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Train Of Thought

Train Of Thought

An assortment of writings from 1997/98

The birds are chirpin’
I hope they choke
As the kids are slurpin’
Their cans of Coke
The man next to me reads a book
And fills my head with cigarette
As I feel my head begin to cook
I know his dying day’s been set

18/11/97

The train starts up
It’s like a nightmare
I wake up
But still I’m there
It’s body squirms
Rattles and shakes
I try to stay calm but it’s so hard
The kids are putting bets on when it will break
I can’t believe we’ve made it this far
A man is staring at me
I want to ask why
But I know what his answer would be
And I don’t want to die
I choose to be quiet now
I give in to my fear
I stay on for near an hour
Or until my destination becomes clear

18/11/97

Old man bends down
Picks up the daily formguide
Off the floor where it was found
It looked right then that he had died
For his beloved horses
That he would not even know
Animals the public endorses
As if they are our very own
Hoping one day that his horse wins
It’s just camoflauge for all our sins

18/11/97

People get on
And people get off
This trip will be long
And it’ll be rough
The carriage jolts from side to side
And is at full speed
I now know I cannot hide
And it’s defeat that I concede
As the journey goes on
Less people get off
I know it won’t be long
Just as well, I’ve had enough
Now I know the transport people lied
They said their service was getting better
Because on this occasion no one died
All I can do is write a letter

20/11/97

Growing Old

Two old women on the carriage talk
About how they spent yesterday in the garden
Saying they thought their friend lives somewhere
But lives somewhere else
Talking about the man who had the eye operation
And the one with leg trouble
“Oh my God! Oh my God!”
I wonder what colour their hair was before it turned Andy Warhol white
Once talking about clothes shopping
They now talk about grocery shopping
And that old friend they haven’t seen in years is coming to visit
And they wonder if she will

5/12/97

Kids

It’s not that I don’t like kids
It’s just the ones on the train
That find the back of my hair is the most fun to play with
That irritate me
Screaming screaches in my ear
That nineteen years ago would have made sense
Kicking me with the pitter patter of their thimble shoes
So cute to their mother
A burden to me
I know the kid’s smiling inside
Sometimes I hope they get lost in the heartless city
I always put up with it
Sometimes I think it’s cute

5/12/97

Cancellations

I run to the train station
I’m a few minutes behind
But I run so fast that I catch up with time
A friend is going to meet me on the second carriage
So I cannot afford to miss it
Her train comes in
And then passes again
It doesn’t even stop
I panic
I’ve missed my train
The man at the station tells me
“That train was cancelled. The next train’s in 30 minutes”
I sit down
Catch my breath
Twiddle my thumbs
And curse myself for not bringing a pen
And would kill for a scrap of paper

8/12/97

I sit on this train
And wonder where I’m going
I know I’m on a train to the city
But where am I going?
Where will I be tomorrow?
Where are my friends today?
I’m on an empty train full of passengers
Now’s the time to think
What do I need?
Now’s the time to choose
I need somebody
To guide me through
And put me on the right track

12/12/97

So many people on this train
Speaking the same language
And it all seems foreign to me
Bunches of people
Meeting other people at every station that follows
Limited seating available
Soon they will be standing in doorways
Blocking my view
So many people on this train
Business types
School kids with a fresh start on their holidays
Day trippers
The unemployed (me)
A bitch (that is a dog, female)
They all read their newspapers
And their books
Stare at each other with accusing eyes
Converse and contest which group is the loudest
So many people on this train

12/12/97

Looks like it’s gonna rain again
It’s perfect for today
A large mass of people
Crammed into the carriage’s narrow stomach
Glued and binded
By the sun and their sweat
The sky and I will soon have something in common
It looks faint, and I feel I’m about to faint
Human sardines, we could be an attraction in a freak show
I can’t see the window
I want to ask somebody where we are
But my voice gets tangled in some woman’s hair
It’s so hot in here
I can feel my head burn

12/12/97

I got to the bank early so that I would have a minute to spare before the train comes
I need a ticket
Still can’t afford that last fine
There it goes
First time it history the train comes in early
I’m gonna get it
I know it because I’ve never run this fast before
I get through the gate
Two steps away from my ride
There it goes

12/12/97

The city is a jigsaw puzzle
I met one of its pieces today
An old Aboriginal man
When I say old, I mean middle aged, fifties
The white beard of Santa Clause and an old navy singlet
He stared at me
He was frozen in his stare
I was frozen by it
Trying to ignore him, I sipped some water from my bottle
“Are you better now?”
I smiled and nodded, not knowing what he meant
The following minutes were
His muffled voice and motions to his beard covered face
“How old are you now?”
Do I know him?
Does he know me?
I told him my age
His mumblings continued
I knew he was trying to tell me something
He probably taught me the meaning of life
If only I could understand its complexity

12/12/97

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