THE QUIET CAR

from On My Way To Hooterville


She’s a 20-something graduate of Brown

He’s a 20-something graduate of Princeton

Standing on the crowded train platform

waiting for the Acela

She’s a lonely girl . . .

he’s a lonely fella . . .

They don’t know it but . .

they’re going to the same place

a wedding tomorrow on the vineyard in Edgartown

they don’t know it but in Boston

they both have reservations

the same limo will take the two of them

all the way down

To the ferry but that’s not very important yet

the Acela’s here they scramble for a seat

she’s a friend of the bride he’s a friend of the groom

and as Fate would have it cute is how they meet

Yes, the two are traveling in tandem

the boy from Princeton and the girl from Brown

and they both giggle nervously

when they say hello

Til the conductor yells:

“KEEP YOUR VOICES DOWN!!

This is the Quiet Car! No talking! No phone calls!

conversation in this car is not allowed!

the train is sold out so there’s no empty seats --

this is the Quiet Car, so don’t you dare talk loud!”

The girl from Brown whips out her cell phone

the boy from Princeton types his number in

she sends him a text, Hi my nam is Joy

he types my nam is Joe — I am frm Berlin

She types back I ws born in Paris

I have dual-citizenshp, he types: so do I

she majored in German he majored in French

their spirits are lifting as the towns fly by

They discover they’re both heading for a wedding

yes, the exact same one in Edgartown

they each could have brought a plus one but

they each had a feeling their plus one would bring them down

And they wanted to be free so they could mingle

because both wanted to meet somebody new

Joy looked at Joe and Joe looked at Joy

thinking could that special someone . . . be you?

They both love basketball and theater

they both love dogs and both hate cats

they both love to ski and play Scrabble

they both love to wear goofy hats

They both love the Yankees and the Giants

they both love Manhattan best in the Fall

they both have a passion for Noah Baumbach films

of their favorite foods they love pumpkin pie

most of all

They zoom past New Haven and New London

near Providence Joy reminisced

about the time when she worked the state for Hillary

he typed back: Are you a feminist?

She typed: ys n Democrat, and you are?

he hesitated then wrote: lets not go there

he tried to change the subject to something else

typed: look at all those pretty clouds up in the air

DID U VOTE 4 HIM? she typed in all caps

He typed back: r u sure u want 2 know?

She typed back: ys, is importnt

thinking to herself Oh say it isn’t so

Ys, I voted 4 him n Im happy

that hes shaking things up in Washingtn

I’m working 4 his re-election campaign

there’s so much more 2 do — he is not done

As the train lumbered on toward Boston

Joy put her cell phone away

Joe put his headphones on to listen to

Sean Hannity prevaricate that day

In Boston they grabbed their bags and parted

only to meet up — damn — at that limousine

in silence they rode to the ferry

at the hotel Joy had room 20

Joe was room 19

It was the worst wedding either had attended

and both had been to more than one disaster

they both thought Why isn’t there

a fast forward button

to get me through this awful weekend faster?

On Sunday night they boarded the same ferry

made a wish upon the same shooting star

they rode the train back to New York City

enduring silence in the Quiet Car . . .

Oh, I’m kidding — he’s not a Republican

he’s a Buddhist — and guess what? she is too

and yes, they are both Vegans

in the Cloud Appreciation Society

talking like sesquipedalians

is something else they love to do

They both adore the movie, “Coco” and have seen it

so many times and every time they cried

next time they watch it Joe will pop the question

Joy will make such a lovely bride

So all you single people who can hear me

Next time a wedding invitation comes your way

Don’t take a “plus one” unless you must

Who knows what Cupid might have in store for you that day?

And if you must travel to that wedding

the Quiet Car might be the perfect place

for you to strike up a silent conversation

have your cell phone charger handy

have your cell phone charger handy

have your cell phone charger handy

— just in case

Credits:

Christine Lavin: vocal and guitar

Steve Doyle: bass

updated: 1 week ago