The next day, I woke up before The Student and Pascale, and was thus treated to one of those incredibly awkward times in life that either drive one to reflect upon their own life, or hate others.
You probably know the horror that arrives when you wake up before anyone else in someone else's house. You’re sitting there on the couch, staring up at the ceiling, wondering why you woke up at six in the morning, since you’ve never done that before, and there’s no reason on God’s green Earth that you should be doing that now. You're wondering when your hosts are going to wake up, and wondering if their floor is one of those that’s overly sensitive and will creak at a decibel level equal to that of a Mastodon concert. To make matters worse: you really, really have to piss and you didn’t think to ask where the bathroom was the night before—because you were drinking with your hosts and didn’t want to break the seal or seem like a weirdo.
This was all my fault. I claimed the bunk and it was far from silent. Every time I turned, it would creak and squeak. Getting down sounded like a symphony of car wrecks, which would surely wake up The Student, who was snoring like a chainsaw down on the floor, if not Pascale, who was also snoring away on her mattress. And so, I lay there, looking at the ceiling, concentrating on dry, dry deserts and not roaring rivers when, suddenly, The Student bolted upright with a cry of “Fuck no!” bolted out of his sleeping bag, and ran out the door, down the hall to the toilet, and proceeded to make his own cacaphonous symphony of puking.
Pascale groaned and so did I. I didn’t want to spend my time pissing in someone’s puke. There’s something fundamentally dirty about that, something that seems like it deserves a section in Leviticus. “Thou shalt not relieve thineself in someone’s vomit.”
After a while, when everyone had cleaned themselves up and was properly caffeinated, Pascale broke the news that we’d be going to Calais with someone named Andy.
I’d apparently met the guy the night before, but hadn’t remembered. I shrugged and said, “Whatever.” The Student, however, was pretty excited. Andy was one of the people he’d known from a couple of years ago, and got along with pretty well—I don’t think he’d gotten on anyone’s bad side except for a German guy who had engaged in some alpha struggle with The Student. He was vague about the details, which told me that there was a girl involved.
At any rate, I was up for it, since I needed a break from wandering around Lille and stumbling across cathedrals and horse butcheries.
So we waited around for Andy and his friend for an hour, and when they arrived, there was much rejoicing. Any was a tall guy with dark skin, curly hair, and--not to seem, ah, well, like myself--a Heeb nose. His friend was taller, but otherwise looked pretty similar, except he was wearing a hat. The rejoicing was followed by discussion about what, exactly, to bring on our excursion. Eventually, it was decided that, fuck it, we’d get coffee and food there. So we piled into Andy’s car, drove, and, several minutes later on the highway, hit traffic and sat idling for a couple of hours until driving off into a series of other roads leading to Calais.