The badges stayed boxed up for six months, while I lived out the lease on my temporary home. My new suburb squatted indifferently on the border between urban and suburban Melbourne, dropping off at one edge into a deep valley. The place was a void; a blank spot in my mind. Despite all of my walking and photographing and thinking and not thinking, I couldn’t find my way. My house sat at the bottom of the valley and the nothingness seemed to gather there. The only time I felt the world come back to me was when I escaped onto the endless concrete ribbon of the Capital City Trail, following the winding path up over the freeway and down under it again, along the squalid creek that had been concreted in so heavily that I first mistook it for a drain.
I was haunting the ragged edge of the city, and although I didn’t fully realise it, I was lonely. The images I brought back from those walks were postcards, messages from absent others. I photographed what they had left behind: graffiti, a loaf of bread, a tattered armchair with a view. One day I came across two shopping trolleys tipped sideways in the middle of the creek. They looked almost sculptural, and at the same time morosely out of place. I photographed them. Over the next few months I began to encounter more abandoned trolleys in strange places. They were in pairs, gangs, never alone. I photographed them too. The day before I moved out, coming down a long, steep set of stairs in a park just by my house, I met a lone trolley leaning crookedly against the rail. A front wheel dangled freely.
“Go home trolley, you’re drunk,” I muttered fondly, and took one last photo before I left.