It was 5am on New Years Day and Vegie C. Vegie and I were sitting at the train station waiting for our first locomotive journey of 2007 - we were a little tipsy, but not that worse for wear. Somewhere close by we could hear somebody yelling drunkly and incoherently.
Shortly, the source of the yelling appeared to come into focus as a young man emerged from behind a wall on our side of the station and jumped down onto the tracks. He stumbled across the train line and slowly scaled the platform on the other side. Walking towards some people standing at the opposite entrance to the station, the yelling continued. The people standing there walked away. He then wandered into the waiting room on the other side and the yelling continued. The people there seemed unsure what to do and we could see them trying to reason with him - it was impossible and eventually they calmly got up and left him to it.
Without an audience, he stopped yelling for a moment before leaving the waiting room and walking to the end of the platform where he began talking to some people through the fence. As he talked calmly to them, the yelling continued from elsewhere. What a crazy mix-up! It hadn't been him all along. But why had he been talking to all these people?
When he turned around he had a borrowed cigarette in his mouth... the mystery of his various conversations was solved. Vegie C. Vegie and I congratulated ourselves on a case well solved. Mr. Cigarette then jumped back down onto the tracks and walked across towards us.
"This is the one that counts," he said to us, "This is for the Gold!"
He then proceeded to vault himself up onto the platform, crushing his testicles in the process. He crumpled into the fetal position on the platform next to us - he seemed to be full of regret.
"I hope you've learnt an important lesson," I said to him. "I have, I have" he cried... "So much pain!"
Soon he managed to compose himself enough to introduce himself as Justin (Or JT) from New Zealand. He'd arrived in Melbourne yesterday and had proceeded to get absolutely trashed to celebrate the New Year. Our conversation was interrupted when Jason spotted a clear plastic bottle with some sort of liquid on the train tracks.
"I wonder what's in it?" he wondered aloud.
"I guess we'll never know," said Vegie.
Justin deftly proved Vegie wrong by jumping onto the tracks and picking up the bottle.
"Have you learnt nothing?" I shouted at him.
He opened the bottle and took a swig. It was lemonade.
"It's lemonade," he said, "It's very refreshing."
He climbed - carefully - back onto the platform and proceeded to enjoy his lemonade: "Mmm, it's so good."
At this point, some teenagers (two guys and a girl) walked up the ramp behind us. "Hey guys," Justin said to them through the fence, "I'm still drinking!"
They congratulated him on this point. He began to engage them in conversation - what are your names, how old are you, do you have a boyfriend (she did, one of the guys - "Oh, sorry! Hahahaha") - Hey, you remind me of someone, but he couldn't remember who the girl reminded him of.
"You remind me of someone too," the girl said to me, but we never determined who. Justin walked around to the door of the station so he could speak to them face to face. As he did so, I quickly told them "he's just drinking lemonade!"
They were incredulous. After some banter (JT had VIP cards from all of the good Melbourne strip joints already) and some good directions-giving from Vegie C. Vegie and I, we got on the train - headed for the city. JT hung around with us for a few stops when some punks from the party we'd been at got on the train. JT went down to hassle them - "How do you get your hair like that?" "Lots of hairspray" - before going into the next carriage where he started talking animatedly to some old women.
When we got off at Flinders St we walked towards the exit together and he gave me the old hip and shoulders.
"Good luck out there, JT" I said to him, "I hope you find what you're looking for."
"Thanks, Cam," he replied, "It's a big city, but I just know I'm gonna make it big!" And then he walked into the throng of tired revellers and out of our lives.