Wednesday, May 31, 2006

This morning Melbourne Train Girl walked past her almost best friend's car on the way to the station. She picked up a leaf and wrote a message on it, and slipped it under his windscreen wiper.


She wondered if he would notice it, or if he would brush it away, thinking it was just a fallen leaf.

Stopping to write the note made her miss her train. It sped past her at the part of the track where there was no fence and you could run straight onto the railway line if you wanted to. Not that Melbourne Train Girl wanted to. She just liked to take note of these things. She sat at the station and waited 15 minutes for the next train.

Yesterday the foreign boy had rung her, but she had missed his call. Melbourne Train Girl knows she should call him back, but she had found him a little boring on their date. She is always lively and funny. He was quiet with not very much to say.

While waiting for him with her handbag and umbrella, she had wondered if she would even recognise him. She had been a little drunk when they had met.

A lot drunk in fact.

A whole bottle of very average red wine drunk.

When Melbourne Train Girl had seen him crossing the street toward her her heart had sunk a little. She had really been hoping he wouldn't come. He smiled, and they had exchanged greetings in his native tongue. She had wondered whether she should have used the polite pronoun when asking him how is day was instead of the informal. It was only their second meeting after all. Then again, she had kissed him on their first meeting.

They had walked to a restaurant and eaten. Conversation was sparse and slightly uninteresting on his part. She had babbled all the way through dinner, just like she always did, and laughed and smiled much too much. They had parted ways at 9:30. He offered to drive her home, but Melbourne Train Girl had declined politely. She always likes the train. It gives her time to think.

Yes, she definately likes the Cheeky Boy much better. She had given in and sent him a text message the other night. He had called her later on. She still smiled when she thought about that.

He knew she would be at the bar tonight. She was there every Wednesday. She wondered if he would come to see her. Probably not, but the thought that he might arrive, and greet her with a bow and a kiss kept her smiling for at least an hour.

Melbourne Train Girl has been walking around with a faraway smile on her face for some days now...

posted by melbourne train girl 11:11 pm

Monday, May 29, 2006
Cold feet

Melbourne Train Girl has always had cold feet.

Tonight it is 9.3 degrees celcius outside and exactly 14 degrees inside her house. She can't find any socks, so walks around on the slate in bare feet. Today she bought a new red coat with Paddington toggles and a hood. She is wearing it now, buttoned all the way to the top.

She wishes for warm thighs to put her toes between. For naked skin pressed against her own. For fingers lightly down her spine.

She wants to call him, but has decided it is his turn. Melbourne Train Girl calls boys too often, and doesn't want to scare this one away. So she will wait for him.

Hopefully he calls her soon. Tomorrow? Hopefully.

Maybe she already frightened him away...

Her bed is cold like his was.

She always has had cold feet...

posted by melbourne train girl 1:23 am

Thursday, May 25, 2006
Plaid and tartan

A young man sat across from Melbourne Train Girl wearing an abundance of criss cross designed clothing. His blue-grey plaid pants matched his pink plaid shirt, and his pink plaid shirt matched his pink tartan hat. His pink tinted sunglasses sat perched on his prominent nose, and his head bobbed to music playing inside his mind. In his shirt pocket was something flat, rectangular and silver. Melbourne Train Girl imagined it was a cigar case, and that in his other pocket he carried a matching cigar clipper and fancy lighter.

Melbourne Train Girl was on her way to meet the foreign boy for dinner. At least, she assumed she was. They had organised to meet at 5:30, but he had told her he would call her the day before to confirm. He had never called. Not wanting to stand him up, Melbourne Train Girl was going to the spot they had chosen anyway.

The clouds from the train window were thick like whipped cream. And grey and threatening. For once she had remembered her umbrella. The plaid man shivered and rubbed his bare arms. Melbourne Train Girl wished she had warn a warmer coat.

A Greek father and his son sat down opposite the plaid man. They wore matching Greek soccer scarves and spoke in matching booming Greek voices.

If the foreign boy didn't meet her she would find a quiet spot to eat alone and write in her little blue notebook with seemingly endless pages. In truth, she was hoping he didn't meet her so she could do just that. She didn't much feel like company, and the weather was her favourite kind for sitting alone somewhere warm, looking out at the sun setting early in the grey Melbourne sky.

Both the plaid man and the Greeks got off at the next station. Melbourne Train Girl watched them walking down the platform: the father and son arguing loudly, the plaid man still dancing to the music in his head.

