Monday

  • disinterested, looking anywhere but at the young son and daughter. Plaintive pleas to talk to mum on the phone. Perhaps three and eight, left to amuse and enjoy what they can make of it themselves. Their frustration at his absence obvious and well versed. As best I have been able to tell I have little to no capacity to empathise with adults. Only the kids, and my distress at their betrayal keeps we witness to this drama of damage.

  • Knee length down coat, Melbourne black pants flats tights jumper. Begins grey crochet and pauses. The wool remains on her lap, concern flick glance toward away to this broken family. Unable to do anything but, like me, to wait? What for?

  • “Clifton Hill.” “About 10 minutes.” Terse back of his head into a phone. We arrive at Clifton Hill. No movement. “Dad, Dad, Dad” with rising urgency to rouse him. “Shit!” He grabs a case calling for everyone to get their stuff and strides off. A third emerges from I don’t know where, dishevelled fevered clutching pillow and bag. No paternal waiting shepherding collecting, fuck, even caring. Youngest wails that someone needs to help with the step off and a brother waits doing what is not his to do. This morning, on an ordinary commuter train, I think him a cancer inside of these children’s optimistic lives.

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