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Posts Tagged ‘Prose&Poetry’

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joondalup_railway_line#/media/File:Mitchell_Freeway_100_N_Stirling_Civic_with_train.jpg

Mitchell Freeway photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

The train I catch to the city rides on a railway line between the North and South lanes of the Mitchell Freeway.  I loved gazing at the cars streaming on their way to or from work.  Comfortable in the air-conditioned, clean and very fast, with someone-else-driving carriage, I filled my notebooks as other commuters wondered what I was saying about them.

Short stories and poems written on my train journeys between Edgewater Station and Perth City, appeared in my book  Hidden Capacity ~ a poet’s journey  and later  separately, in my Rail Tales chapbook. (Both books are sold out.)

Trips into Town.

However, there is a game I play on my way to work. Wearing my HBF corporate uniform, another day of routine smiles and customer queries beckons.

When the no-name monotony gets too much, I shrug off that persona and step into my imagination.

On the most normal and usual of journeys to and from work, strange things happen because I wear the seahorse broach my son gave me for my birthday. It seems that when I touch it, caress it, the cold metal seems to warm.

I can actually feel his love, the time he took to find exactly the right broach, the money he saved and his joy when I opened the wrapping, laughing and smiling with obvious delight.

A different me seemed to take over: moveable me, a nebulous entity able to drift like an invisible tide on air thick with wanting. I could change my life – become someone else by feeling envy or wishing for what others seemed to have…

Though the first time it happened, I was terrified.

Work at the Bank held no attraction that day.  In fact, I had finished up the previous day out of balance, fully expecting my pretentious I-play-the-game supervisor to take me to task.  Not a workday to look forward to.

So with the announcement “Next station Perth”, I was focusing my energies on someone who seems to have it all.

As we squealed into the Leederville Tunnel, the lights flickered then dimmed. I don’t know why but in that fraction of black, a thrill of anticipation ran through me.

The last person I concentrated on wore a lot of good jewellery, expensive clothes, bag and shoes.  She was attractive, with immaculate nails.  When the lights burned fully again, I was wearing the expensive clothes, lots of jewellery and immaculate nails. I had shed myself, metamorphosed into this perfect being.

What next?

Unlimited credit cards, meeting a friend for lunch on The Terrace, more shopping – check out the bank account and then, pop into the Italian jewellery for a new bracelet. I would of course decline dinner at the Hyatt because I have to get back to feed my cat.

Do I still have a cat?  Who’ll feed Soxies?

This dream couldn’t last and I had to try to return to my own skin but first, I had to find myself.  A creature of habit, I make sure I get the same train every night, waiting in the usual place on Platform 2 with sore feet and tired stance.

Just managing to board before the doors swished shut, I gratefully sat down. As the carriage pulled away from the station, I placed ‘her’ handbag between my feet.

We swayed to the left and the lights flickered then dimmed. There’s the fraction of black again and I concentrated, staring at ‘myself’ two seats away, firmly clutching Angela’s purchases.

It couldn’t really happen. My family would wonder how I managed to acquire such gorgeous clothes and new jewellery on my wage. They’d think I had a secret admirer and why weren’t they told?

They don’t know about the games I play to relieve the boredom. 

It’s all in my head of course…

Frances Macaulay Forde © 2001

 

@FrancesMForde  #FrancesMacForde  #BOOK:HiddenCapacity  #BOOK:RailTales  #Prose&Poetry  #Poetry  #ShortStories  #FrancesMacaulayForde  #TrainStories  #RidingTheRails  #TrainWriting  #TrainStories

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Stephen Page

Author: The Salty River Bleeds, The Timbre of Sand, Still Dandelions, A Ranch Bordering the Salty River. Alum: Palomar College, Columbia University, Bennington College. Follow on twitter @SmpageSteve on Instagram @smpagemoria on Facebook @steven.page.1481

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