** This is part two of me taking you for a ride along this tram route.**
Walking is my go to exercise especially now that COVID has made its home with us. A favourite walk is from St Kilda along Chapel Street into Richmond alongside the tram tracks.
Last Sunday when I got to Swan Street I was hot and sticky and feeling the effects of the distance. Coles is good place to pick up a few groceries. I did that and scrambled onto the 78 tram as it trundled towards my home and a reviving coffee.
The crowd on the journey from Swan Street to Toorak Road were mainly young people talking loudly – possibly the breakfast crowd who trammed it to the trendy cafes instead of paying the ridiculously high parking fees charged by the Yarra Council. Most of them got off at Toorak Road where other people pushed on with their shopping trolleys. Some who had physical difficulty with the high step had to be helped to board. All were seated when a smartly dressed woman in blue cut-off jeans, printed shirt and feet clad in up to the minute lace-less canvas shoes leaped on just before the doors finally closed.
She looked familiar. She looked like someone I had worked with a few years ago. Her eyes glided over me and moved on. She chose a seat further down the tram where a loud conversation was in progress. She changed that seat to one opposite me. I knew who she was. I was sure of it. Perhaps a little Botox but it was definitely the accounts assistant I had worked with a few years ago. I smiled at her. Her face didn’t move. She stared past me.
“Hi” I said. Not a muscle moved and her eyes slid over me to stare out the window.
I knew it was Gloria and I could see her problem. I was hot and sweaty from my fast walking. My hair was a mess under my blue cap and it was a day I hadn’t bothered to apply make-up. I looked like any one of the odd and strange people who rode that tram – the sort of person who tries to strike up a conversation so they can harangue you with their favourite topic.
I fitted into the demographic of those who travel that route. Gloria got off at Prahran Central without me saying her name. It didn’t seem important to be acknowledged and it is just possible that she didn’t recognise me. It is also possible that she never actually looks at anyone on that tram -always being careful not to make eye contact.
When I got home I studied myself in the mirror. I didn’t look too bad but I couldn’t get away from the fact that last Sunday I was an undesirable and therefore invisible on the 78 tram. I brewed some coffee – strong.
This beautiful scaloppini or golden squash as it is sometimes called was given to me by a neighbour who is blown away by his success at growing them this year.
Beautiful is the word for it. There is no mark on its golden yellow skin and the green stalk tones perfectly. I photographed it and treated it like an exotic flower with pride of place on my coffee table. It couldn’t last and I couldn’t watch it wither away. I cooked it.