Man on a train, by Chloe Coles
Last week’s interview with Australia-based model/artist/writer Chloe Coles proved so popular that we decided to invite her to contribute on a regular basis. So stay tuned for more of her words and pictures. Here, she tells us about her strange encounter on a train:
I met this man on a train the other day. He was wearing a dirty grey singlet and brown board shorts that went past his knee. They reminded me of the pants I used to wear when I was 10. I’m not too sure who was in the wrong. He didn’t care. He was so damn happy – listening to his music and watching the blurs of trees and life cling to the sun like it was their mother. I watched him whistle to his own beat and mix up the words.
We got talking. I forget how. He introduced himself and told me that his name was ‘Psycho’. I was happy with that answer. His face sunk into his cheeks as he spoke and he was hard to understand. He pulled a photograph out of his pocket and a girl with fuzzy hair and a big smile was looking back at me. He said to me that she was the most beautiful thing he ever had in his life. I agreed.
He told me he had no idea where he was going, on the old train to Kiama. He didn’t mind being lost in a place he had never been. I didn’t know what to say most of the time but I think he was more stoked that someone was just listening to him. He went on to tell me about the time he won the ‘coolest guy in Sydney’ award, and the prize was that you got to hang out with Pamela Anderson on Bondi Beach for a day. I don’t know if I believed him. He asked me if I knew who she was and I nodded. He said he didn’t know who she was, until that day.
He told me that he was on the X Factor and that he works as a singer/songwriter. I didn’t believe him because he had no teeth. Then he sang a song to me that he had written about the girl in the picture and I think it’s my favourite song. People were looking at him strangely and with pity. But they were just jealous because they weren’t singing a song that they had written about the person they love. He told me that she had gone away for a long time. Over to Egypt or something. But I think he was in denial. He laughed when he told me, but I know he didn’t find it funny. I didn’t ask.
At one point I stopped listening and I was just thinking… about life or food, geckos, or whatever… and he was still talking. And smiling. And next thing I know he grabs my arm and put men’s cologne on my wrist that he had made and called “Psycho De la la”. I can still smell it. I think it is embedded in my wrist.
I don’t think that I’ll ever forget him.
Words and picture by Chloe Coles.