Vignette #3

The curtain rises on a young man, Jamie, sitting alone, reading on a train platform that is desolate except for the one Spanish paramilitary patrolling. 

Paramilitary: Aienaoatuchnnctiaonvnoerw anoeivn aoienvea? (Pointing at Jamie’s backpack. Writer’s note: the unintelligible scribbling in this line is poking fun at the unintelligible, ancient Basque language.)

Jamie: What? (Sliding the backpack towards the paramilitary)

Paramilitary: Can I see your bag?

Jamie: Yes. Of course.

Paramilitary: Where are you going? (Rooting through the backpack)

Jamie: To Hendaia, to buy a train ticket to France. And then I’ll come back here. And leave tomorrow to France.

Paramilitary: How long have you been here?

Jamie: Three days.

(Jamie becomes increasingly concerned that he might ask for his passport, which he does not have.)

Paramilitary: How long in Spain? Where have you been?

Jamie: One or two weeks. I went to Barcelona, Valencia. I went to visit a friend in Madrid and then here.

(Jamie is at the peak of nervousness at this point, heart racing, terrified he might have to bribe the gruff Paramilitary)

Paramilitary: Ah. Lots of fun. Are you alone? (At this point the Paramiltary’s tone shifts to friendly)

Jamie: Yes.

Paramilitary: Do you LIKE traveling alone? (With a bewildered tone, appearing flabbergasted at the notion of traveling alone)

Jamie: It’s alright.

Paramilitary: Do you like Spain?

Jamie: Yes. It’s beautiful.

Paramilitary: I think so too. Have a nice trip.

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