Every morning she gets to the train station about 5 or 6 minutes early. Sometimes, if there are problems on the Frankston line, she has to wait longer.
She puffs up the uncomfortably steep incline to the platform and extends her arm. Hail Myki. Blip.
Thus begins the slow, arduous journey to her usual spot at the far end of the platform, where the first carriage will come to a halt.
Her eyes glance up at the display board, subconsciously registering the illuminated numbers that represent how long she has to wait.
Sometimes, if she’s wearing heels, she teeters dangerously over the grip buttons on the edge of the platform – whatever they are there for. Her heels slip between the buttons and her ankles threaten to roll. It’s the most perilous part of her journey.
But then, she makes it to her spot and stands and waits.
Here, she allows her mind to sit in a fog. She hasn’t spoken to anyone yet today, except maybe a few mumbled “good mornings” to her sleepy husband.
She still feels tired enough to trudge back to bed and fall into a deep, satisfying sleep, freshly applied makeup rubbing off onto the white pillowcase. She can almost close her eyes and drift off standing upright. She might even be dreaming right now…
Most mornings, there’s a subtle frown on her face. It is usually biting cold pre-8am. She loathes the cold. A soft, icy wind slips into her blouse and cheekily tickles her body. Dreary, grey clouds amass in the sky and shoot down bolts of misery. It’s almost unbearable. But at least it keeps her awake.
On the rare occasion the morning sun is out, its golden rays cast a magical, unreal glow onto everything. Objects sparkle and shine under it. Warmth seeps into her outer skin, despite the throbbing cold of the winter air. On these mornings, she can conjure a smile and generally calm her heart, which beats fast in anticipation of the day’s stress.
She carries too much and she knows it. Her work laptop, her lunch in a glass container, a water bottle filled right to the top, her diary and a novel to read. It makes her arms hurt and her shoulders ache. Her hips and knees are also displeased by the weight. But, she figures better this inconvenience than being stuck without a necessary item. She’d bring a change of clothes and different shoes if she could fit them into her bulging bag.
Discomfort. Thoughts. Daydreams. A heart beating fast. It lasts 1,000 hours every morning. It drags like an eternity, and it’s beautiful in its own right.