kidattypewriter

Monday, August 28, 2006

An Observation

On the train this morning; rather crowded as Monday morning trains are. All businessmen going to work and stilettos and laptops, that sort of thing.

Pulling up at Brunswick Station, this rather weird couple hops in. Both had glasses; both directed toothy leers at the rest of the train. He's a baldy, wearing a huge greatcoat probably to hide the fact that he's a small guy. She's got one of those weird, plastic red hairstyles, with perm: she goes over and slides into the only availabe seat, he walks up beside her and turns towards her.

She slides her hand into his hand. But she doesn't stop there; her hand keeps on sliding up his and into the open sleeve of his great coat. It creeps up and up, right into the folds, until even wrist is lost in them. Then they stay like that, almost completely motionless, until they appear to have always been that way. It's almost like they don't have hands, but that the join between his arm and her arm is a weird kind of ganglia from which the rest of their bodies branch out. They don't even look human anymore. Occasionally, either his head, or her head, or both, swivel to and fro while they continue to leer peculiarly at the rest of the train.

It was revolting and mesmerising. I couldn't look away. When I leaped off the train at North Melbourne, I think they were still at it.

Nothing like a bit of weirdness in public to start off the day. Really hits the spot.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Once, I saw a person dressed as a flight attendent get on at Richmond and start dancing with her suitcase.

Completely seriously. I couldn't stop myself from laughing, so I had to get up and switch seats so that she couldn't see my face!

I think she was a she... I think. She may have been a he.

-Love, Vikki.

TimT said...

It's so rare to get someone on the public transport that makes you want to laugh - usually, all they do is arouse feelings of grouchiness and resentment in me.

Great to hear from you!

Don Quixote said...

That's the color and vibrancy that drivers of cars will never experience. Those of snaggle tooth and trench coat serve as good reminders that the world is broken up into unusual compartments.

I often encounter a man at Domain interchange who spends his time on the tram yelling "Fuck! Fucking trams. Fuck!" He's only ever able to catch the tram for brief periods before the tension builds and he's forced to disembark. It would appear that, despite catching them each and every day, this guy really doesn't like trams.

These are the wonders of every day living.

TimT said...

Yes, and I'm sure lots of drivers of cars don't want to experience it. Tramming and Training is good fun, so long as there aren't too many idiots on there.

Don Quixote said...

Ah, but you get to see lots of idiots on the train at very little (for the most part) expense. One idiot behind the wheel of a car is all it takes to send you on an eternal holiday. Besides, one man's snaggle-toothed oddball is another man's David Helfgott. But you're joking; you'd never be expressing the Hitl... um... Iosif Vissarionovich style dislike (with a view to future "cleansing") of those with divergent tendencies - gays, physically and mentally challenged folk, Semitic types, etc. etc - would you?

TimT said...

Um, no ...

nailpolishblues said...

Gosh, that went from kinda amusing to whaaaaaaaaaaaaat very fast didn't it?

Don Quixote said...

Hmmm, I just re-read that. It appears I went a little overboard on the TimT-As-Friend-Of-The-Nazis bit...

TimT said...

Oh, I wouldn't worry about it. Good gravatar, btw - that's probably my favourite piece of Melbourne sculpture.

nailpolishblues said...

Is Don just a little tense about something?

Don Quixote said...

The only time I've ever heard of the Don getting tense is when he's talked about in the third person. That, and when he spends time around circus carneys... We'll ask Don about that the next time we see him.

TimT - the gravatar hails from the distant land of Newcastle and may soon be replaced by a topless Hoff.

TimT said...

Oh ... hmm ... whoops!

Do you know I lived in Newcastle for, oh, five years?!?

I thought that was you sitting atop of that thingy outside the state library!

Faux pas, c'est ne pas, or something!

nailpolishblues said...

Ditto: Oh ... hmm ... whoops!
and Faux pas, c'est ne pas, or something!
but not Do you know I lived in Newcastle for, oh, five years?!? (Did you really? Was it as dull as I imagine it to be?)
or I thought that was you sitting atop of that thingy outside the state library!

TimT said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
nailpolishblues said...

The stuff memoirs aren't made of.

TimT said...

It could be a little on the quiet side, yes. I spent it mainly by getting involved in some community groups, writing for a zine and doing some teaching and web stuff for a local internet place - and not getting a job. Very strenuous thing, not getting a job, especially considering how much work one doesn't do. By the end, I was practically banging my head on the walls.

