Monday, September 11, 2006
Goodbye (for now, not forever)

It has come time for Melbourne Train Girl to hang up her red shoes, for the moment at least. Melbourne Train Girl runs her own business. Did you know that? And it is high time she actually got to work. She will return, this is certain, but perhaps not in the same way that she exists now. She is sad about leaving, and feeling very guilty towards all those who have been reading her stories and waiting for more, but Melbourne Train Girl really needs a career. She leaves those dedicated readers safe in the knowledge that she and the Short Boy are living happily ever after (or at least happily as long as it will last).

posted by melbourne train girl 4:53 pm

Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Perfect Things

Shy hello at his gate. His face more freckled. Her face unchanged. A kiss. A smile. Red wine in large glasses. A tour of his house and a gift from Germany. Paintings, and art, and culture, and beautiful things. Chopsticks and plastic containers. A movie they can't remember, and two more never even watched. Dessert. One bowl. Two spoons. Shoes, then shirts, then pants, then...

posted by melbourne train girl 3:52 pm

Friday, August 04, 2006
Empty Houses

Melbourne Train Girl waited for after dinner with restless impatience; for that was when the Short Boy had said he would call. Once she had eaten she walked one lap of her house and decided she would not let the waiting game get the better of her. She cleaned her room. Then she vaccuumed. And after that she rearranged her shoes in her wardrobe.

It was after she had given up on tidying, and sat down with her guitar and her sister for a sing-a-long that the sound of her phone violently stirred the butterflies inside her.

His voice was just as she remembered it. And really, how could she ever have thought to have forgotten it? He had read every one of her emails - even the parts about finding mushrooms growing in her lounge room and about her day trip to the country.

Melbourne Train Girl stood outside in the middle of the road, talking to him while the cold of the damp ground seeped rapidly through her socks and numbed her toes. He asked if she were free the next night, which of course she was. She had made no plans for this weekend hoping that he would want to see her at least one of the days. It was settled. They would meet the next night for a meal or a coffee. Melbourne Train Girl said goodbye and danced back into her house where her sister was waiting with an affectionate head shake and a smile.

It was then that Melbourne Train Girl realised under her excitement was a tiny fear. He had told her his parents were leaving the next morning to take some visiting relatives on a weekend away, and that his sister was deserting him as well. Before he left, Melbourne Train Girl had spent their last few evenings together with a small silent hope he would invite her back to his house, but now that it was much more likely, the prospect scared her just a little more than it should have. It made her nervous and anxious, even more so that she was very certain his intentions were pure. There was no rational explaination for these feelings. Except, perhaps, simply that such a possibility was arisen on only their very first meeting after five weeks parted.

Melbourne Train Girl is almost certain, however, that the moment she sees his face she will accept any invitation that extends her time with him, and that the moment he kisses her she will be very thankful indeed at the promise of an empty house.

posted by melbourne train girl 12:30 pm

Thursday, August 03, 2006

She stood waiting for the train that was already seven minutes late and smiled.

The train arrived another three minutes later, its windows clouded with fog and raindrops, and still she smiled.

She walked from the station in the cold, grey rain and she smiled.

The puddles that dampened her canvas shoes soaked through to her socks too but she still smiled.

She lost a second button from her jacket some time around morning tea and still she was smiling.

She took her sunglasses from her bag to discover an arm had fallen off and simply smiled.

Even when she passed a large pile of horse droppings on the tram tracks as she crossed the road she smiled.

She walked through the market between the rows of vibrant vegetables and fragrant preserves and grinned from ear to ear while her stomach growled.

She purchased a tub of honey that she really couldn't afford but that she had developed a taste for and smiled.

And then all the way home on the train she sat doing nothing but looking out of the window, smiling at the grey trunks and evergreen leaves as they passed by.

The Short Boy is home and he is calling Melbourne Train Girl tonight.

posted by melbourne train girl 3:31 pm

Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Melbourne Train Girl cannot seem to finish anything...

"That was the first time she had me the Short Boy. The first time she met the Late Boy she was only fifteen. It was summer, and she remembers the white pants that came just below her knee and the cheerful aqua of her lace top. She would never wear those colours now, but they suited her sixteen year old personality perfectly."


"Melbourne Train Girl sat in the State Library near the magazines. Her red shoes lay in front of her chair, and she curled her stockinged feet up underneath her. Sitting some way across from her was a boy in a black jumper. Melbourne Train Girl watched him from where she sat."


