I didn’t get that shower after all. Sometime after 10:00 p.m. last night, I heard a key in the main
door, followed by the rustle of feet. Since the owner required us to remove our shoes, my new
roomies saw that someone was already in one of the rooms. When they also saw their room
had been slept in and not cleaned, it didn’t matter whether it had been Goldilocks or not. They
knocked politely on my door, and inquired whether I had the right room. I told them I had no
idea, but that it seemed to be first come, first served. A quiet ensued, and I decided it would be the friendly, youth hostel thing to do to go out and introduce myself to my bunkmates.
Beginning back at home, this trip unfolded more or less methodically and according to plan and expectations. Claude was packed and ready to go the night before. I even thought I’d noticed a yawn and a languorous stretch from him on the couch, surprised perhaps I was zipping him up with room to spare in his confines, as if he had not overeaten his dinner and there remained appetite for dessert. I figure I can stretch it maybe to ten days at best before I’ll either have to do a laundry or face potential recriminations from my fellow train passengers like, “since when are Gypsies riding in first class?”