Kim and I went to Galway’s ‘Quays’ that night. When we finally made it to our room, one of those things happened for which one has got to love sleeping in hostels and sharing rooms with perfect strangers. I was taking off my contact lenses at the feeble light that Kim had turned on for me next to her bed when a woman, whom I had previously identified as “not right in the head” (but then she was outside our room, so that did not worry me much), literally walked into our room. I immediately recognized the “nut” that I had left somewhere in the corner of my mind as a mere insignificant encounter. But there she was, standing tall, hippie-style dressed and throwing menacing looks at the two of us. My first reflex was to check the door: Did I leave it open or how else did she come in? I was far from imagining that she would actually sleep with us that night. And some sleep we had!
The lunatic started to yell at us (for the record, all this lovely circus was taking place at 1 a.m), and for cause: according to her, we were waking up the other roommates (all snoring) with the shine of our feeble, tiny, going-blind light. I obviously knew that crazy dudes have indeed a distorted sense of reality, etc., but right there, looking repeatedly at her yelling self, then at the light bulb and back to her, my source of wonders, this evidence thundered right through me. Well, looking was all that I was still able to do, so dumbstruck I was. Kim, on the contrary, got a splendid grip of herself and fought the woman right back with sane and reasonable remarks. I quickly vanished behind the bathroom door to put on my night-shirt and proceed with my going-to-bed preparations, knowing all sensitive talk was pointless.
From the bathroom, I feared that Kim might actually attempt to strangle the Shouting-Defender-of-the-Sleeping-Mates-Against-the-Light. But she contained herself beautifully. I could nonetheless hear her voice tonality change and she was by then much ruder than a few minutes before, when she actually had done her best to explain the situation to the weirdo. I couldn’t keep my seriousness anymore and burst out into laughter. This was just hugely out of our dimension.
Then there were Kim’s eyes. I had stepped back into the dorm, thinking that I could control my inner itch to giggle (I certainly would not have done that in front of the mad lady), but Kim was in no mood for sleeping. She was stuck in her anger, practically annihilating the enemy with her look. I climbed the ladder to the top bunk bed as quickly as I could, because I could sense laughter coming out loud again, and I hurried to stifle it in my pillow. I wouldn’t have wanted to unleash hell more than that. The woman still had some insults and Messiah-like prophecies to throw at Kim, then opened the window (probably to save us from earthly comforts like keeping warm on a Galway November night) and ended up by taking Kim’s kind advice to “shut the fuck up and let us all be miserable and sleep”. That night was indeed young.
Next morning, off to Dublin we were. The wacko leaves the room early, slamming the door shut, on her way to some other imaginary mission. We leave Galway behind and with it, some of the most precious memories that would keep us company for a while.