"Melbourne Train Girl and one of the loveliest girls she knows parted ways on the corner of Exhibition and Little Collins Streets. Melbourne Train Girl turned left, the Lovely Girl right. Three lively forty-something women bustled through the doors of a large hotel foyer in a cloud of forty-something chiffon and forty-something perfume. they laughed and exclaimed their way into a waiting taxi, one giving Melbourne Train Girl's stockinged legs a disapproving glance as she passed."


"Tonight Melbourne Train Girl had banana in her fruit salad. Bananas are very expensive and therefore very sparse at her house. One night, after a very bad day some weeks ago she burst into tears at the sight of two tiny bananas sitting in the fruit bowl."

posted by melbourne train girl 3:23 pm


"Will you be watching the final episode of The OC?" Melbourne Train Girl's middle sister asked with a smile and raise of her eyebrow.

Melbourne Train Girl knew the look. She and her two sisters shared very few physical features. But mannerisms: all three were perfect reflections of each other.

"No, I can't say I was planning on it," Melbourne Train Girl returned the jocular smile. The Middle Sister knew very well that she didn't watch any of the episodes, let alone make plans in advance to do so.

"Well, if you change your mind, the Baby Sister and I will be downstairs. You can join the party."

Melbourne Train Girl laughed and went back to her work and red wine. She sat at the kitchen table for three minutes before deciding upstairs alone was much too quiet. She collected up her work, and her wine, and joined the two of them on the floor of the Middle Sister's bedroom.

"So, she decides to watch too," said the Baby Sister to the Middle Sister. She too ended her observation with the droll smile.

"Upstairs was too boring," replied Melbourne Train Girl, placing her wine carefully on the floor where she would not knock it over. The last glass of red wine she had taken into the Middle Sister's bedroom had ended up on the carpet.

"Oh no!" Melbourne Train Girl had cried that night, as the red stain had spread rapidly.

"Oh no...quick, clean it!" the Middle Sister had said from her bed.

Unable to find any carpet shampoo, Melbourne Train Girl had poured a very liberal amount of baking soda onto the dark red circle. The white baking soda had instantly turned an inky black that reminded Melbourne Train Girl of gangrenous flesh.

"That colour looks so foul..." the Middle Sister had observed, peering at the baking soda as she knelt beside Melbourne Train Girl.

"Maybe it needs more..." the two had watched as the black seeped up to colour Melbourne Train Girl's second pouring of baking soda.

"That didn't work so well..." the Middle Sister had said after Melbourne Train Girl had vaccuumed it up.

"No it didn't...I will buy carpet shampoo tomorrow."

Melbourne Train Girl never had bought carpet shampoo. Tonight she sat next to the pale pink stain still on the carpet.

"How long has she got?" the Baby Sister asked.

"Twenty five minutes," replied the Middle Sister.

The only thing Melbourne Train Girl knew about the show was that Marissa would die that episode. Her sisters were counting down the minutes she had left alive.

"Where is she supposed to be going?" Melbourne Train Girl asked, as they watched her say goodbye to her mother.

"To die," replied the Baby Sister. She was very matter of fact.

"I know she's going to die, but where is she supposed to be going?"

"It doesn't matter. She's going to die," the Middle Sister was just as matter of fact.

"If I didn't know she was going to die, where would I think she was going?"

"Sailing. On her dad's boat."

"Yes, she will be part of the crew."

The last time Melbourne Train Girl had seen an episode of The OC Marissa's father had not had a boat. In fact, she vaguely remembered him owning a restaurant. Melbourne Train Girl does not watch a lot of television.

"How long?" the Baby Sister asked as her mobile phone vibrated for the third time in five minutes.

"Only ten minutes left..." the Middle Sister replied.

Three collective cringes, two collective laughs, and one collective eyebrow raise later, it happened.

Melbourne Train Girl looked over at the Baby Sister's face, "was it really that distressing? Your face looks very distraught..."

"It's not distraught. It was more like this:" the Baby Sister pulled an odd confused face that looked nothing like that she had made when Marissa had died.

Melbourne Train Girl frowned, and then laughed.

