The Mandala Spider
May 3, 2019
Your Chariot Awaits
August 30, 2019

I hate trains. Everything about them. 

I hate the way they smell like old socks. I hate that thousands of arses have sat on those grotty seats. I hate the way they rock and roll across the tracks and how they take off sharply and stop abruptly. 

I hate chewing gum stuck to the floor and the gap between the carriage and the door.

I hate the people who ride trains, the ones who eat their Macca’s and leave their wrappers, the scab pickers, the arse pickers and nose pickers, the loud talkers, the drugged up and the drunk.

I hate the women with oversized prams and their snotty-nosed kids who glare and stare, I hate the cyclists in lycra with oversized thighs and in-the-way bikes. I hate patriotic footy crowds. I hate them before the game and even more after, when everyone travels with raised hackles, poised for a fight. 

I hate office workers too, their pretence. Armoured with laptops, stressed, dressed in business suits taking business calls in the carriage, but in a way that says, “Look at me, who are you?”

I hate clusters of students and their BO. I hate their obnoxious oblivion, how they sip their frozen Cokes and crack jokes and how they are so,



I hate them most. 


They remind me of you. 

Of a time before, when I didn’t hate this all quite so much. When we used to catch the train together, me to work, you to school. 

Like I am today, on my way, with the scab pickers, the arse pickers and nose pickers, except I don’t have you to laugh about it with anymore. 

The fun we had, back then, when we rode the train together. 

I would wave you off at your stop and say: “Have a great day, Son”.

You would smile and wave back as the doors closed and the train would pull away, would pull me away from you.

People are looking at me now. I know it. Because I am a man in a mess with his head pressed against the window. Tears rolling down my cheeks as I remember the time the train ran late.

Why couldn’t you talk to me?

I’d stood waiting at the platform, cursing, hating the delay. 

Two people were muttering.

“Could be a while,” I heard him say.

“Why’s that?”

“Young kid. Suicide. That’s what I was told anyway.” 

That was the day the train pulled you away from me.

I hate trains. Everything about them. 

Karina Grift
Karina Grift
I am an artist and writer living in Melbourne, Australia. Professionally I am a freelance journalist, editor and media consultant. I paint and write for sanity and the challenge.


  1. Carolyne says:

    Beautiful, Karina.

  2. Ann says:

    Whoa that’s an emotional story. Well done

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