When Melbourne Train Girl reached the city she discovered Melbourne's usual landscape of black coats was punctuated with more cobalt scarves and jackets, as well as Australia's green and gold. These brightly coloured folks marched with determination towards Flinders Street station, and Melbourne Train Girl fought her way against the flow of pedestrian traffic in her red shoes.

On the tram everybody laughed as the doors opened and then closed again every time a girl tried to step on.
"Open the doors driver!" ordered a middle aged woman very loudly. Her face was set in the biggest scowl Melbourne Train Girl had ever seen. The doors opened and the girl stepped onto the tram. A little red and embarassed.

Melbourne Tram Girl pulled the tram cord when she saw the meeting place, and disembarked. There she waited with her handbag and umbrella. Thinking with a smile about the breakfast of fresh toast and homemade jam she had shared just the other morning.

posted by melbourne train girl 10:29 pm

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Wet shoes

Melbourne Train Girl saw the puddle on her way to the supermarket. She had hopped gracefully over it as she crossed the road to buy chocolate, yet on the way back she forgot. As her foot sunk into the ankle deep water she let a tiny swear word slip from her mouth. All the way back to the carpark her right canvas shoe squelched, cold and uncomfortable.

For some reason a wet shoe made Melbourne Train Girl think of the boy she went out with last week.

She called him.

Only to find out if he were free any time during the week.

He was cooking dinner.

"Would you like to come over for tea?"
Melbourne Train Girl didn't even hesitate before answering, "I would love to come over for dinner. What is your address?"

They watched Black Adder and ate. He laughed very loudly and Melbourne Train Girl smiled her lopsided smile.

His Dad was lovely. He had buttered roll after roll and let Melbourne Train Girl try different varieties of his own homemade jam. She had liked the raspberry best.

Two walks and a movie later it was 2am.

He sat on a chair, Melbourne Train Girl facing him, sitting on his lap.

"So, is it sex or sleep?" his eyes were devious and inviting.

"Well..." Melbourne Train Girl said between kisses. "I don't really feel like driving home right now..." She hesitated, her mind hastily remembering the never purchased leg wax and the last resort underwear she had pulled from the bottom of her drawer that morning.

But she really didn't want to drive home.

And he really was lovely, and sexy, and playful...

His bed was icy cold. Slipping with him under the covers was like diving into a pool at the height of winter. Although the exhilaration may not have been completely the fault of mid Autumn's chilly grasp.

As he laughed and childishly blew a raspberry on her stomach, Melbourne Train Girl knew she had made the right choice.

posted by melbourne train girl 11:45 pm

Friday, May 19, 2006
The last train

Melbourne Train Girl walked between platforms in a misty daze. To her, the vehement cacophony of squeaks and groans from the sculpted roof of Spencer Street (Southen Cross...) station was a beautifully discordant symphony (Melbourne Train Girl's daze was also causing her to think in dramatic and passionate adjectives). She imagined a group of experimental musicians were on the roof, each controlling their own unique squeak. And she imagined that she were the only one in Melbourne privy to the impromptu performance.

They were both early. He had bowed when he greeted her at exactly 4:54pm outside the town hall; a low, sweeping bow. His hand had brushed the dark stone tiles in front of her red shoes. Melbourne Train Girl had laughed. And he had stood, stepped slowly towards her, taken her cheeks in his hands and bent his head to kiss her. She wasn't used to that kind of greeting from someone she had only just met, but she thinks she liked it.

In truth, it didn't feel like they were only brand new friends. She wondered if he were just naturally friendly, or if there was something more between them. She only wondered that for a few seconds though, until she slipped back under her veil of euphoria.

The man sitting next to her on the wooden bench at the station noisily opened a packet of chips from the vending machine. As he lifted a crushed handfull to his greasy lips their familiar salt and vinegar scent filled Melbourne Train Girl's mind. It should have reminded her of childhood; of tiny fingers fumbling with tiny packets. But the veil was too thick.

There had been one third laughter, one third food, one third wine and one third kisses that evening.

(Melbourne Train Girl has no time for maths, but she does have time for kisses that include her neck and ears)

11:44pm. That was when her train back to the city would arrive. They had walked together to the station hand in hand. He had kissed her goodbye, and then the doors to the train had begun to close before she was all the way inside. She had to free her half trapped self, and the train pulled out of the station.

