Friday, May 15, 2009

The Worst 84 hours

10AM - The scratch I felt in my throat yesterday was not, as I'd hoped, the after-effects of too much celebratory vodka and lack of water, I am sick. Not terrible, but my throat is sore.

1PM - I'm at the station waiting for the train. Maybe a little tired, but hopeful that 3 days of forced resting will cure my illness. The idea of it getting worse is unpleasant. At least I now know a Russian-speaking American in Moscow- assuming I survive that long.

1.28PM - I board the train and get to my kupe. I'm dumbfounded by what I see. It had somehow never occurred to me that babies could be on the train. There are 2 in the 6x6 kupe I will live in for 84 hours. It is a twisted joke.

9PM - Baby 2, the 3 year old, decides to welcome me the first night by screaming for hours on end. I am angry at first, but then feel pity as I realize the baby must have some sort of parasite that is painfully eating it alive. There is no other explanation for this amount of screaming. I was precious hours of mp3 player life trying to pretend the baby below my bunk is not dying.

7AM- Babies wake earlier, so do I. The Asian man who was across from me is gone. I assume he couldn't take the babies any longer and just jumped train during the night. I think it might be a wise move. Also, baby 2 has survived the night and appears healthy. I hate her.

11AM - I feel worse. The throat is in pain.

3PM - The damned keyboard toy plays the most annoying song ever for the 15th of 2345 time I will be on the train. I have begun to fantasize about killing the babies. Like, in vivid detail.

4PM - I'm trying to imagine what would happen if I punched the 1-something year old as hard as I could in the stomach. Would this kill it? I mean bodies are resilient. I want to know.

7PM - I eat some of my ramen noodles. To do so I sit downstairs next to the hell-spawns. They're mothers' are nice enough, but there's almost no room to sit at the table since the whole kupe is strewn w/ crap for babies.


10AM - I drift in and out of sleep. The illness makes me more tired, but the babies- either screaming or playing with loud toys counteract this. Also, the bunk is not comfortable. A little too short. A little too hard. Since I pretty much stay in my bunk 24 hours a day, it's getting very old.

2PM - My throat is feeling much better. My left eye, however, has been watering more than normal.

4PM - My eye looks like hell. I don't think it's just lack of good sleep. It's puffy and blood shot. Tears well up continuously. I'm a bit concerned about this.

6PM - I've been keeping my eye shut. This leads to tears entering my sinuses and leaking out my nose. It's irritating and I'm dripping lots of fluid.

9PM - I'm feeling bad enough and worried enough that my eye, which seems to be worsening, is going to be a real problem that I don't really care about the two babies.


6AM - I wake up and cannot open my eyes. I pry open my right eye and go to the bathroom mirror. There is crap lining my eyelids and sealing my left eye shut. It looks like snot. It's gross. I wash it off using tea at the suggestion of one of the mothers.

8AM - My eye is feeling somewhat better. I'm optimistic. My nose is running more now, which I hope is a sign that my body's clearing some crap out. My nose is raw from wiping leaked tears with coarse toilet paper.

1PM - I blow my nose and everything explodes. Something in my sinus gives way and I'm spurting blood from my bunk. I shove toilet paper in my nose and head to the bathroom. The mothers seem concerned.

2PM - One mother has given me cotton balls and the blood has finlly stopped. I still have too much snot and breathing requires the delicate balance of blowing enough snot out of the way without reactivating the blood flow.

5PM - I'm now envisioning torturing the babies. The earlier vision of giving them plastic bags to put over their heads no longer satisfies me. They need to feel pain. I would like to justify each of their cries with pain. It seems like a good sign for my health, that baby-hatred has re-entered my mind.

7PM - I stagger into the restaurant car, looking like hell and starving. I've even very little the past few days. They have a menu. I can't read it. It doesn't matter, they don't have anything I point at on it. I hate Russian restaurant service. I look up in my dictionary 'anything'. I get some soup.

9PM - I use the last of my mp3 player battery trying to drown out the last baby fit. I think I will get a vasectomy.


3AM - The mothers are up and packing. I'm wary that it's a trick. Perhaps my illness killed me and I'm in hell.

4.18AM - We arrive at the Moscow station. I don't know where I am, I don't care- it's the best place I've ever been. Walking off the train is a wonderful sensation. I'm still sickish, but not bad. My eye is feeling/looking better, my throat's good, I'm just snotty. I can handle this. I hate babies.


  1. You needed to say Я хочу перейти to someone in charge on the train! I'm glad you refrained from murdering small children - I had a fear of you being thrown in a Russian jail.
    No vasectomy - I want something besides granddogs some day!

  2. Kudos to myself for never letting you babysit Brendon :) So glad you survived