Wednesday, October 22, 2008

1970 - Love On The Afternoon Train

I’m not certain when I became Jennifer’s first boyfriend. Or she became my first girlfriend. But our delicious afternoon meetings, beneath the trees midway along Bellambi platform, followed by dreamy hand-holding all the way over the hill south to Corrimal was recognised, understood and accepted by our peers.

I cherished those innocent days throughout my third and fourth high school years of 1969 and 1970. The couplings had clunked and ground in unison as the ancient wooden passenger cars groaned behind the diesels’ distinctive exhaust beat. We held hands and stared into each others’ eyes, equally astonished by feelings we shared for each other – well ahead of experiencing anything like it for those life’s loves to come.

I still see myself, wishing against the clock, wanting the train to go even more slowly than its crawling reality, wanting to stay holding Jen’s hand as long as possible. Wanting to capture her sweet smell for as long as possible. Wanting to watch Jen’s excited, blushing smile for as long as possible. Delighting in her bottle green school uniform, white blouse and sheer tan nylon stockings – the ones that always accentuated her wonderful knees.

When Jen left for boarding school at the end of Year 10, I happily took to my push bike for the ride to and from Bellambi. There was no need for the circuitous train trips, my ride taking no more than 15 minutes each way.

Jen and I stayed a pair until the end of our school days, but never again shared innocent hand-holding on afternoon trains.


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