|An hour ago, 72 hours ago – An Unchanging View|
Cook was a ghost town in the middle of nowhere. It was our second and last stop before Adelaide. We all abandoned the train and wandered into what was once a railway support town to stretch our legs again. Miles from anywhere, it had been bleeding its population for the last decade or so. As I bought come chocolate from the town’s only shop, an old woman explained that the population was currently only 4 people.
|The Edge of Town|
I don’t have any photographs of the town itself, as the first thing I did was walk to its edge and photograph nothing, miles and miles of nothing. Roads disappeared to nowhere, I had never quite seen anything like it. Absolute silence. Of course it had numbed me for two days as it sped by through the window, but to stand in its static beauty was really something. I kept an eye out for snakes and other such bush fare but my overall concern was the fear of being consumed by the growing feeling of not being wanted. I was an unwelcome visitor. I looked back at the town, the scattered buildings and the hulking train laying beside it. Year after year it would slowly fade away like a veterans parade.
I can remember the remaining town folk being friendly and we acquired water and snacks and a splashing of the local history. I explored a few of the empty buildings to kill time and to attempt to build an idea of what it must have been like with, well, more people. I remember peering into the window of an old school, I remember the shop and a few smaller houses that had belonged to workers and abandoned mechanical equipment that lined the tracks for supplying the train with fuel and water. Most of all what I remember was the surrounding bush. Unmoving, it stretched forever.
|The Road To Nowhere|
|Beware of The Bend|
Maybe it was the heat, the bland food on the train, or the almost two thousand miles of straight track and unchanging scenery but this road sign cracked me up. I fucking lost it. Out here in the middle of nowhere in a ghost town of only four people was a road sign warning of a bend in a road that went nowhere. This photograph was worth the journey alone.
A fellow passenger told me to look at the front of the train. I asked why and he told me that it was covered in kangaroo remains and splattered with blood. The train had been hitting them as they crossed the tracks for the last two days and the front had apparently acquired a monstrous deathly facade. I decided to pass on the spectacle. As I boarded I saw him with his friend standing at the front of the train giggling and taking photographs at what I’m sure was a baked on memory I’m glad I don’t have.
The train pulled out and we pursued the horizon for another day until we arrived in Adelaide early the next morning. After a few days of exploring the city we took another train to Melbourne. We rented an apartment on Little Bourke Street right in the heart of the city. I got a temp job filing claim investigations at an insurance company and ended up by accident/paperwork error with a 12th floor corner office overlooking the entire city of Melbourne. Not bad for a temp but I kept my mouth shut, dressed nice and made sure I came in early and left late. For some unknown reason, luck was always on my side while living in Melbourne and I had three long months of it.
Every evening I relived the most beautiful vision of an entire city lighting up at the end of the day. It pulsed and it heaved and it slowly burst into colorful life in absolute silence far below me. Constantly moving and changing it was always that much more beautiful when I thought of Cook, and that bend in the road.
I would have looked at the front of the train.
…and then spray yourself with sanitizer forever and ever and ever.