Train Spotting

Travelling by rail through the inner west is like walking through the bowels of an old building on the fringes of the city.

Cracked edifices, leaking pipes stained rusty, bifurcating canals and tunnelling.

Fences, wire and cable declare areas of complete emptiness as ‘no-go’ zones.

Old bricks. Red-brick. Damp and dust. Home to a microcosm of crawling insects; everything in symbiosis.

A feeling of desperate loneliness used to fill me once, with such sites. Now, I am not saddened so much as just lost in its randomness, and yet not — a purposeful randomness that reflects my own life and perhaps that too of others.

As sure as channels twist and turn and branch, darting here under mangroves and there aside tailings, the car bends suddenly and cranks boisterously to help settle me to sleep.

But travelling in any vehicle makes me sleepy – cars, trains and planes.

After all, only with motion can one completely rest.


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