Train Ride

Train Ride

There is an unforgettable moment in Jack Nicholson’s As Good as it   Gets when the unreconstructed (that comes later) novelist is asked by a gaping fan ,How do you  get women so right?

Black  Jack twinkles “I think of a man and take away responsibility and accountability.” Ha! Shame! He is going to get his, and he does.

No one  would dream of saying such a thing in a Almodovar film. Here only  women  bleed, and how. In the latest, the  brilliant Julietta women are  portayed as lover, wife, best friend, rival, daughter, harridan, gossip. Most of the emotions are stirred up one way or another by a man and how the women take to him and each other. Based on  Nobel winning  Alice Munro’s short stories the film scores on  every level.

Typically the sex scene is done originally and with style. On a train. To the rhythm of the stag seen in the snow. See the film. Now sex on a  train has a class of its own. I have got the age when I’m not sure whether I’m making it up or not. Actually I don’t care.

Coming back from an Austrian university ski trip Eva and I shared a couchette. As the stations of Europe whizzed by  through the snowy night, we whizzed through whatever was  possible on that narrow  bed. Two motions running parallel, fusing and parting, parting and fusing, The film caught that syncopation brilliantly.

Fast forward to 1972. Trish and I were both teaching at a secondary modern in Surbiton. We both lived with our parents. We were going away for the weekend to stay with friends in Wareham. We were hot. We had been building up too long.  We caught the train at Waterloo. We looked at each other. We touched, The fuse was lit.

We rushed to  the toilet. This is more Sex Pistols than Roy Orbison. After twenty minutes(maybe I lie) I poked my head out. There was a queue. OMG. Ouch. I went back in. Threw open the door and looked the queue in the eye as I said,”Darling, Have you got everything “.

Those were the days, we thought they would never end.






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