The Tram Sandwich

The Tram Sandwich I don’t often travel on a tram in Melbourne but on this day I was headed to St Kilda and decided to catch the 89. As it clattered its way toward my stop, I was feeling almost dizzy, overwhelmed by the exotic sights and sounds of Melbourne, the multicultural colours and sounds of the people in their array of international attire surrounding me at every turn. I climbed on board and quickly decided upon a seat near the front. Sitting down pensively I exchanged glances with the young couple sitting opposite. They seemed to be looking into me, wondering. I gave them a tiny smile before glancing down at my travelling companion, sitting on the seat beside me. ‘I wonder where he is going’ I stated out loud to the couple, tilting my head toward the companion on my right. They both burst into a rage of laughter, because, sitting squarely and neatly beside me on the seat was a perfectly wrapped sandwich, cut into quarters. ‘Do you think we should share it?’ I asked and again they laughed out loud, twisted together in a fit of laughter. ‘Perhaps it’s some new form of Uber Eats’ I offered and again they fell into hysterics. Somehow, that sandwich just sat there, without moving one bit, looking quite as though it had a purpose of being on that tram. If ever a sandwich had attitude, this was the one. If the tram had filled with passengers, I would have dared anyone to try to sit in its place, or on it for that matter.
Clattering and clanging our way through the backstreets of South Melbourne toward St.Kilda we all kept an eye on that errant sandwich. It had a stoic air of entitlement as it watched and waited with us, never for a moment moving or sliding out of position despite the tram heaving about over the lumpy track beneath. A tram conductor boarded at Acland St and began checking tickets. When he came to me he looked disparagingly at the sandwich , then back at me. He paused , then nodded toward the sandwich. ‘Is that yours?’ he asked. ‘No’ I replied. ‘Would you like it toasted?’ He didn’t see the funny side. ‘Hand it to me’ he demanded grumpily, grabbing it and shoving it recklessly into his shoulder bag. As the tram came to the final stop in Acland St, the conductor walked off with the sandwich squashed into his satchel. But he looked over his shoulder and finally showing some good nature, he called out ‘Do you know what type it is?’ ‘Well, my guess would be, tram & cheese’ I replied. ( ENTERED IN THE FURIOUS FICTION COMPETITION : AUGUST 9 2020 )


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