white leather on the comboio longo

So excited I was to take the comboio longo down to the south from Lisbon. Beautiful memories of white leather booths in the buffet car, a waiter with a white waistcoat serving what felt like the best bifanas on earth, after long Lisbon days and nights, returning to our parents' in the bumblefuck burbs that I came to love. When I boarded the train today, excited to place myself in the so called white leather booth, I was dismayed to find that there was nothing whatsoever remaining of the scene I had built so clearly in my mind. But why should there be? I realised it had been almost 20 years since we were taking the train back to the South after little or no sleep in Lisbon, never having enough escudos to pay for a place for the night, nor did it ever even enter our minds to not stay out the whole time. And the boys! I'm well aware that I sound like my dad in saying this, but everyone on this train seems to be wearing some form of grey or beige. What happened to the exuberance?! No one smoking fags out the window as the train trundles south. Those really were the days but we knew they were when they were happening and I know them almost instantly when they come to me now. These moments are fleeting and we must grab them and savour them for everything they are worth.

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