Sitting opposite me on the train to Flinders Street this morning was an old man. Beside him sat an old woman wearing rose tinted sunglasses, gazing out the window and clutching her handbag on her lap. The man turned his head fully towards her as he spoke very loudly.
"I'VE GOT TO GO BACK TO THE DOC. BUT BEFORE I DO HE SAYS THEY'VE GOT TO TEST MY BLOOD AND MY WATER!"
The woman continued to gaze out the window, but nodded, barely.
"SO I'M ON MY WAY TO HAVE MY WATER TESTED."
"I DRANK THREE BIG GLASSES OF WATER BEFORE I LEFT HOME. DO YOU THINK THAT'LL BE ENOUGH? THEY SAID THAT I'LL HAVE TO DO MY WATER ON THE SPOT. I THOUGHT I'D BETTER DRINK ENOUGH SO I'LL BE ABLE TO GO. DO YOU THINK I'LL BE ABLE TO?"
Quietly, the woman said: "Yes. That should be fine."
"I SUPPOSE YOU'RE RIGHT. I SHOULD BE READY TO GO TO THE TOILET WHEN I GET THERE...LUCKY I DON'T NEED TO GO YET. THAT WOULD BE A WASTE."
The train passed the big Melbourne viewing wheel and the woman said, sotto voce: "Adrian took his new girlfriend up there on a date."
"I said Adrian - you know Adrian - took his girlfriend up on the wheel last week. They were on a date, you know," she repeated. I wondered what the relationship between the two of them was. Was she planting a seed, secretly hoping she would be taken on a wheel date? Was she secretly in love with the enigmatic Adrian and ready to push the other woman off the wheel at the first opportunity?
'WHAT DO YOU DO UP THERE? ISN'T IT CRACKED? WHAT KIND OF A DATE IS THAT?"
"THE WHEEL! IT'S CRACKED YOU KNOW!"
"Not anymore. It's not cracked anymore."
The woman stood up to leave the train at Southern Cross Station, leaving the man to travel solo on his way to deposit his water for testing.