Don’t Pick Me Up – Eurostar Eavesdropping

Riding the Eurostar through the Chunnel from Paris to London I mused on how technologies continue opening our private lives to the general public.

After thwarting the Gare du Nord pickpockets, we waited in the Duty-Free lobby for our train.  Sipping my latte, I people watched and noticed a young woman.  Her platinum Annie Lenox (who sang at the Queen’s Jubilee Party) haircut and high-heeled boots with 4-inch metal spikes caught my attention.  As she sashayed through the lobby, Mojo looked up from his Ipad.

“The walk of shame,” he grinned, referring to people/women caught in the morning wearing their party clothes from the night before.

Of course – on the train she ended up sitting in the seat in front of Mojo and across the aisle from me.  Mojo again mouthed “walk of shame” as the smell of alcohol wafted in our direction.  I giggled remembering my own days of wine and song.

Fumbling through her enormous handbag that carried everything a girl needed for a quick trip to Paris, she pulled out her mobile.

“Hello Brian.  I just wanted you to know that I am on the train from Paris and will arrive at 10:30.”

“You lost your debit card?…You don’t know where?….So you cannot pick me up.  I don’t need you to pick me up….You don’t have to be sorry…….Brian, I just wanted to tell you, it’s over.  I am tired of it all…..No, don’t pick me up from the station.  I was out last night and I am tired.  I am just going to go home to sleep…..Of course, you go and pick up your card.  I can get home by myself.  It doesn’t matter.  I am done with it all. You and the drama.  I am done.  That’s it…..No, don’t pick me up from the station.  Go get your card.  I am tired, all I want to do is sleep.  I will talk to you after I have slept… I just wanted to tell you I am going to be in London at 10:30.  But don’t pick me up.  I will go home and sleep.  Okay good-bye and don’t pick me up.”

She fumbled through her bag and the phone rang again.

It was Brian.

“Yes?…I don’t want to talk to you until I have slept. …. I called to tell you I am arriving at 10:30.  I don’t need you to pick me up….. Look I am shattered.  And I am sick to death of you and your issues.  I cannot take it anymore.  I am done. That’s it.  Finished……I don’t need this in my life.  You go and get your card.  I am arriving at 10:30 then I will go home and sleep….I don’t want you anymore.  It’s over.  I am finished….I understand.  Go get your card but I am done.  Don’t pick me up.  I need to sleep.  Okay good-bye.”

Ring, ring.

“Hello?  Hi darling… I am great.  How are you?….. I am on the train coming in from Paris.  I went for a quick visit….No, without Brian.  It was great…I will be in London at 10:30.  Sorry, I am exhausted after last night and I need to sleep when I get in.  But I can meet you around 5:30…..Yes, I just need a little nap and I will be fine…. Okay see you at tea.  Bye-bye.”

She turned her phone to silent but felt it vibrating and swiped her finger across the face.

“I wasn’t ignoring you.  I was talking with someone else.”


“I cannot talk to you now.  I am not interested in your drama.  I’m done.  Finished.  I DO NOT CARE.…..Go get your card.  I can get home by myself….I will arrive in London at 10:30…. No – don’t pick me up.  Good-bye.”

Emotionally and physically exhausted, she slipped her phone into her bag.  Lulled by the train, she snored within seconds.  She woke up in time to powder her nose and to check to see if Brian had called before the train pulled in at 10:30.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Debbie Al Asfoor
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 12:54:21

    An enjoyable read!


  2. LmbK
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 14:17:35



  3. aprilmccaffrey
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 15:32:28

    next conversation with girlfriend…”can you believe Brian didn’t even pick me up from the station??”


  4. Beej
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 15:35:27

    The dramatic disclaiming another’s drama. How funny! And “begging to be picked up at 10:30” by denying it. I experienced a similar phone call in Detroit once, when a woman was “reshaping” someone with her words. I had to get up and walk out of listening distance. I do not like sharing others’ phone calls, especially ugly ones.


    • Eva the Dragon
      Jul 01, 2012 @ 07:10:25

      And those words reshape the people around. It is not a private conversation but a dramatic monologue for the public.


  5. Sarah
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 17:53:20

    This is why Amtrak has “quiet cars.” (Also found them in Denmark.)


    • Eva the Dragon
      Jul 01, 2012 @ 07:12:12

      I was in tourist/voyeur mode absorbing what was going on around me. If we did not have some “adventures” while on vacation, I would have nothing to write about.


  6. Winfred Peppinck
    Jun 28, 2012 @ 20:43:59

    Come on Eva – how could you NOT have followed her to see how it ended, if Brian had a brain, or simply couldn’t refrain and just had to see her again.


    • Eva the Dragon
      Jul 01, 2012 @ 07:06:59

      Wearing a red raincoat, traveling with five children, three other adults and a suitcase hindered my sleuthing ability. Perhaps in the future when my children are grown I can become the Eurostar’s Angela Lansbury.

      Besides I really didn’t care.

      It was not the first nor the last relationship drama between people unsuited for each other. I was more amazed how a mobile phone made a conversation so public that fifteen (ten?) years ago would have taken place behind closed doors.


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