Sleeping at Victoria Park
The station's further away than it looks, and much further away than it sounds. From the decking, I can see that it's only two roofs and a small jump. From my front door, it's either left or right, under the bridge or past the car showroom, cross at the corner or cross at the pedestrian crossing that's so wide cars refuse to believe it's a crossing and crawl lethally through it at 5km/h against the lights. And then, back under the bridge, and up the ramp, and craning to see a corner of the decking that seems so exposed when I'm up there.
Every morning just after five, we half-hear the bing and the announcement: "Good morning, passengers. The 5.26 to Epping has been delayed". It carries, that ABC radio voice, in the stillness and chill of the morning air. On winter mornings when I open the door to let the cat out, I can see the sign hanging sulphur-lit and low. The darkness and distance gives the station a mystery that up close vanishes like the mist. At 8.45, on my way to being late, I can only imagine how the crowds would have filled the races leading to the crumbling members' gate.