The guy on the train next to me
on the journey to Sydney
says his name is Dennis
he wears a blue flannelette shirt
& a prominent bowler hat of the 50s                                        
his nose is large & sharply pointed
his lips puffed.

He claims he has never worked a day in his life
within a few minutes he tells me he is an oracle,
a great fountain of knowledge, not of facts, but
of an intuitive kind into human nature, he can see
into the heart of what makes us, you, me tick.

Nearing Scarborough he explains to me how he/
others can obtain the disability pension:
jump over the counter
feign symptoms of a rare mental illness
act bizarrely
intimidate staff
e.g. bash your head on the counter
yell profanities.

I let him ramble.
Attempt to make some sense.

‘What plans do you have for the future?’ I ask in the typical
9 to 5 aspirant way but mostly interested in edging him.

‘Fuck all’, he says matter of factly, as if he has a hand on a bible.
‘Why bother? These PhD geniuses in mathematics don’t have a
fucken clue. Look at the credit crunch. No analyst could see
the meltdown coming. Politically, we’re governed by a pack
of morons. Look at the harbour tunnel deal. What bunch of Einsteins
would sign such a contract that screwed not only the commuters but
the taxpayers?’ Dennis is shouting that this stage. ‘No wonder they reckon
this is a failed fucking state!’

Transit police enter our carriage & I produce my ticket.
Dennis beside me starts shaking violently like a demon
& bangs his head repeatedly on the seat in front of him.
Eyes glazed, he yells out in a stream of incoherent babble
mixing religious imagery, cultural references & profanities.
The guards scrutinise Dennis with derision and casually stroll past him, me.