Wednesday 20 February 2008

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Precocious Passage

© John Sawyer – February 2008 

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 with excitement.

“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 often.

“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, 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 last night. 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 gee.”

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.


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