The Middle Sister got up from her bed and left her bedroom. The Baby Sister followed suit, and Melbourne Train Girl thought she should do the same. The Middle Sister went to her computer, the Baby Sister to call her boyfriend who had been sending SMS's all through the episode. Melbourne Train Girl sat at her own computer to finish her work and her wine, wondering how exactly Marissa had actually died. There had not been any blood. Not even a scratch on her perfect face. And her lips had been in the most perfect shape. Melbourne Train Girl was quite positive that no one died that perfectly in a car accident.

It was several hours later, while her sisters talked to their boyfriends online and on the phone, that her phone beeped from upstairs. She couldn't think who would send an SMS at 11pm on a Tuesday.

The Short Boy, that is who.

Melbourne Train Girl, on her second glass of wine, skipped to tell her sisters, not minding one bit that they wouldn't be so interested.

posted by melbourne train girl 12:25 am

Monday, July 24, 2006

Tonight Melbourne Train Girl had banana in her fruit salad. Bananas are very expensive and therefore very sparse at her house. One night, after a very bad day some weeks ago she burst into tears at the sight of two tiny bananas sitting in the fruit bowl.

"There are bananas..." she said through the sobs and cradled one as though it were the finest and rarest of all delicacies, before peeling it and eating it very very slowly. The taste was comfort. As each mouthful was chewed and swallowed, so too were the bad events of that day removed from where they had been sitting heavy and squat at the bottom of her stomach.

posted by melbourne train girl 10:10 pm

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Just past 8am. Melbourne's sky was a fresh clear blue, Melbourne Train Girl's hair freshly red. She dyes it herself with henna, spreading the thick green mud onto her hair and then sitting for five hours, her head wrapped in cling wrap, a shower cap and a thick towel. Her new fringe covers the orange stain in her hairline.

She has not slept since the night before last, and her stomach churns with too much chocolate and nowhere near enough substantial food. At just past 9am she will arrive home, but she will not go to bed. Instead she will email the Short Boy. She lets the sentences she will write meander and form in her mind as she sits watching the neglected backs of brick buildings go by the train window.

It has been more than three weeks. And less than two until he is back. In that time he has sent two SMS messages, one exlusively to her, and two emails, one exclusively to her. She: three SMS's and two emails. He is always playful and funny with his words, and Melbourne Train Girl uses too many and makes jokes in her replies.

On Tuesday the friend who introduced Melbourne Train Girl to the Short Boy had returned from overseas. On Thursday fancy coffees and pots of tea were spread on a table in a local café to welcome her home.

"You have nothing to worry about," Long Legged Friend said to Melbourne Train Girl with a smile as she added milk to her tea, "the Short Boy is really into you."

She had met up with him in Berlin, where they had apparently talked of Melbourne Train Girl quite a bit.

By the time Melbourne Train Girl reached her stop, clouds had begun to gather in the west to sprinkle themselves across the sky. Melbourne Train Girl predicted that before 11 it would be grey and like winter again. The weather never setlles in Melbourne. She sat on the train distracted by her thoughts, and it wasn't until she saw the sign of her station disappearing into the distance that she realised she had missed it. She caught the train back from the next stop and was at her car, after that short detour.

Things and places and people and names no longer remind Melbourne Train Girl of the Short Boy. Instead he sits perched constantly in the back of her mind, smiling the silly way he does. Melbourne Train Girl can never recall faces, but his dances like a photograph.

The first time they had met was on Friday the 24th of March. Melbourne Train Girl had liked his lego shirt, and he had liked her red shoes and the matching red lace she had safety-pinned around her wrist. Those tipsily exchanged compliments at the start of the night and about ten minutes of conversation at the end were the only words that they had spoke.

"My friend the Short Boy really liked you Melbourne Train Girl!" Long Legged friend had said several days after that night.

"The Short Boy...which one was he?" Melbourne Train Girl never remembers names.

Long Legged Friend had described him, and Melbourne Train Girl had remembered him by his T-Shirt.

That was the first time they had met. All Melbourne Train Girl's friends now know that story. Some have possibly heard it more than once.

Finally, Melbourne Train Girl arrived home and opened her email.

posted by melbourne train girl 3:54 pm

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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a beautiful revolution
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from the archives
momo freaks out
petite anglaise
the girl who
waiter rant
what's new pussycat?

Goodbye (for now, not forever)
Perfect Things
Empty Houses
Melbourne Train Girl cannot seem to finish anythin...
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