Homebound: The Final Journey of Two Very Tired Girls

You would think getting on a train and riding home would be easy.

It wasn’t.

We ended up sitting directly across from a pseudo-Christian woman, who apparently saw a conservatively dressed human being (aka me) as the perfect target. I say pseudo-Christian because while the views she expounded upon were once based in basic Catholicism, but she had since gone through and “discovered” how to correctly translate the Bible, and was working on that project (hint: she knows neither Greek nor Hebrew). The problem is this little factoid was not released until I had other things to clue me in that this woman would never shut up and there was no escape. If you’re wondering, it is a three hour train ride from Dublin to Cork.

In general, I’m quite open to discussing virtually anything if a random person asks me about it and treats me as a real person they are having a discussion with and not as an enemy to be verbally trampled. This apparently is weird, since I pretty much never initiate interactions with people. I argue that this is because I would rather have a discussion where everyone is open minded and really wants to discuss things rather than talking with a bunch of people who just want to convert you to their point of view. I have been told that the former is a more European way of talking and the latter is more American. So far, I’m finding the Europeans as mule headed as the Americans (did I write about my conversation/argument with someone over gun rights? I don’t think I did. It was almost as bad as this one, except I had an escape route open to me).

The worst of it was, apparently MK was bored out of her mind, but wasn’t picking up that I, too, wished to melt into the furniture to disappear, so she decided to be a good friend (she’s an amazing friend) and stuck it out anyway. The woman finally got off the train about three stops before ours (so about 45 minutes before we would get off) and seemed sorrowful to go. I breathed a sigh of relief and confided in MK how scared I was that she was going to go all the way to Cork with us, and we had a good laugh over the fact that neither of us were picking up on the other’s need to escape. But really, the more I think about it, the more I feel bad for the woman. She doesn’t have a family, and if she’s that intense around everyone, I would understand the neighbors trying to avoid her. Who are her friends? If she had more people to hang out with, would she be less intense? Am I going to end up being that weirdly intense stranger on the train when I’m her age?

These questions are, of course, all purely academic, because there is no way to tell, and there is little I can do about it, besides hope she finds a friend. At the same time, if I’m honest, I’m very glad that friend isn’t me–but perhaps the reason she latches on so strongly to someone who seems friendly is because everyone has thought the exact same thing, and no one has stepped forward to be her friend.

All of this makes my head hurt. I have a jar of nutella, I’m behind on Bones, and I am tired, so me and the nutella are going to enjoy an episode and then I am going to sleep, and it will all be better tomorrow.

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