Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Running for the Tram

Don’t you hate it when people who are walking behind you in the morning are talking loudly on their phones, as some twat was doing as I walked passed St Pats this morning. It is one of the things I like about walking to work in the morning, the quease and piet. It is almost therapeutic, one foot in front of the other, steady rhythm, the cool breeze whipping around one’s ears.

The constant yap kept up behind me, the idiot on the phone didn’t turn off at any of the plethora of alternate streets they could have taken.


So, then there was a tram coming and at the last moment I decided to catch it. To get away from Mr Yappy, as much as anything else.

So, I ran to catch a tram just before Spring Street, but missed it. I find the new trams, as nice as they are, never wait to pick you up, like the old one always seemed to. I don’t know if the doors are computer controlled rather than manually operated, or what have you, but they never wait, unless you are standing right there to get on. (Actually, this was one of the old single car trams, and I missed it by a mile, but who lets the truth get in the way of telling a story, I ask you?)

So, fuck it, I ran to Collins Street and caught it there. I love the new low rider trams (which, I guess, won’t be new when you are reading this. They are hardly new now, just new compared to these old dinosaurs) I flung myself into a seat and heaved and gasped. (What is it they say, short bursts of intense exercise are better for you than practically anything else)

“That was a good run,” said the lady sitting opposite me.

“Oh, I guess,” I gasped.

“I watched you run down the street.” She was gorgeous, dressed all in black, of course. Collins Street Melbourne, a Melbournian’s spiritual home.

“Well done,” she said.

I was panting. “It must be good for me, I think.”

“I’m impressed that you made it.”

“Get the blood flowing.”

“That is quite a run.”

“Oh, a bit of exercise in the morning.”

We both smiled. She was lovely.

It was a cold morning, we were all rugged up.

“Oh, but I am hot now,” I gasped. I took off my double-breasted woollen coat. I had on a short-sleeved short underneath. I find our office, like most other offices, is over-heated in winter. I wear short-sleeved shirts almost year round, just in winter I cover myself with a coat to and from work.

She shivered at my action. “I don’t feel the cold,” I said.

“Oh, I do,” she said. She flexed her fingers, wrapped in black leather gloves. And she smiled.

I love those moments on trams, the friendly chat. They don’t happen so much on trains. I think it is because the tram is connected to the street in a way that a train is not. Small moments of connection and joy, it is what life is all about, after all.

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