Trams are funny things. By that I mean funny: ha ha and, of course, funny: fucking weird.
Seriously, the daily use of public transport provides endless entertainment for Yours Truly.
Take last night for example:
It had been a long day. You know: student chores from dusk to dawn (1.30 pm – 6.30 pm) and the bitch was exhausted. So as soon as my teacher piped down I prayed ‘thank fuck’ and headed out of the lecture hall like a woman who had shit to do. Which, just so happened, I did. I fanged down to Coles (ie: sped-walked), legged it (literally, and despite my exhaustion) through the isles of processed foodstuff and after–work shoppers, found what I needed (Dove Body Wash and toilet paper), self-scanned my items, got the fuck out of there and headed straight to the tram stop.
This particular tram stop was right on Swanston Street so the entertainment I normally get from waiting in the middle of the road (where the likelihood of getting hit by a tram, car and/or truck is almost guaranteed) was nonexistent, and therefore, not amusingly life threating. (Seriously: were the designers of these tram stops ill-advised, unfazed by potential pedestrian death or simply high when they created Melbourne’s main public transport system?)
Any who, once numero uno tram came—that’s number one in Italian, by the way: sometimes I randomly drop different languages to make myself sound cultured—me and my shopping bag found ourselves a little space to stand on our funny little mode of transport.
If you’re not a tram-catcher this is one of the fun facts of them: they have seats but very rarely do you get to sit on one. It’s like musical chairs, except it’s backwards: you start with no chairs at all and when the music stops (in this case: you get further away from the City), a chair gets added. It’s glorious fun!
So me and my plastic bag stood. And what an entertaining time we had! We got so close to the patrons we could touch them! We could even breathe in their breath! And we got to see some other shopping bags too: some with Homebrand Cling Wrap inside them, some with shitake mushrooms inside them and some with condensed milk too! We played guessing games like I wonder why they bought those items at nighttime? and do you think condensed milk is a staple item or a special item? It was SO much fun until we realised if everyone else played this game inside their heads they would wonder: why the fuck does that girl only have a pack of toilet rolls and body wash in her shopping bag? She must have some really fucked up bowel movements if she needs to take a shower after she shits tonight!
So I decided to stop playing that game. Instead I looked at the ground and tried to transmit telepathic frequencies like I shopped last night, I just forgot to buy these items I swear! and I really don’t have chronic diarrhea! and does anyone else think it’s weird we’re all in here and no one’s talking to one another? Is anyone else talking in their own minds too?
Then that got boring (I surrendered to the fact that I wasn’t telepathic, just crazy) and soon enough the music stopped—a.k.a: there was a seat available.
So I sat my arse down and did what everyone else was doing: checked Facey.
Just to let you know, I’d only been on the tram for about 10 minutes. Then it occurred to me: ‘Fuck, I forgot how tired I was!’ (Go figure with a hectic uni schedule and a mind like mine #crazotown.) So I zoned out and zoned in on social media instead. That shit keeps one awake and entertained for hours on end! Especially if you have to respond to all the omg-I-love-you notifications—a consequence of being popular, needless to say. (Naturally, it takes time to scroll through the you’re a cunt ones too; but this time is obviously limited to a feeble sigh only—please, if you’re going to insult someone for being insulting, at least follow her lead and be imaginative about it—I happen to like the word cunt, you know, so no need to be drab or unintentionally-complimentary in your response. Perhaps you’re a herpes-infected, period-stained, mouldy-looking minge or something of that caliber would work better. *There’s always next time, doll.)
Any who, obviously too absorbed in brainstorming avant-garde insults (worthy of my response), I lost track of my whereabouts in reality—more specifically: had the tram gone passed my stop or what! Fuck!
As luck would have it, at that precise moment (I swung my head in the direction of the window like a bat out of goddamn hell) I realised my stop was the next one. Halle-fucking-lujah! I had about 2.5 seconds to push the button before the tram would continue forth in the direction of its tram-dream.
So I had no choice but to position myself in an I-must-do-anything-to-reach-the-buzzer-button position. One minute I was just a woman, lost in her own world; the next, I was like Wonder Woman without the faux-gold, red–star incrusted headband. Superhuman. Inhuman.
And then I looked like E.T.
Do you know what E.T’s finger looked like—the really straight, long and, well, fucked up pointy one? Picture that. On a woman. On a woman with toilet paper straddled between her feet. Pointing—like E.T pointed at the moon, mind you—at a fucking insignificant buzzer on a tram as if my life would fizzle and disappear before my eyes if I didn’t reach it in time.
It wasn’t my finest moment. And it wasn’t my finest moment when I finally hit the goddamn thing: I breathed a very audible sigh of relief and realised I was very much in the crutch of an unsuspecting female passenger. My finger still pointed like a moron, my attention turned to her; then to my ridiculously arched body merely centremetres from her own; then to the toilet rolls in my peripheral vision; then back towards my E.T finger where I—kid you not—noticed her hands, cupped in a catch-like position, hovering underneath it, a safety net of sweaty palms ready to catch the alien finger.
“Sorry. It all happened so fast.” I stammered.
“I … I … I could have pressed it for you.” She was equally flustered, “I remember thinking, ‘she might fall!’ But I … I …’
“Jesus. It’s all too much.” I said, getting my shit together, finally registering reality and the fact that practically dry-humping a complete stranger was not ideal. “I’m SO sorry!”
“I’m so sorry too! My mind didn’t register. You were … it … it’s been a long day … ”
“Amen honey! Shit.” I removed my body away from hers as respectfully as I could.
“The end of a working day and everything … I could have pressed it for you, I didn’t think.” She seemed to be getting her shit together now too.
“Oh I didn’t even think to ask. I don’t even think I was thinking. I just needed to push the button, bah!”
“Ha! Oh dear.”
“Yes. Oh dear indeed. This is my stop. I’ve got to go now. Thank you. Thank you SO much.”
I hurled my shopping bag and embarrassed arse out of the doors just in time.
“Thank you. Good luck!” She called out, as the tram doors slammed and took the sweet-souled stranger away.
Trams are funny things.
People are funny things.
Don’t you think?