So it's been a fair while since I've written ~ during which time my Masters thesis has been finally finished, printed, bound and lovingly placed on a shelf never to be opened again.
I have also got thoroughly jack of being a university lecturer, so (never one to wallow and whinge more than strictly necessary or pleasurable) I have got a new job that will give me magnificent karma and very little pay. It starts in 6 weeks' time and is part of the reason that I am writing again, as it will involve me becoming 'exclusive' with my first love; public transport.
Yep, me and the Upfield line and the St Kilda Road tram will be becoming intimate over the next while ~ and in my own perverse nerdy way I am looking forward to it.
It's funny how things go full circle really ~ this blog was started way back in the day (May 2004 for anyone who is impressed by such things) as a way to record my observations of the myriad weird and wonderful people that I saw on my daily commute. Somewhere along the way I got a scooter which drastically altered the purpose of the blog, and Blogger got all fancy with photos and video capabilities etc. While multimedia fanciness is a lurvely thing, one of its effects has been to make me a little lazy in the writing department; relying on visual gags and bitchy comments rather than rich description and simple appreciation of difference in all its glory.
So, it seems strangely fitting that, as I am about to re-enter another public transport phase, the most magnificent muse should appear before me on the 12.01 Upfield line on the way into work today.
She got on a stop after I did, which allowed me to fully appreciate her exquisite uniqueness as she walked purposefully in my direction. One might say that her most distinctive feature was an oversize orange felt hat that Robin Hood might wear if he was observing 'take the piss out of your usual headgear day'. But 'distinctive' is a relative term when you consider that this was offset by a muted strawberry bag, and bright yellow leggings overlaid on vivid black and white striped tights. Most people would look seriously silly in this kind of ensemble but she looked fantastic and carried if off beautifully ~ the fact that she was drop dead gorgeous and of some sort of Asian descent (Thai or Burmese at a very uneducated stab) no doubt helped.
Anyhoo ~ she walked purposefully past me and straight out the door of the carriage. I assumed she was heading into the next one but she stopped and stood on the little platform between the carriages as the train rolled along. She was staring out at the world going by and I thought for one horrible moment that she was thinking about jumping off ~ but to my absolute relief and immense pleasure she started singing.
I was one of the few people facing in her direction so I found myself staring, entranced, at this young woman (mid-20s perhaps) standing between two train carriages, singing to herself and the world while looking completely, indisputably happy.
It occured to me while watching her that many people surveying the scene would assume she was in some way imbalanced ~ which tempered my smile just a tad because of the inference that it takes a mental illness to be prepared to express yourself with such simple beauty; honestly and without fear of judgement. If this is truly the case then my worries for the world are even more so after reflecting on this.
The cynic in me checked for the ubiquitous white earphones that seem to come with any commuter under 40 these days but there was nothing, she was just singing to herself and appreciating the view from the slightly gritty perspective of a surburban commuter train. Watching her sing in silence (I couldn't hear anything) was one of those rare experiences that makes you feel all uncool and mushy ~ one of those infectious joy kind of deals.
One of the reasons that I am leaving my current job as a lecturer is that I am finding myself becoming just a touch cynical about it ~ and that's not the kind of person I want to be ~ I want to be the kind of person that is entranced by uninhibited people singing on the train and who finds beauty in the everyday. Unbearably cliched and mushy I know but hey, I guess someone's gotta do it.
Over n' out :-)
tub o cats
1 week ago