Melbourne Train Girl had smiled and waved out the window.

Wishing just a little bit that she had missed that last train.

And now, as the second train of her journey left Spencer Street Station she sat, smiling, introspective. Staring out of the window, but seeing nothing through the misty haze of euphoria.

posted by melbourne train girl 2:28 pm

Thursday, May 18, 2006
Getting dressed

Melbourne Train Girl sat on the floor of her bedroom surrounded by the contents of both her wardrobe and her chest of drawers. She had made the kind of clothing mess that would have caused her mother to question aloud "why do I bother ironing?".

She had tried on every conceivable combination of outfit before deciding none of them were right and discarding them all over the carpet. And now she sat in the middle of it all wearing the outfit she always ended up in when she went out. She should have known and put it on in the first place.

Tonight, after class, she was meeting the boy who had told her she was intimidating. Outside the town hall. At 5pm.

Yet Melbourne Train Girl couldn't help remembering how dreamy the Market Boy was. He had been there last night. Sexy and unshaven. And he had been happy to see her. Not to mention his special effort to say goodbye to her before leaving.

She would wear her favourite red shoes today.

Melbourne Train Girl wondered if the Market Boy had thought about her at all after he had left.

Yes, she would wear her favourite red shoes.

posted by melbourne train girl 7:20 am

Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Melbourne Train Girl need not worry

He called her.

posted by melbourne train girl 10:03 pm


Melbourne Train Girl stood at the intersection while a man in shorts that defied the brisk air jogged beside her on the spot. A woman wearing blue stockings who had sat opposite her on the tram stood on Melbourne Train Girl's other side.

Melbourne Train Girl had not been able to concentrate all afternoon. Even now, as she stood waiting for the lights to change, she smiled silently to herself.

And it wasn't that the Foreign Boy had forgotten they were supposed to have a date that evening that caused her mind to wander.

She was thinking about the boy who knew to bite her bottom lip when he kissed her.

"Perhaps I might run into him here in the supermarket," she had thought as she studied the chocolate aisle. He would have been surprised and delighted to see her. Then he would have asked her what she was doing that night, and they would have gone out to dinner and lived happily ever after. She took her seat on the second train carriage from the back, sitting backwards on the left, and entertained these thoughts.

A man whose forehead and nose made a perfectly straight line when she looked at him in profile caught Melbourne Train Girl smiling at her reflection in the dark windows. She quickly turned her head to look at another man wearing a t-shirt that read "an akward morning means a boring night". She didn't even notice the spelling mistake.

Should she call him tomorrow or Thursday?

She slowly unwrapped the very expensive, very dark chocolate and broke off a square. She should have spent her last $10 on leg wax and not chocolate.

If their date was Thursday would tomorrow be too soon to call?

She ate the square of chocolate in small bites. In actual fact she should really have saved her last $10 for tomorrow's train ticket.

If their date was Thursday night would Thursday lunch time be too late to call?

She hesitated, and then brushed away a glimmer of guilt and broke off another square of chocolate. On second thoughts, leg wax was more important than a train ticket.

If it were only Tuesday today, would she be able to wait until Thursday to call?

She considered a third square, but wrapped the chocolate back up again and put it away in her bottomless handbag. She definately needed leg wax.

If their date was Thursday, and it was only Tuesday today, she would call him Wednesday.

posted by melbourne train girl 7:10 pm

Sunday, May 14, 2006
Walking home

"How eerie," thought Melbourne Train Girl aloud as she passed the lonely flashing sign telling her that there would be roadworks and long delays for the next week on the road she was walking down. The streets were silent and dark, and the air was perfectly still. The road was covered in a hazy film of fog. The only sounds to be heard were the footsteps of Melbourne Train Girl's favourite red shoes, the occasional odd growls of possums from the trees above, and the thumping of dough as bakers kneaded bread inside the nearby bakery.

Melbourne Train Girl was walking home.

And in her phone was a brand new number. She seemed to be accruing quite a few of those lately, but this one made her smile. She had met him that night at a party, where they danced a little, talked a little and kissed a little. They also walked a little and ate a little too.

"I have to have your number!" he had declared dramatically from the dance floor; for the second time that evening.
"You've already asked that, and I've already given it to you," Melbourne Train Girl had replied, with the left side of her mouth curled in her little half smile. The smile she always tried to avoid doing because she thought it looked silly. She never succeeded at that though.
"I did? You did? But I don't have it!" he had looked at her with mock despair.
"Well, that's too bad. I don't give out my number more than once." Melbourne Train Girl had echoed him with mock regret.

