(Southern Cross) Station

Melbourne Central is hopeful, youthful. A gateway, when you’re not quite sure where you’re going but you’re pretty well set up to get there. It is the entry point to university and all it represents, one tram away from 5 years and 2 degrees. Shops and shoppers, high schoolers and university students, an ever-smiling elderly man plays the erhu.

Flinders Street is an adolescence never experienced, but not ungratefully. Beneath the clocks sit angsty teens, still finding themselves. At least they know where to meet. By daylight it leads to adventure and event. Alongside flows the river. By night it marks romances gone by – the old shop of a former partner, conflicted farewells to a tumultuous lover.

Parliament is the passage of the sun. 10-year-old visits to the museum to see the universe on IMAX. Unremembered journeys to government buildings in the name of high school education. Steps upon steps, the long upward march to an exam. The morning commute, the 9-5. The sun moves slowly through the sky. Yet it moves, edging closer to the horizon.

Southern Cross is the dark of the night. A confrontation of mistakes, a solemn seat, monolithic, impersonal. A journey to its platforms marks an admission of failure. Yet, itself is not unfriendly. A seat however solemn is still a seat offered. A darkness outside is obscured by the bright within. Trains still run along the same tracks, and you’ll be home soon.

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