Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Was It Getting Bigger?

The whole of Gertrude Street seemed to be under construction this morning, the tram stop at Gertrude and Smith, the intersection at Gore Street being resurfaced, and the really ugly apartment building being built on the corner of Gertrude and George, consequently all of that was playing havoc with the cars, which was making it difficult for the pedestrians to cross the road. I zipped across between two cars, yes I did. I tell you people are getting really mean. I ran between cars, it would have been my fault if anything happened, I admit that, it was the cars right of way, but that doesn't mean the chick behind the wheel of the white Suzuki 4WD couldn't have taken her foot off the accelerator to accommodate me, but she didn't, she just kept right on accelerating right at me. The world is becoming a meaner place.

But it does mean there is an abundance of tradies around the place. A shout out to the blue-eye boy holding the stop/slow sigh in George Street today, in his hoodie and high viz vest, you baby are hot. Slow, stop, anything you want, honey.

I finally remembered to transfer my new Alicia Keys album onto my phone. New to me, not a new release, $1.25 at the opshop. As I Am, 2010. I was quite pleased to get it too, as I have never really been a great Alicia Keys fan and this is an opportunity to get to know her music just a little better.

I was back into a short sleeved shirt, it was a cool morning, but the expected top temp was meant to be 31 degrees, so the weather report says.

We’ve had a couple of colder days and I wore a long-sleeved shirt to work for only the second time this year. It felt weird to have my arms covered.

Trams don't wait for you in the mornings any longer, I have noticed. Once the driver would wait if he saw you running to catch the tram, but not any longer. I guess it is just the way of the world. I suspect it has a lot to do with the privatisation of the tramways.

Two newer, larger, relatively full trams passed me in MacArthur Street, but I was still a long way from my stop so I didn't even try to catch those. Then an older, relatively empty, single tram car came trundling down the road. They are so cute, compared to the new ones that just seem to be getting longer and longer. The single cars are like the little terriers of the tramway network. I can almost imagine them going "Yap, Yap, Yap, Yap," all the way down the street. I started to run, but I was still up by the Diana Memorial, so it was really unlikely I'd get it, but I tired. Of course, I just got to spitting distance of it and those doors closed and off it went, "Yap, Yap, Yap."

However, it isn't that far around the corner to the next stop in Collins Street, at no 1, so I hustled off down the road to the intersection. It was pretty empty, it wouldn't be stuffy hot, I could get a seat. I zipped across Spring Street, saw a gap in the traffic coming into Collins Street, there is always a gap, there is always a slow one, more than likely on their phones, and I zipped across to the big old useless, oh, um, er, the lovely new super stop and dashed along it, hanging onto my bonnet and bag, as the last of the passengers were heading up those steps. The tram can't go while there are passengers still getting on, let’s face it, no matter what the new private owners dictate, so I was in with a chance. Then I was up the steps, the doors slid shut behind me and off we went, as I headed to an empty seat, trying not to sound like I was gasping too heavily for breath. An athletic Asian boy in a crisp, white shirt got on behind me. I sat trying to regulate my breathing, as he jumped passed me like a gazelle.

We never want people to think we have pushed ourselves to achieve something, we all want the other person to think we just managed "it" all in our stride. I didn't want to shake and drip with sweat.

I sat backwards on the crazy patterned lime green seats. The tram was relatively empty, but that didn't stop people standing. I gazed off into space, breath, breath, breath.

The tram was relatively empty, so the air was still fresh and not too stuffy. Some mornings with a packed tram it can be like stepping into a sauna. And after walking to the edge of the CBD, it is almost too hot and too stuffy some mornings.

I know, I know, I should walk all the way to my office, which I’d be happy to do, but it is just a time thing, as that would take me another half an hour, up to, and I really like getting to work as early as I can. Catching the free tram through the CBD it only takes 5 minutes, or so. This way I can still leave the house at 8am with Sam and still get to work at 8.30am.

In front of me was a pair of blue pants, right in my eye line. Nice they were too. I wasn’t trying to look at anything, I was just trying to make my heavy breathing not obvious to all around me. But, there is was, right in my line of sight. I gazed freely, not really focusing, but focusing too. A bit of a perve, with a bit of a stare. Just looking ahead of me. I must admit, I just let my gaze be fixed, not really caring. I didn’t look up, I didn’t look down, I didn’t look away, I just looked straight ahead. I never think that anyone is taking any notice of me on the tram in the mornings, where I am looking. I’m quite low key, is what I think. I imagined what kind of undies he was wearing, it is true, I confess. Boxers or briefs? Short trunks or long trunks? Did he have a hairy stomach, spreading up to a hairy chest? He seemed to have nice thick legs.

Then the hand went in the pocket. He made a bit of an adjustment of himself. His hand wandered subtly around in his pocket again. Then the hand went in the other pocket and it took out his phone, to which headphones were attached. He seemed to be changing the music. He slid the phone back into his pocket and turned sideways towards the door. His suit pants looked even better in profile. Had it got bigger?

I stole a look at his face, he was gazing out the tram window. A handsome wog boy, nice. In his thirties. He looked married, but maybe that is just my fantasy?

Then it was my stop. I stood up. He stepped in front of me to get off too. He got off at the tram stop and kind of looked around to see where I was going, it seemed. He turned and waited on the tram stop as I walked away. Funny, I thought. Is all of that in my imagination? It didn't seem like it. I was happy just to walk off. It is kind of nice to know, but I don’t want to pick any one up, thanks anyway handsome. A smile, and off I went, a spring in my step. I looked back from the traffic lights, he was still looking in my direction. I smiled to myself.

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