Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Train Sessions’

I made a name for myself by injecting a sense of moral ambiguity into pop music. But these days, institutional corruption and moral ambiguity are a given across all the arts. Well, duh.

Anyway, its sort of thrilling to have a real job working freelance as an outsourcing counselor.

I was running a little late. When I arrived at the Caulfield line I was caught in a dilema; two hours or an all day card. If this counselor business takes off I might go for a monthly, quartly, or even the Myki smart card. I always ride in the carriage second from the front. My memories a bit vague on why I actually do this.

Anyway, I change trains at South Yarra for the Sandringham Line. I swept out of one carriaqge on to another train. I’m thinking beach side, shady green belt, middle class customers to start the day.

I wear a name tag that Officeworks ran up for me. Nothing too large. Outsourcing Counselor it says, $50 for 15 minutes; not as good as working at a massage parlour, but I more often than not keep my clothes on.

A young lady with piercing in her eyebrow and cheek sat down across from me and began talking. She wore a shapeless black dress. There were bundles of newspaper at her feet. She was wearing red Converse runners and white sox. I thought she was too old to pull off that look. On anyone older than fifteen, it was ridiculous. I knew what I had to do, but instead exploded in cold chills and a rash. It comes with the job. This youngish female was having problems; she had cancer and hadn’t told any of her friends. She was pregnant and confused, she needed to talk, she wanted to have fun, but she needed to control herself and her emotions. I needed to deal with this problem as quickly as possible. Bummer. Not a perfect start to a shift.

As I said, she started talking at Ripponlea and by Sandringham I was checking my watch and looking at the timetable for the next express back to the city. The depressing piano music in my head started playing and as we alighted on to the platform the woman rushed forward as though to throw herself under the train. I felt sure her number was up, fortunately a staff pyscho crashed into her and she collapsed in a heap on the platform.

Before you could ask the question, “How do the SSRI's compare to the MAOIs? I had grabbed my fee from her purse, handed over my stamped discount customer card and made an appointment for next week for her. Next I stuck the chick in a taxi and sent her off to the Hospital. I couldn’t think of where else to put her. She was now the Indian drivers problem.

Till tomorrow, Stephen