A young boy stepped onto the train carrying a guitar. He didn't have a case, and when he sat down in the far corner of the carriage he began to play very softly. Melbourne Train Girl listened as his fingers danced tentatively up and down the frets, picking out scales and arpeggios. She heard the notes only every now and then, but the sliding of his fingers along the steel wrapped strings drifted down the carriage, rhythmic and steady.
He looked like Nick Drake, Melbourne Train Girl thought. She wondered how old he was. Younger than her.
He rested his head on the body of the guitar, listening to the strings. Melbourne Train Girl smiled. She often does the same when she plays.
It was not even 5pm, and already the sky was close to night. The sun was low and beautifully golden against the silouhettes of trees and small houses rushing past. To the east it was impossibly dark. By the time she reached the city everything would be black, and there would be no stars. The sky would reflect the street below, hundreds of bodies in black coats rushing for trains and trams, and Melbourne Train Girl would be standing in red as the tides of people flowed around and past her.
Melbourne Train Girl had looked at her red shoes before leaving the house.
She had put on black boots instead.