I’m crushed against the wall of the train as he takes the empty seat next to me. He’s intoxicated; the smell of alcohol emanates from his pores as well as on his breath. He’s sitting too close. I angle my knees as far as possible towards the window, the intrusion jarring – he’s not an overly large man but now the lack of space in my seat seems disproportionate.
“You like football?” he asks.
Angling my head in his direction, I take out one earbud. I had just pressed play on my Podcast. It’s a 48-minute train ride from Perth Station to Butler.
“No.” I give him a polite smile and briefly meet his eyes. They’re glassy, the whites of his eyes are yellow. His breath is unpleasant, and I avert my gaze.