I’m sitting in Central Station, minutes after nine p.m. I’m sitting on the third allotment of benches upon the quasi-deserted platform dividing bays 2 and 3; only 8 and 1 presently house locomotives. An awkward silence pervades the entire complex, broken only by 144 sq ft television mounted on the northern wall, adjacent to a gang of vending machines, promoting childhood obesity and consumerism. The mounted colossus softly bathes iPod-less station dwellers, myself included, in popular music videos and commercial advertisements, promoting childhood obesity and consumerism.

Aside from the various fluorescent lights and green exit signs, only the rolling, illuminated wall mounted ads serve to prevent any extended nocturnal daydreaming, which could be considered dreaming, I guess. The absence of familiar train engine humming pulls one toward introspection and I find it uncomfortable.

I hear a cleaner’s cough and look up but only the blue cart remains.

Two female department store employees accompany me on this red brick divide. One large and one not, but both dressed in black: the intentionally slimming uniform of an outdated institution. I chose not to sit next to one, the other chose not to sit next to me. A meaningless slight.

The benches that house their arses are different from mine. The function and materials coincide but the forms do not.

A feeble attempt at enlivening the station’s interior architecture, is what someone would say.

The boring man’s aesthetic, another would reply. But no one does because I’m the only one who thinks about it.

Mine has six seats facing bay 3. Theirs, the girls I mean, have three facing 2 and three facing 3.

(The driver of 1’s train just sparked the engines into life, pleasuring us with that familiar ambient hum; an audible cushion between weary station residents is born. The driver will get off at the end of the line and go home.)

My bench is blue. You could say this shade of blue is the station bench uniform. It needs to see the tailor. My olive green satchel, housing the personal treasures and scraps I require each day, looks a pool of vomit upon the sky blue background. I’m not sure I like the bag as much anymore.

A twenty to thirty-year-old man saunters past me, arrogance evident in his heavy gait. A white hat, striped track pants, polo and runners act as a shell for his dilapidated self. His state of being is reflected in the trolley he pulls: disrepair.

6’s train just arrived. An extremely ordinary and aesthetically displeasing bunch disembark. The ambient hum did not increase. I am within the proximity of One’s engines thus others have no audible affect on my ears.

My seat, and, I suppose, everyone else’s, boast a myriad of regular graphite pencil width holes. Thirty-six across, sixty-seven down. The two thousand, four hundred and twelve holes are bound to leave an imprint on my arse and back when I finally rise. I must turn my back to no one.

A train just entered the roomy interior of 3. Will my fellow platform occupants and I be able to board immediately? Or is this train destined for the yard on such a peacefully warm night? An even more, if that is distinctly possible, ordinary bunch of Morlocks exit this train.

I wait for all within my field of view to enter the train’s interior, then I board.

The kitschy, brown-tartan covered seats provide a higher level of comfort, compared with the uniformly blue benches on the platform, yet one’s eye takes offence. I sit with my feet crossed and resting on the middle of three seats opposite me.

(As I entered the carriage, the cleaner hurtled past, emanating an intense air of purpose, hastily hunting any devious pieces of rubbish that have escaped their careless owner’s clutches. Any pieces of rubbish caught tarnishing the black, bumpy rubber floor would be dealt with swiftly).

I forget to validate my multi trip. I return to the machine and fumble my ticket, helplessly watch it tumble to the floor, and have it stare at me as if it were a first date waiting to have a car or restaurant door opened for it. With an air of chivalry, I pick it up and slowly insert it. After the machine prints the time at which I can no longer travel for free, I take it out and sit back down.

The slim one in black sits across from me, on the other side of the carriage, to my left.

A couple – man with long brown hair, woman with regular red – try their utmost to fill only one seat with their two pubescent bodies. They must revel in the sight of the seat covers. Are they hugging or embracing? For there is possibly a difference: friends hug, lovers embrace. If I were hugging someone in such a manner it would be as an act of comfort, to feel another’s platonic warmth in the hope they drain the weariness of the day from myself. To embrace is to feel a burning desire in one’s body, a precursor to sex. I would neither hug nor embrace upon a train.

Alas, they are embracing. She, the regular red, kisses his obviously pimply, hairy neck, or whispers something and nothing into his adolescent ear, which I shall never know because her red mane obstructs the discovery of such secrets.

The large one in black sits on my side of the carriage, across from them, just beyond the ticket machine. (She must be frustrated, so I psychoanalyse her momentarily. Inserting her ticket surely had deeper meaning: she continuously inserts it incorrectly until finally the machine takes it). We are mirror passengers: the skinny one and I, the couple and the fat one.

I no longer hear the train of 1’s hum, for it has departed. 3’s locomotive acts as a perfect audible substitute. Unfortunately, when the doors close the ambient cushion will cease and an intimacy will be born to the passengers occupying this carriage.

A black man, of seemingly Caribbean descent, crosses the threshold, pushing a baby’s pram laden with not only his worldly possessions but those required for his busking exploits. He is in peak physical condition, a specimen of a man. He is an acrobat, I believe. I may have witnessed his skills in the mall one time, he managed to bend his back into an impossible angle and slowly make his way under a half-foot high bar: an oddly unnecessary skill to have. I hope he uses the pram for other purposes someday.

The warning bell rings three times and doors close. The gentle hum is banished from the carriage. With an audible change of gears the train initiates its departure from the station, making its way through the fenced of yard and into the suburbs.

From behind me the ticket inspector approaches. An aura of arrogance is perceptible to those looking at him, but I do not. He attains this from the presence of the surly, burly, dim-witted security guard shadowing his every step. The mongoloid tells me to remove my feet from the centre seat opposite me. He deserves not the air he breathes. Blatant abuses of power, for my feet are clean and no one is jealous of their position.

They wait for the train to halt. They converse about how many repetitions of an innocuous, gravity challenging exercise can be achieved before one’s ATP-CP stores are momentarily depleted. Barbarians.

As the train pulls into the first of many predetermined stops, they traverse the out-of-bounds gap between carriages. The inspector makes it safely to the front carriage, but, to my amusement, the guard does not. He has somehow caught one of his garments upon an object invisible to my laughing eyes.

Both doors fasten. His efforts of frantic desperation are futile. The train wakes from its momentary dormancy and departs the station.

I catch the skinny one gazing at me, returning the laughter with her eyes.

He begins to fret now. The doors will not open whilst the locomotive roars through the no-man’s land separating the stations.

It’s safe for me to put my feet on the seat again, only this time on the right one. Victory to the scholar! Huzzah!

The next station approaches. We stop. He is far too preoccupied with his predicament to reach up and pry open the door. Logic has given way to fear.

The couple are leaving. A night of adolescent decadence awaits them, a night of saucy revelry. I watch them disembark but lose sight of their figures in the orange glow of the streetlights, the reflection on the window is too bright. I change my focus from the immediate window to the nocturnal world beyond. Lights occupy the landscape, astral and electric. The web-like outlines of ghost gums spread out in front of me but disappear instantly.

I must get off soon and my feet are still on the chair. The dim-witted guard is still in his bind, unbelieving that his brute strength cannot save him. The skinny girl is watching me, thinking of things I will never know, half-smiling girlishly. The Calypso man is tampering with his possession-laden pram. The frisky adolescents are almost home, but stop by the BP for protection.

Station Three. The train stops, the doors slide open, and I terminate my voyage. The air is warm and the train snakes off down the line. I stalk off into the night.

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