© John Sawyer – February
I took the first available seat in the last carriage and
started to organise my coffee and toasted sandwich. I’d caught the earlier
train because I had an important meeting first up. I had plenty of time to walk up the hill, have
a coffee and a read before I wandered casually to the office at 9 sharp.
The young teenager in the seat in front stood up bursting
“Well Hello. You wouldn’t believe the night we’ve had. My
friend and I have just spent the whole night in a hotel in the city with this
bloke and we fucked all night. Gee I’ve never done it in so many ways and so
“It was really fantastic and we didn’t even have to pay.
“My friend Sherise did some powder
but I don’t do drugs, ‘cept a bit of grass of course.
“I work in a butcher shop. I’m probably going to get the
sack today, another day’s sickie. The old perve sacked Sherise
last week, so I’m sure he’ll sack me today. It’s a pity really because I really
do like working in a butcher shop, you get to handle meat all day hey Sheri.”
While Sherise and her friend
laughed raucously, I mumbled something inane about the draft from the carriage
door and moved to the last seat on the opposite side of the carriage – about as
far as I could get from the disturbance.
I arranged my coffee and toasted sandwich again and rummaged
through my rucksack for a book and dark glasses to hide behind. The 6:55 am certainly
has a different demographic to the later trains. As well as the young females
(they surely aren’t even 16 yet) my travelling companions include a young IT
type, maybe off to staff a HELP desk somewhere in Geelong. Across the aisle is a train driver
with his boots up on the seats and trying to get a nap while he travels back to
Geelong after a night pulling containers
backwards and forwards from Geelong.
The IT bloke is still chatting with the girls. He’s young
enough not to be embarrassed or intimidated.
“I like oral sex. Do you? Sherise
gives a great blowjob, don’t you Sheri? You should have heard the bloke go off
“My Dad’s an arsehole isn’t he Sheri? He’ll be around this
afternoon to give me money to pay the rent. He thinks this means he can run our
lives and tell us what we should and shouldn’t do. Sometimes I feel like
telling him just to ‘Fuck Off’.” She puts enough emphasis on the expletive for
people on the Ballarat train, two platforms over, to hear.
As departure time rolls up more people join us, obviously
shift worker types. Variations on the story are still rolling out for each new
arrival. “… Didn’t he ever know how to root?” “… And we didn’t even have to
pay. Can you believe that?” “… You like handling meat too don’t you Sheri?” Her
delivery is not paced at all. It just rushes out. I wonder how she breaths.
Every row of the carriage is nearly full and the IT bloke
has reached his embarrassment quotient and tuned in his iPod
and closed his eyes. The couple of Senior Card holders have left us and moved
to the next carriage.
As the train pulls out Sherise and
her friend stand up and survey the carriage. Sherise looks at me and says: “Nice shades
dude!” I don’t know why I raised my thumb in acknowledgement. I just did. “Well
the old fat bloke is alive hey Sheri!” I stare past them.
The train heads through North Melbourne
and they disappear to the toilet. It’s all quiet for about 25 minutes and they
burst back into the carriage. “Me and Sherise have just had the most amazing sex. Haven’t we
Sheri? That’s my first time on a train - with a girl.” Thankfully we don’t get
a description although I have secretly wondered about it a couple of times since.
The rest of the trip is pretty quiet. They tease the
conductor and tell him about their “free” night out. They already have tickets –
nothing illegal for them. They tease the driver and play catchy with his hat
for a while and talk about people they know in Geelong. He even warns them off drugs. I
wonder if he has a teenage daughter to worry about. They ignore me. The book
and the sunnies have done the job.
As we pull into Geelong
we all hear: “Look there Sheri. That shed behind that church. No there beside
that engine. That’s where I had my first ever FUCK. Orrh
Sherise and her friend left the
train at Geelong.
They each gave the driver a kiss and the conductor a hug. The IT bloke beat
them off and avoided contact, Sherise gave me thumbs
up as she walked past my window.
The rest of the day was pretty boring really.