I don’t walk to work, the same way that I walk home, never, sometimes I wonder if that is odd? (Deep down, perhaps I think I am a secret agent?)
I like looking at the hot bike riding boys riding to work all waiting in Brunswick Street for the lights to change at Victoria Parade. They are generally young, in their twenties, or thirties, generally in shorts, often thin cotton, and always with the bike seats, you know, doing the split beaver.
I got on the tram at Albert Street. It was quite a breezy day, but it was also quite humid, so I didn't feel like getting to the office covered in sweat. I found a seat just inside the tram, but it was hot inside, stuffy, airless. My question continues to be, why isn't there any air conditioning on the new trams in the morning? It is especially hot for me as I have just walked twenty minutes to the tram stop. Okay, 10 minutes, but who's counting. But, I began to sweat quickly, so, the only thing to do was to go and stand in the doorway, because at least then I get a gust of fresh air when the doors open. There is a spot on those trams where there is a bit of a wall and you can stand more out of the way but still get the breeze when the doors open, but a chick in her active wear had already taken that spot, so I had to stand in the doorway, at the rear door, as it turned out, in front of the seat. It was 7.30am, so the tram wasn't so busy, so I wasn't really in anybody's way. Headphones in, Rolling Stones playing, lovely. Each time the door opened I leant out and took great lung bucketsful of fresh air in, as I felt the cool breeze blow around me.
Now, out of the corner of my eye I saw a man get up from the seat next to me, and another man move to that seat as the tram got going. I don't know why those modern trams are so stuffy in the mornings, I assume the private operators avoid turning the aircon on to cut costs, you know like when they took over the network they said they wouldn't reduce the number of stops to cut costs, and then they got rid of every second stop in the city.
Then there was a tap on my left arm. I turned to see the guy who had just taken the seat wanted to say something to me, express a view, give me a weather report, whatever. So, I took my left earpod out of my ear and Street Fighting Man stopped playing. It immediately hit me that this guy was the spitting image of George from George and Mildred, I guess that ages me. "If you moved away from the doorway, you wouldn't be blocking it for everybody else." His rat-fat came to rest in what I would call a snide attitude. Or, resting rat face.
It was early, it was practically just me and rat face. There were a couple of others, of course, but there certainly wasn’t a line of people wanting to use the door, in front of who I was standing, just me wanting some air.
You know, I may have attempted to explain to him the heat and stuffiness and my need for some fresh air, but as it was just me and him and, I am sure, because there was something intrinsically repulsive about this guy, some annually retentive number cruncher – yes, I am aware I could be described in such away, well, not annually retentive, or repulsive, I hope, but a number cruncher – the type who'd sweat furiously as he masturbated to old, stained, girlie magazines, a true mouth breather, that what, actually, came out of my mouth was, "And if I told you to mind your own business you'd probably be offended, go figure." There was a moment that we just gazed at each other, both of us not quite believing I'd just said that. Then it was 'close your mouth, Christian,' earpod in, good job done. Look straight ahead. Street Fighting Man came back on.
Hey so my name is called Disturbance
I'll shout and scream
I'll kill the king, I'll rail at all his servants
Not long after, I felt him push aggressively against me, like a five year old who hadn't got his way, as he exited the tram at his stop, which was also my stop, so I stepped out into the cool breeze and watched him scuttle away like a small, insignificant blue crab in front of me.