I awoke next to Jayne that morning, I made breakfast, we made love, Jayne smiled, got ready for work and I did a load of washing
Later that day I am the driver of the 5.17pm Flinders St to Sandringham train,
when I get to Sandringham I finish my shift.
I guide my train through the maze of tracks
the sun has set but there is still light in the sky
the Nylex clock burns bright
I stop at Richmond

I race across the Yarra river bridge
the train is packed now

I’m thinking of Jayne
She’s cooking dinner tonight
She’s not a great cook
but what she makes, she makes with love
She’s a trainee teacher and terribly shy
she does her best despite her quiet voice
But I love that she tries.

I power out of South Yarra, Into the long cutting
Almost all of the colour has drained from the sky
The headlights pick up rubbish dumped in the cutting
I can see the Prahran platforms in the distance
My headlights pick up a shape that moves from behind a bluestone bridge abutment about a hundred metres away
A human
It walks onto the tracks
I glimpse his face
he stops, and flips a hood over his head
he turns his back towards the train and bends over
Then stops moving

When I was a kid I used to sit on my dads lap and watch The World at War
the holocaust
mountains of dead bodies
a bulldozer pushing them into a pit
a little girl holding a doll
I wondered what her name was.

I push the horn down hard
jam the brake lever into emergency
stand up and press my face to the windscreen
I’m almost on top of him now
He doesn’t move
Older drivers had told me never to look
I turn away but I hear it
I hear the dull thud, and I know

Heart pumping, dry mouth, adrenaline shoots through my body
The train takes 500 metres to stop
I walk back along the track to the guard at the back of the train
I tell the guard what’s happened
We walk back along the track, the ballast crunches under our feet

I don’t see his face but I hear his gurgling breathing
Something white is sticking out of his back
I look closer, it’s his spine
His runners are nearby but not where they are supposed to be
The laces still done up, The gurgling stops

I walk back along the train telling the passengers
“We’ve just hit someone, Have to wait for the cops, We’ll be here for a while”
I hear gasps
A train load of passengers and just one woman, an angel, comes to the front of the train, touches my arm, and asks me “are you all right?” I want to hug her and cry, But I’m a tough train driver, I just say “Yeah I’m allright”

I get home,
I tell Jayne,
She hugs me,
I don’t cry,
I don’t talk…
I just hug

A few Months later a letter from the coroner arrived
After due investigation I have determined that the deceased, David James Walker, 28, a citizen of New Zealand, died as a result of suicide when he wilfully placed his body in the direct path of the train that you were driving. The deceased had been undergoing treatment for mental illness.

I read the letter to Jayne and she hugged me.
He had a name.