(Of course, Melbourne Train Girl had given him her number for a second time. But she had told him there wasn't going to be a third. She had known, though, that she would have gone back on that word as well, if she discovered he had lost it again.)

Melbourne Train Girl crossed the road to walk on the other footpath. She preferred to walk home alone at 5am on the side with houses, and not the side with the big open park. Somehow it made her feel safer from attack.

"You know you are very scary, don't you?" he had said to her at one point of the evening.
"What? I'm not scary!" red wine had made Melbourne Train Girl flourish her arms with a little more vivacity than normal during that statement.
"Intimidating. Intimidating is a better way to put it."

Melbourne Train Girl was far from intimidating. She was shy and harmless. And she was akward and a little bit boring. Or at least, that's what she thought.

"I'm not intimidating. You have it all wrong."

She had smiled her half smile again, and he had kissed her.

Melbourne Train Girl passed a single shoe, lying wet and muddy on the nature strip. It was the fourth she had seen so far on her walk. She would see three more before she made it home. While walking she remembered the date she was supposed to have on Tuesday with the foreign boy who told her she was charming. She was still unsure about him. She was much more sure about this new boy.

She had kissed him, biting on his lower lip the way she always did when she kissed boys. She was surprised when he did the same.
"No one ever likes to bite back," she had said with a smile.

As Melbourne Train Girl stopped to find her keys inside her handbag, the thrumming of wings passed over her head. She looked up to see a single bat disappearing over the roof of her next door neighbour's house. She hadn't seen a bat at her house since she was little. She smiled, unlocked her front door, and was home.

posted by melbourne train girl 5:17 am

Sunday, May 07, 2006
Five boys

Melbourne Train Girl has been thinking about several boys. She likes to watch the suburbs go past from the train window while daydreaming. She has been thinking about them just enough to be distracted from what she should really be doing.

There is the foreign boy she kissed last night. Who told her he wanted to take her home in a little box when he left Melbourne in two months, so that when he arrived he could open the box and she would appear. Who told her she was charming and surprising and smart and stylish. He was maybe too old for her, and maybe a bad idea. Of that second point she couldn't be sure. They exchanged numbers and are going to have dinner one night this week.

There is the work friend of a friend, and he quite possibly likes her. Her friends all think they should hook up. He is friendly and lovely and a little bit shorter than Melbourne Train Girl. She likes the t-shirts he wears, and he seems like the kind of boy who could be handy around her house. She knows her mother would love him. Like the foreign boy, he too is maybe a little bit old for her. He is also a friend of a friend. Melbourne Train Girl has a policy about going out with friends and with friends of friends. That policy is never.

There is her ex boyfriend. Exactly twelve days ago was their one year breakup anniversary. She remembers how he would lie next to her and ask her what she was thinking.
"Nothing," she would reply as he tried to play with her nipples, and she would turn over to lie on her stomach, her face to the wall. She really meant "nothing except that I don't think I like you anymore, I feel sick when you touch me, and I wish you would see what a terrible person I am and break up with me". She was always too cowardly to make those moves by herself. They were together for almost three and a half years - which was almost two years longer than it really should have been.

There is the boy who she met at the market two Wednesdays ago. He had a little lisp and was cute and friendly. She thinks he may have liked her - he sent her an email last Thursday. That email was a business email, although she likes to think it was really an excuse to contact her. He did use a smiley face in the email. She replied, but he never replied back. She is starting to think it was just a business email after all.

Then there is the one boy who occupies most of her daydreams. She has known him for ten years, been friends with him for seven years, and been almost best friends with him for six months. She calls him her husband and he calls her his wife. His mother doesn't like her very much, but she doesn't mind. Her mother loves him, but he is scared of her. Melbourne Train Girl can think of nothing better than marrying him and living in a house together. This is really because she doesn't want to share him with anyone else, which she knows is selfish. She imagines sharing toast together on Wednesday nights when they both can't sleep, and talking about Nina Simone while they cook dinner.

He is gay.

Melbourne Train Girl is the only one who knows.

posted by melbourne train girl 12:38 am

melbourne.train.girl takes the train. And sometimes the tram and the bus as well. She is the girl in the corner seat wondering if the boy by the window will say hello.


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