TimT said...

I apologise ... I thought I was being a little hard on old Newey there, so I reposted my comment with editing ... in the process, making your response a pre-emptive response - zap!

nailpolishblues said...

Thus making my claims of being psychic all good and then all bad. Damn.

I went to Newcastle once.

TimT said...

Oh, I think it gives your comment a new and exciting meaning.

I trust both you and Newcastle got along well enough.

Don Quixote said...

Newcastle is moving up in the world - alongside China, Newcastle was a sleeping giant. Now its a bustling town full of nice eating spots and bars. (No, they don't have bars on the windows - just places you can find a nice drink.)

nailpolishblues said...

Not really. I lunched badly and fled back to Sydney as soon as possible. I may or may not have kissed the ground at Newtown station.

Have you been to Newcastle, Don?

TimT said...

My guess is Don's been to Beaumont Street ...

Newcastle is undergoing a bit of a slump at the moment. It used to be working class, but about 10/15 years ago they started closing down several major factories down that way, which was a major blow to the region. It'll pick back up, but not thanks to the help of the council - they just like squabbling over trees and some stupid 'cultural precinct' plan they have, which basically involves them pumping shitloads of money into various pointless endeavours.

There are TONNES of theatre groups in Newey, actually - well, not tonnes, but several. Try googling for Footlice Theatre or Newcastle Repertory Theatre or, of course, the New Lambton School of Performing Arts. Also arts sales, theatres, etc. They've (mostly) been around for decades, if not a century or more, which kind of proves that working class people have more staying power and, well, more CLASS than a lot of the public servants and socialist student 'artists' who seem to be drifting around there now.

Not exactly a good way to be - an 'unworking class' city - but yeah, I reckon they'll pick up. Really, there's a good deal of stuff happening there - just have to know where it happens. And if you get involved in a couple of the cliques it helps too ...

nailpolishblues said...

The working classes vs the middle classes? I don't disagree.

Waxing lyrical about Newcastle? Do you miss the old place?

TimT said...

I don't know if I'd think of socialist students as middle classes, tho public servants are ... everyone's got a contribution to make, though, it's true. It'd be great to be upper class, though - sit on the balcony of your three storey home and quaff down something alcoholic while thinking of pleasant ways of spending your money ... but anyway, getting off track.

I don't really miss Newcastle, but it's definitely worth defending. For some reason a lot of Newcastle folks end up in Melbourne ... I know why now. Maybe it's the beer speaking, but it really is a beautiful city - the most beautiful Australian city. Have you visited Melbourne? You must do it!

nailpolishblues said...

I'm afraid I've never made it south. I seem to spend all my holiday time languishing in the tropics [by which I mean bitching, dying of heat exhaustion, and wondering why my parents are so very crazy] and drinking sinful amounts of alcohol [parents again - it's awful when your folks can drink you under then table].

It was absolutely gorgeous here today. I am such a Sydney kid even if I'll never really be able to afford it - still, if I outlive my aunt, uncle, and their lesbian daughters [I'm planning on them dying without issue] then I could have a couple of stories very very near the waterfront...

I think socialist students are often very much middle class - though it is so much more in vogue to be a conservative these days, especially if Daddy's paying for the degree.

nailpolishblues said...

Or even storeys. I already have the other.

TimT said...

It's ridiculously warm in Melbourne. Need more clouds - I want to feel that chill, damn it!

What gets me about socialist students is how what *really* matters to them, mostly, is eating and getting drunk and their DVD collection. Um, wanting to have enough to eat and drink and have a little on the side to spend on a good life? THAT'S middle class.

Melbourne is fantastic. It's a gigantic grid, stretches out for ages in every direction. For some reason, the idea keeps coming back to me that the whole freaking city is a gigantic poem, where every block is a verse. I know, I'm nuts. But you know. It's a metaphor, 'n' stuff.

TimT said...

Just came to me when I was finishing that comment, I knew one guy in Newcastle - he was a Greenie/Socialist or something like that. Anyway, he HAD known what it was like to be poor. Lived virtually hand-to-mouth in Newcastle, did squatting, and more than once actually gone overnight without a house to sleep in. Earned a kind of living as a muso. That sort of thing really scares me, especially the going without a house to sleep in - so I can sort of respect a guy with creds like that.

