Saturday, August 15, 2015

Window view -or- Man from Rhodes

The Meadowbank train leaves at ten past six and the rain ain't going to stop. The train goes to Hornsby via Central. A man watches a movie on his mobile, his shirt and suit pants stretched tight. A girl with a nose ring sits next to me, face wrinkled brow.
The train goes to Hornsby via Central. I had to ask the attendant which platform, I got it right anyway. The train connection leaves from platform 2–four minutes after I alight at Central.
The Meadowbank train arrives a minute late. The train should be able to make up time, there's a long stretch from Burwood to Redfern, city map interchange stations glow fluorescent. I check the trip on my mobile for the God-knows-how-many-millionth time.
The train leaves from platform 2, four minutes after I arrive. Or is it platform 4, two minutes after? The train stops at platform 16. I can walk from 16 to 2 in four minutes–can I catch it in two?
At Redfern the train doors open and in the rain the emergency light of a truck flickering yellow inner space dead fucking apocalyptic.
The train arrives on time. There are no signs for the platforms. I walk to the concourse. At the gates the attendant tells me to walk to gate 2 via gate 8. Four minutes to gate 2.
The intercity trains are barricaded from the concourse. I dodge a motorised baggage trolley. On 2, —'this isn't going to the domestic, this is going to Lisarow, you want 23'—, a nametag orders me to Fade. 'Fuck!' I check my mobile, 'Thanks,' I fade.
I walk around the concourse and stop from exiting the concourse at the last second–would my ticket let me back on? It cost eighteen fuckin' bucks.
My bag clicks over the tiles. It's well past two and four minutes. I calculate how much time I have before the boarding gate shuts. I find gate 23 amongst the surgical white ruins of construction. A train on the platform leaves for domestic. I make the train, puddles on the carriage floor. In the tunnel from Green Square to Mascot to Domestic water on glass track markers starburst pulse.
I get to the airport with forty minutes to spare. My train ticket works in the gate. Security don't frisk me.
The plane departs from gate 4. I'm pretty sure about that. I try not to double- and triple-check the departures board.
Business and economy board side-by-side, businessmen burnt-coffee breath.
A woman swaps the window seat for the aisle, 'I don't like the window seat', neither do I. The woman speaks Indonesian over other passengers to her family.  Will I die on this plane? Cabin purgatory.
The plane departs late. The sky covers the horizon unbroken grey mist. Spider-webbing rain on glass. Under the wing, the sky is blue.

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