The 59 isn’t too busy this morning. The bright sunbeams break through the clouds onto the quiet streets. It seems people are still not quite ready for Monday but the world keeps turning and the tram keeps coasting along the tracks.
Two guys are taking photos of each other casually holding onto the straps dangling along the handrails above head. I’m not sure what the aim of this impromptu photo shoot is but they aren’t doing the best job.
A group of school-girls pass their myki cards to one in their group who patiently waits for the slow machine to register before handing them back. Beep-Beep.
It is a peaceful morning in contrast to the violent weekend I had. I wasn’t punched in the face, don’t worry. I didn’t even yell at anyone (not externally anyway). Violence comes in different forms.
The violence of insecurity.
The violence of being disorganised.
The violence of poor communication.
The violence of wilfully ignoring people.
The violence of greed.
The violence of fear.
The violence of wanting when you are not wanted back.
If I had to pinpoint the start of this bloodbath, I would say that something shifted somewhere in the universe on Friday night while I rode the 11 tram as it zoomed down St George’s Road in Thornbury. It was just as the orange sky was being swallowed up by the night and darkness fell onto the world around me.
I entered some alternate version of reality where things pretty much looked the same, but everyone was much more violent, including myself. It took me a while to realise it. Everything seemed normal at first until I noticed the change from Saturday afternoon.
A sharp bump while I was out shopping.
Turning his head to avoid eye contact.
A glare from the distance.
Jokes being used to speak a harsh truth.
Pretending I didn’t exist.
Energetic greetings with empty eyes.
It was a lot.
While I think I’ve managed to slip back into my usual reality, being away has taken it out of me. I’m tired. My energy is low. Something is still different…not how I left things.
The violence and darkness I experienced in that other reality isn’t completely removed from this one. It lurks in the shadows, smirking. Has it followed me?
It is frightening because I have seen the darkness in a lot of people who I didn’t see it within before.
I saw a version of myself that I wasn’t sure I liked. Now he’s followed me here, stuck to me like a shadow.
What does all this mean? I can’t quite grasp it yet.
Isquint ahead of me and make out that my stop is coming up so I pull the chord. The tram makes a slight bend at Haymarket.
Maybe it doesn’t mean anything. Maybe it’s all just me with my overactive imagination wanting to see more in the world than there actually is.
I get off the tram with a few others and the sun is now all but concealed by the clouds.
Or maybe it is the universe telling me that we all have violent darkness within us. Maybe the smriking reflection in the mirror is laughing because it has taken me this long to see that there were never meant to be two realities. I seperated them long ago and now they have inevitably come crashing back together. Which is why I find myself overhwhelmed and confused by everything swarming around me.
Not sure if I feel like I’ve dressed too warmly, or the tram was just hot and my body is still acclimatising to being outside.
That it’s important to see the dark in the world because we have to embrace the good and the bad together before we really see the world, before we see ourselves.
I cross the road and make my over to my appointment.
Yeah, I guess that’s it. I laugh to myself.