blog 76: In which I just sit back and let Meg Bauer do all the work.

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My daughter Meg is one of my all time favourite writers. Here’s a little piece she wrote a while back about an incident that happened to her on a Melbourne train.

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Intro: Train

A girl is staring above her, to a scrolling screen. The text moves to reveal “The next station is …Melbourne Central”. She smiles (I was going to write “aloud”). She smiles aloud, acknowledging to herself that this is the correct train, after all, and she is heading in the right direction. She need only travel one stop. Unbeknownst to her, the man sitting opposite is studying her closely, as if waiting for a sign; and the smile not intended for him, emboldens him to speak.

“Hello!”

She looks down and into his face. She does not recognise this man. He is a stranger. She observes that he is Caucasian, forty plus, dressed unremarkably, a little overweight.

“Hello,” she responds, out of courtesy.

“What’s your name?”

It occurs to her that the man is below-average intelligence. She can’t pinpoint his condition, but it is evident that he is “not the full quid”. Only one stop, she repeats, in her head.

“Meg.”

“Megan!” He holds the name up with childlike delight, as you would an especially perfect shell. He is thrilled with this fortuitous discovery.

“I made something for you, Megan.”

The girl frowns.

“You did just meet me now, though…” She trails off, watching as he rummages in his backpack.

“I knew!” He freezes, jerking up to look her in the eyes.

“Have you ever had a poster of a movie poster?”

She asks him, reluctantly, to repeat the question.

“Have you ever had a poster of a movie poster?”

“Not…no, I don’t  think so. But I am getting off at the next stop…” she warns, indicating that there may not be enough time for this transaction to take place.

He hands her a large piece of paper. Sure enough, her name – “Megan” – is written along the top. She notes the childlike handwriting, and assumes he is illiterate. Each letter looks like it has been carefully replicated. She scans the document and sees that it is a list of films, each featuring Megan Fox. It is her cinematic resume. He had even cut tiny cover images from her movies, no doubt from a video store catalogue, and pasted them along the bottom.

“This is very…surprising,” she offers, her sense of humour returning.

“When you get home, stick it on your wall.”

She smiles, suddenly aware that everyone in the carriage is tuned in to this absurdist play.

“Here – I’ll fold it for you so it can go in your bag.”

He takes great care in folding the paper, and places it inside her open bag.

As the train slows to a halt, she stands, thanks him for the gift, and steps out and onto the platform.

Exit scene

Fast-forward two hours

The girl is in her apartment, unpacking her shopping. She discovers the piece of paper, and recalls the afternoon’s encounter on the train. Smiling, she blu-taks it to her fridge. We’re all a little bit nuts, she reminds herself.

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# Meg blogs her writing (but nowhere near often enough) at BECAUSEIFELLINLOVEWITHWORDS. 

# Meg blogs about her love of nature (she is the Communications Co-ordinator for the Wilderness Society) at TREAT ‘EM GREEN.

# If you love both BOOKS and NATURE like Meg, then check out the Wilderness Society’s ENVIRONMENT AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE page. To see what great authors like John Marsden, Nick Earls, Hazel Edwards, Graeme Base and Rebecca Johnson feel about nature, click on the NEWS link and scroll down. (I’m there too but don’t let that put you off.)

Cheers
Michael

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One Response to blog 76: In which I just sit back and let Meg Bauer do all the work.

  1. I see that Meg is one of our lucky band that attracts people who want to connect with us on trains. And she should be flattered (I think) to be mistaken for Megan Fox.

    Like

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