In the game of scummy train lines, the Armadale line reigns supreme. It flows like a mighty Amazonian river, shifting the bottom-feeding reptiles of the South to the fertile feeding grounds of Perth’s inner suburbs. Commuters must brave the permanent marker wielding streets rats, Red Bull sipping babies and the soul-destroying odour of pissed stained Adidas snap-pants on their way to gainful employment.
Ashtyn has just finished his latest stretch in Hotel Hakea, and much as The Eagles predicted, he can check out, but he’ll never leave the lifestyle behind. Generations of derelict entitlement flow through his blood like Government assistance flows into his bank account. Money which he essentially holds on trust for the meth dealers, KFC and the occasional tattoo artist to scribe yet another child’s name onto his track-marked arms. Unfortunately for Ashtyn, he is currently low on coin, so he heads to his personal ATM: Oats Street traino.
Ashtyn slips on a 2Pac T-shirt, WuTang Jeans, flogged out Air Jordans and a tacky silver bracelet chain. His outfit in admittedly outdated, however, he inherited the garbs from his currently incarcerated father, who happens to be only 16 years older than him. “Violent criminal-chic”. He swiftly avoids paying the fare from Armadale by executing the “hand of death”: a manoeuvre that sees the cretinous fuckstain tailgate a paying commuter and placing his hand on the retractable gate, causing it to remain open. Once on the train, he plays loud, aggressive rap music from a Samsung he ganked from some Asian kid at Curtin University. Feet defiantly on the seat.
The train pulls up at Oats Street, but Ashtyn sees a couple of Transit Guards pinging cunts for fare evading on the platform. “Farking dogs”, he is forced to put into motion Plan B: Burswood Train station. Truth be told, Burswood is a better station for brandishing his butterfly knife, given the large bushland that surrounds the overpass of certain doom. He alights at Burswood Station and gets straight to work: smoking cigarettes and waiting for easy targets to separate themselves from the herd. To pass the time he throws up a few tags and practices his disgusting, albeit, impressive spitting technique.
Bingo, a lost backpacker gets off by himself and is heavily burdened by his backpack full of dardy shit. Ashtyn licks his lips, and the thoughts of iPads, phones and freshly converted Australian currency fill the space in his brain where an education ought to have gone. He butts out a dart and starts snaking his way to the target. Suddenly, the backpacker is approached by a different rat-tailed oxygen thief. Ashtyn is displeased with the interception, “oi fuck off ya dead dog, I’ll cut ya”. Captain rat-tail is no stranger to danger and the steel-caps on his feet are itching for a booting.
In a scenario that not even Attenborough could’ve predicted, the backpacker escapes while Astyhn and Captain rat-tail staunch off in a scene that is reminiscent of the knife fight in Michael Jackson’s “Beat It”. Except the only thing tying these two boys together is the bitter aftertaste of a misguided life.
Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?