What if alien creatures could not only snatch you out of space, but also time, so you ceased to have ever existed?
“Maribyrnong Railway Station?” I echoed, knowing that the Victorian Government had just done a multi-million-dollar renovation of the station. Upgrading the old open-weather tar walkways with a new enclosed walkway above the station, with two hundred concrete steps leading up to it.
“Yeah, it must be about ten years now,” said the bus driver. Forcing me to hurriedly sit as he started the bus with a grinding of ancient gears.
A few minutes later we were riding through Irving Street. And to my shock I could see that the driver was right. The once impressive Maribyrnong Railway Station was closed down. As demonstrated when a Williamstown train expressed through the station without even slowing as it would do passing through most stations. Williamstown trains had always stopped at Maribyrnong Station!
The big shock, however, was that the enclosed overhead walkway, its two-hundred concrete steps, and the small elevators at the sides of the steps – which had been there a little over two hours ago – were all gone. Replaced by the ancient open-air tar-path walkways, which had serviced the station for many decades until being removed a year or two ago!
We had not yet seen anyone in the streets. But as we turned into Leed Street then Paisley – the main shopping centre of Maribyrnong – I expected to see the streets packed with people.
But there was no-one!
“Where is everyone?” I thought aloud.
“There’s never anyone much about,” said the driver, obviously thinking I was talking to him. “Maribyrnong has been dying fast for the last twenty years or more.”
“What …?” I said, puzzled. The Maribyrnong I knew and grew up in over fifty-five years had been thriving and growing big-time since the mid 1980s!
“Sad, but true,” said the bus driver. And as we drove through Paisley Street, two out of every three shops were boarded up. Or had ‘Closing Down Sale’ signs on their windows.
The big shock though, was at the corner of Paisley and Albert Streets. The two-storey Coles-K-Mart Plaza, which had started the revitalisation of Maribyrnong twenty-plus years ago no longer existed. In its place was the large gravel-lined car park, which had been there before the plaza had been built in the ‘80s.
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