” he muttered, confused by the convening endemic that ensnared him. After more guttural spluttering he began objectifying the lady in front before snarling racially motivated japes directed at the driver as well as mocking his glandular obesity, despite being a similarly slender Caucasian, before once again becoming stifled by his own inebriated cough. “Dya wont sndwch my ma made?” he enquired, with vowels clearly not a part of his truly expansive vocabulary. I declined his generous offer for fear of contracting more germs from his provision than licking my own belly button (which is notoriously parasitic). His response, muffled by his incursion into his securely fastened sandwiches (that his mother made remember) was an advisory warning. “I thinck im gonna be sic!” (spell check is relishing these grammatical discrepancies). Luckily he didn’t much to my relief, so to avoid any further contact with my captor I began to feign unconsciousness, simply to deter further administrated curiosity into me (and where I was going), hoping that my unresponsive disposition wouldn’t provoke hostility.
Thankfully discouraged by my latent reciprocation to his slurring, nonsensical rebukes he began pestering the guy in front of us. Though the beanie wearing passenger attempted to duplicate similar dormancy, he unfortunately suffered mixed results. Though no longer vocally molested by the aggressor, his molestation became more physically intimate–as he actually did fall asleep–but his inactivity produced abusive flailing of his extremities. 20 joyous minutes of serenity ensued as the heavily sedated creature with cephalopod limbs doubled over in narcotic stupor mumbling an acquittal of his mothers sandwich making skills while resting his limp head on the shoulder of his new captive. I became cautious of every sound though, with even the tiniest vibration causing reverberating decibel’s throughout the coach, with discarded crisp packets rippling with such intense cacophony that I feared he would rouse again at any juncture to ask me “where I’m going!” As the coach reached our desired destination, my girlfriend and I grabbed our belongings, disembarked, watched dutifully as the vehicular equivalent of hell mobilised into the distance, before we exchanged fraught glances and promised to never speak of this incident again…….Oh wait? Forget what I just said.
What has been your worst travel experience? I apologise for the lack of gaming banter this week, but I promise that I’ll get back to it. Cheers.