I see you walking in your loping gait along the street. Your black school shoes are scuffed and your trousers too long. I wonder why your mother doesn't hem them for you. Maybe your mother is not even around or maybe she is and she is at home trying to roll herself out of bed and shake off hangover that dogging her again today. Or is your mother a high flying corporate that doesn't have time for children? I think possibly no, that mother would care about your appearance, wouldn't she? Your hair is long and falls in a floppy waterfall over the side of your face, I would of told you to wash it, I would of told you to cut it. Did you know I noticed that your eyelashes are so long and today I noticed that they are hiding deep blue eyes.
I know that your face is smooth and flushed pink with youth and I know your mouth moves and doesn't stop the whole length of the street. I hear your little chants to yourself as I move past you, every day I try to hear what you are saying, everyday I try to encourage you to look up and smile but your not interested in me, just your feet.
I wonder how you cope on the train, do you stand or sit? Do your fellow commuters look at you sideways or are they too busy with their phones and ipads? Does anyone else notice that you are missing a button on your blue school shirt today? I imagine you stand with your back to the wall, its safer that way isn't it? You can see the entire carriage and it allows you some control to watch everyone from under your lashes.
Does your father know that you are on the cusp of manhood? Does he know that you are sprouting a few hairs on your chin? I wonder if you get to see your dad every day, does he ask you how your day was, does he ask you about the poetry in your head or the songs you might singing in your heart, you see I don't think your mumbling or chanting silly rhymes to yourself.
Did you get lunch today? What was it? I reckon you had a vegemite sandwich on white bread, I bet you didn't even cut the sandwich did you? Just slapped some cling wrap around it and shoved it into your school bag to jostle with your books and pencils. Will the other kids at your school look at you with scorn or pity in their eyes when you again sit in the furtherest corner of the school ground and move and round your lips over your familiar little chants.
Do you write your ramblings down? Do you keep an old school book with your jotted thoughts? I bet you hide under your mattress in your bedroom. I imagine you at night, locked away in your little bedroom, I bet its at the front of the house isn't it where you can overlook the street? I reckon you would see all sorts of things in this neighbourhood, I bet that those happenings in your street give you inspiration for your words. I imagine you scratching away with a HB pencil making words, making doodles of eyes. You would have a small metal lamp in your room over your desk piled high with text books and the occasional mouldy vegemite sandwich you didn't eat at school.
When you sleep at night, I wonder about your dreams, do you see yourself a rock star? Playing to large stadiums with lights blinding your eyes, thousands of girls screaming your name. Will you strut the stage in denim and leather belting out your rambling lyrics in a raspy voice, with your waterfall hair falling in your eyes? Maybe you dream of adventure, away from city lights, just you and the world, a passport in your back pocket a pencil behind your ear and backpack on your back.
Tomorrow school is over for the year, what will you do? I am almost certain you don't have too many friends. Will you read books in your little bedroom as the sun bakes your little bedroom making it feel like an oven and that its cooking you from the inside. Will you wander your neighbourhood streets chanting your rhymes and stories to yourself? Looking for ways to beat the summer heat.
My walk to work is hot today and its only the 1st day of Summer, I hear the shouting with a slur from the little house a little way ahead, "Luca! Luca! Ya little brat didn't I tell you to put the rubbish out last night?! You lazy little sod!" as I push through the steamy heat to work already my blouse is starting to feel wet with sweat, and now I feel sweaty with fear for this Luca, as I see your familiar lopping gait come out the same gate that the scrawny woman with the loud mouth had propped herself against yelling your name. Your floppy hair and blue eyes, I know who you are Luca. You finally put your head up and look directly at me as I pass by, your lips aren't moving with a chant but you are smiling and I know you will be alright.
Fuck! There goes your coffee all over 'train guys' white shirt as you jostle your way onto the crowded train, you smile and apologise whilst he tries to wipe the coffee dripping from his shirt, but you know that its fruitless its just spreading, you tell him that you will pay for the dry cleaning and a new shirt even this morning and whip out your phone to grab his number and offer yours, he is now too frustrated it seems and too annoyed, he mumbles 'it will be alright...forget it' pulls his jacket around himself to hide the staining, and at the first opportunity moves away from you on the train.
With a look of defeat you find a spot to lean against the train carriage and busy yourself with wiping the drips of coffee off your cup. You look tired, did you sleep last night? Your makeup is rather thick on your face today, is it to hide the bags under your eyes? I would love to tell you that your middle button is undone on your blouse but I am worried that you have already had enough to deal with this morning and something as simple as a button might unhinge you. I see the lady next to you sneaking looks at you, like you are some sort of klutz about to spill some more coffee, maybe on her pristine looking outfit. I know you won't, you didn't mean to spill the coffee on 'train guy', but you see you are alway rushing when I see you and always you look like you could of been better, done better, perhaps said better.
Central station is really busy today, you thought it might of been less busy with Christmas fast approaching but it seemed to bustle and hum like any other crazy peak hour day, which of course mean't you still had to jostle and bump along with everyone from your train up the escalator and through the main area of the station, before you get out to the fresh air and can breathe a sigh of relief. Its like coming up for air isn't it when you finally step free of the station and hum of trains and sniffling, farting commuters. Marley the coffee seller on the corner knows you well now and it only takes seconds for you to get fresh coffee in your hands and I can see the satisfaction on your face, you check your watch and and duck around the corner to the lane way for a second of peace before you head up into the glass and concrete tower that is your office building. The lane is quite with only a few people passing by, I watch you take a few deep breaths and give yourself a cursory check, I see your brassy blonde hair falling across your shoulders as look down at your undone blouse, I am sure your wondering how long it had been undone, was it undone on the train? In front of everyone? Your face is pink with the heat of knowing you traveled so far showing off your bra.
As I pass you buy standing in that lane, I see you smooth your skirt over your hips with your free hand, and your face looks so flushed that your eyes are almost emerald in colour, what are you thinking about? Maybe you were with a man last night? Is he going to call you again? Did he treat you like a lady? Or is he your husband? Or your de- facto? you look like a girl on her own, I have noticed no engagement rings nor wedding band. You look like you need to be treated with care. I hope under that grey skirt there isn't a handprint in the shape of a bruise, I hope that you were not smoothing your skirt thinking that you must of done something wrong again. Or maybe I am wrong, maybe you are thinking about a night that was full of fun and lusty sex, and smoothing your skirt made you tummy skip a beat as you thought about how sexy he was as he smoothed your hair back from you face and trailed a line of kisses down your neck.
Today you got on the train, with a smile. You looked refreshed and your eyes were sparkling, it was going to be hot today in Melbourne and you wore a pretty sleeveless dress. I could see others on the train take note of you today, there was a spring in your step and a glow about you, there was nothing rushed or harried and you looked in control. Taking your seat, I could see you lift your eyes just slightly to notice 'train guy in the white shirt' you gave him the faintest of smiles as your eyes flicked over him and glowed with pleasure and as his eyes looked right back at you I could see his mouth twitch with a appreciative smile.
You could almost see the electricity between you, today I knew I wouldn't see you being awkward nor worrying about how you looked, today I would see you in the park at lunch, with your shoes kicked off and your face would be alight with laughter as you gazed into 'train guy's eyes.