We live our lives in separate rooms.
When the first racing games were developed, it became evident that the car didn’t actually move, it was the track that was moving. Sometimes this is how I feel.
As I write this I’m sharing a room with a Vietnamese family. It’s probably the only room we’ll share in our life. Just now the little girl shoved her tiny hand across her father’s face to shut him up. Slapstick knows no language.
The room is powering down the tracks towards the lights of the big city. I’ll get off at Newtown and jump on a bus back home to Marrickville. I wonder if I’m writing like this because I’ve been reading ‘A moveable feast’. In any case, I don’t own a shotgun.
We form attachments to the people who occupy the same spaces as ourselves. I feel like a busy train is similar to a new seating arrangement in school. We are separate from our friends and the silence is evident. In a few weeks, however, we’ve made new friends and the seating arrangement must change.
Thousands of people have written on trains to try and pass the time and somehow contribute to the oversaturated use of the train as a metaphor for fate or choice, or even a concept as loose as ‘life’. The truth is that anything short of the Orient Express is a waste of time.
The family just jumped off at Cabramatta.
I wonder what the inside of their house looks like? I’d imagine that it’ll still be raining when the father opens the door for his family, his little girl running past him to grab the last thing she was playing. The warmth inside is the closest thing the room can do to say ‘I missed you’. The red curtains, soft carpet, and the dull hum of a fish tank filter are the signifiers of home. Yet, they are nothing special.
It’s association. The rooms we occupy only have significance when memories are forgotten about them. When we can’t quite remember all the stories about high-school, that’s where the nostalgia comes from.
It’s 9:55pm and a woman is getting restless. In a true bogan fashion, the man yelled , “Stop your fu#king bitching”. I know the space they occupy and it’s why they are here. It’s why they are on the move. The forgotten memories that have seeped into the walls push them out. Sadness… hurt… disappointed. It’s why they’d rather be outside than in.
It’s why we crave holidays.
My room is like a cave. It’s dark, damp and ancient. I had a strange feeling when I was eating breakfast of the time I have left. Picturing myself as an old man, but at the same single table… eating alone. It’s a terrifying image.
The happy couple are still fighting. Next stop is Grandville. I remember changing trains there countless times and purchasing chicken rolls. Three people got off. One lady is watching makeup tutorials on her phone. She has purple hair.
Your body is the train, your consciousness is the track. You are right here with me. Your consciousness determines where you go, which rooms you occupy. Your body merely follows your mind.
Not the Orient Express, but hey, I think this bogan behind me might murder his wife.
Written on the train by Randall Evans
This is The Vile Mint