Monday, October 3, 2011

the french love their pharmacists, train blog

I am watching my client as he walks towards me. I can hear footsteps. People brush past us as we attempt to board the Mentone train, stopping all stations to the city. I would never sign up for train-wreck-style reality show. No way! I became an outsourcing counsellor on the Melbourne Metropolitan rail lines when my life as a musician hit a bad patch. The client scoffs happily, gimlet eyes a-twinkle. The customer is an actor on TV. Naturally, he’s also a writer, a composer of music, musicals and has his own theatre group. He is not unattractive, wearing a baseball cap, dark glasses and neutral leisurewear as a disguise. He might as well be carrying a neon sign. He loves Mentone, the village, the postcode, 3194, the ordinariness of it, the bowling alley, Warragul Road and the broad beach with cliffs that the early 20th century painters so adored. He loves neighbouring suburbs Parkdale and Mordialloc, but not Beaumaris, its pretentious, especially the yacht club off Beach Road. He informs me that my face is drained of life and colour. I press my hands to my face. “What makes you say that?” I told myself, if he doesn’t speak soon I’m going to fall asleep. Momentarily flustered by my indifference my client underwent a transformation, a silent storm that set the carriage alight. His ego crudely penetrated the space. He was possessed, fell to the floor and screamed that he was cursed by gypsies, that his past was strewn with heartlessly rejected lovers of both sexes - for he had such a pride in his ability as an actor and his attractiveness. His voice held no sign of gaiety. He was drenched in sweat. I tried to crawl to another carriaqge. No luck . . . to be continued

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