SyneRyder - journal

For A Ride

13th September 1999, 6:13pm
Perth City Station

Green light, but it's pouring down. They're stopped on either side, so I dash across the asphalt, eyes closed due to the driving rain. Silver metal and red paint - my train is here. I need only validate and catch it. Someone steps between me and the validator.

I know what she's going to say. "Do you have a dollar?" Sure. My guilty conscience tells me to do this, perhaps too eagerly. My fingers search my pocket for a coin, finding 50c and 20c. I move to give her what I've found, continue looking. She speaks before I can.

"Do you have $2?"


"Do you have $2.50? I want to catch a train to Fremantle."

I start to get suspicious, but I decide to be honest and tell her that I'm trying to find the $2 coin that I know I have. She interjects.

"Or do you have a $5 note, for something to eat?"   (points to her mouth)

What do I say? I'm not sure I believe what she's telling me. $5 is a third of my weekly pocket money, I need $40 for my next MultiRider ticket, I have CDs I want to buy, I'm saving up to buy Paint Shop Pro 5... something within me reminds me that I should give to those who are less fortunate. Freely I have received, freely I should give.

So I lie. I don't have a $5 note. I hand her the $2 coin I've found. "Do you have another $2 coin?" No. She knows I've lied. "So do you have a $5 note?" Again I say no, giving her a 10c coin I've discovered. "Oh alright."

Total Donation: $2.80

I hate lying. I pride myself on being open and honest with everyone. But this is a situation I don't know how to respond to. I'm not prepared to give $5. Perhaps I should be. What should I do? It's not as if there's anyone who will tell me what to do.

Like the truly weak sucker that I am, I turn to her and say "I'm sorry..." but she is already walking away. I notice the train to Fremantle in the opposite direction.

Validate. My train is here. The doors close behind me, and I watch the rain falling outside the window.