When I first worked in Perth, I travelled to my office each day by train. The office was located in a part of the city called Midland. Midland usually had the poorest housing, and a higher level of social problems than other places. It did not have a good reputation.
I walked to the local station every morning, often leaving late so I had to run. Being quite overweight at the time the daily exercise did wonders. I had to be quick because the trains were intermittent at the station I aimed for, Meltham. I could have gone to a different station, but it was too busy and I preferred a little bit of quiet at the platform before the train arrived.
The train journey had some familiar faces. I worked in child protection, and occasionally parents I recognised would get on board. I tried to keep a low profile in those circumstances, because I didn’t want any work issues before I actually started work.
One figure that was a regular traveller on the same line was D&D guy. He usually had some kind of role-playing book out and held it close to his face to read. The man had white hair and was probably in his forties. I was always curious about his reading habits, trying to see what book he was reading next. He often had science-fiction novels as well.
I took the photo of him while he held his book up, obscuring his face. In many respects, he made me think of myself. I could easily be that figure on the train, reading role-playing books or sci-fi, dressed in similar attire for work. Even our hats were similar.
I always toyed with the idea of speaking with him, striking up conversation, but I am an introvert trough and through. I was an avid role-player once, particularly live-role playing, but I figured that those days were gone. I think maybe that was what prompted me to consider speaking to him, this idea that I could reaches those good old days of fantasy games, Dungeons and Dragons and all the other assortment of games we played; speaking in terms of Orcs or Elves, or D10 (a tens sided dice) or hit points. Some things are better left to pass though.
I wonder if he’s still catching that train, going to work, and indulging in the hobby. It would be nice to think him of a continuing fixture, keeping the hobby alive for both of us.