I think it gave him more than a bit of brains, and he was practical - he once told me that 'people can write whatever they like - as long as they pay for it'. Kind of a liberal capitalist thing to say, innit? But he was a big hippy, full into the Green causes.

So yeah. Uni kids who joined the socialist alliance didn't impress me that much, but folks who actually knew what it was like to live with a bit of austerity then talked some kind of socialism - I could respect that.

nailpolishblues said...

I honestly can't say I'd ever want to live it - even to prove a point. And the thing is that I'll never have to. Unless my mind cracks completely, and I wander off the face of my known world, I'll always be to well loved and too well protected to ever really have to worry. Not everyone has what I do though. I've seen enough and known enough people who had nothing or the next best thing to know that I want the safety nets in place. I must admit that I'm terribly afraid of the people who don't. And those safety nets, I'm told, make me a bloody socialist. Much like my views on women make me a feminist.
I don't think you really need to live something to know that it exists and to be aware of how awful it is. I've always thought the point was to up the standard, for everyone, rather than lower it [though, to be fair, it always seems to totter one way or the other] and for all not just for the few.

I always loathed uni politics - usually a bunch of rich kids with no fucking idea of life outside their very wealthy little cages. I may be biased by my last university though. The whole thing is quite farcical. I mean, politics is at the best of times but uni politics take it to an even more meaningless level.

Does 'pay' always have to be about money? How would you police that?

Have you considered moving to Tasmania or even to northern Europe? You seem to be having an issue with the warmth...

Poetry never really was my thing - I have a natural craptitude for it.

nailpolishblues said...

PS I am taking an award for most disjointed comment ever. It must be time for sleep.

TimT said...

Well, the safety nets are a good thing - though I have to say, my time on welfare taught me that it was good at keeping me alive, but not too much else .... I agree with most of what you say. I respect people who care for others, no matter where they come from politically.

Eastern Europe? That would make me - a welcher!
I think I'll take an overseas trip in the northern hemisphere winter, so that'll have to do.

Oh, and ...

Poetry never really was my thing - I have a natural craptitude for it.

Heh heh. 'Craptitude' - zing! Go the late-night comments!

Don Quixote said...

The socialists need to let go - they're destroying everything for the people that want to organize a modern left movement. You can't place athletes on a track, ask them to all run at the same pace, and expect to get good results. What'll happen is that everyone will run at the pace of the slowest runner, meaning before long everyone will come to a standstill.

The Greens, well, that's a different story. They just need to be careful not to allow the socialists to tie their banner to them.

Which is not to say that I don't think Marx was a genius; it's just that the proletariat are no better than the bourgeoisie (in either dictatorship people like me often end up swinging from a lamp pole or minus a head). There are better, more incentive-based ways of ensuring egalitarian outcomes.

I'd take part in university politics if the socialists were not hanging around all the time. As I always say: I'd rather disagree with a right winger than agree with a socialist. Instead, I've joined the university politics club, which is a non-denominational venture that comes together to analyze political events in an objective (theoretically) light.

When I was in Newcastle last (at the end of last year), the town was definitely on the up and up. A whole heap of little bars and yuppie joints were beginning to open; it was beginning to look like Fitzroy Street in St Kilda. So, yes, Nails, I've been to Newcastle - that's where the picture in my gravatar comes from.

nailpolishblues said...

Does a socailist by any other name smell as bad?

Kinda makes me wonder what is 'left' when you remove socialism.

And does anyone else maybe think I should stop teasing Don and, possibly, talking about him in the third person?

Alas, when craptitude describes your aptitude, or lack thereof, you suddenly forget what you were about to say and realise that you have yet to feed your caffeine addiction for the day...um...

TimT said...

I tend to think of the left as helping people who are disadvantaged, and the right as providing means out of that disadvantage. It's a bit of a vague definition, but when you cut through all of the political crap, I think you come up with something pretty much like that.

'Craptitude' is a great term; it may describe a lack of poetical aptitude, but demonstrates exactly the opposite ...

nailpolishblues said...

Oh dear lord, thinking like that makes for the possibility of a governmental ying-yang, that both not only do exist but pretty much have to exist for anything to actually happen! If only they knew that then they'd stop working against one and other and work together... [Yes, I love gross exaggeration.]

Also, *blush* still not true but *blush*

Email: timhtrain - at - yahoo.com.au

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