Next stop: Jacka Boulevard

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By Celia Drummond

A crazy storm hit Melbourne’s peak hour the other day. The apocalyptic conditions caused frantic Melbournians to wade through the torrents and maim each other with their flailing umbrellas.

The regular commuters on the 96 tram home shook off the rain from their sodden fur and took up their usual positions. While most started Instagramming the photo they took of the beautiful light of the storm rolling in over the city before it hit, I had a sudden urge and need to jump off the tram and walk home in the rain. No headphones, no umbrella. I had a hooded jacket, and I’d sprayed my boots with waterproof protectant spray the weekend before. The irony is I’m barely ever out in the elements for this protective gear to have a chance to do what it was invented for.

I think I know what caused me to dive into the stormy elements, favouring that over the warmth of the tram. I’ve become tired of my routine and habits. Such as catching the same tram with the same people each day. Such as looking at my LinkedIn profile on the tram each day to see who has endorsed me for skills I don’t have. Such as watching seemingly normal people get abusive towards each other as they jostle for a tram seat even though they’ve probably been sitting on their bums all day. I think that’s why I suddenly looked up from my LinkedIn, snapped into the present, and jumped off the tram at Jacka Boulevard. I needed something.

I needed to walk along St Kilda Esplanade while the rain came belting down. I needed to feel the fresh rainwater hit my face. I needed to feel my clothing get heavier from the absorbing rain. I needed to watch the palms sway from the blustering, biting wind. I needed to feel something real, something that didn’t come to me via my iPhone screen.

The past couple of weeks, I’ve hopped off at the Jacka Boulevard stop on my way home on the 96, regardless of the weather outside and walked the rest of the way home.

I’m not worried about this becoming a monotonous routine that eats away at me. Each time it’s different. The sunsets, the temperature, the lights from the boats on the bay.

Our suburb is beautiful. That walk along the Esplanade is magic. No Instagram filter can do it justice.


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