When I lived in Sunshine West I rode my motorcycle to my office in South Melbourne every afternoon, along the elevated freeway that runs through Southbank. Shortly after I’d started that commute, a developer began constructing a skinny apartment building at the very edge of the freeway, by the Kingsway exit ramp. There was something vaguely satisfying about watching it go up bit by bit by bit, as the calendar pages rolled on by. It rose far higher than I ever expected it to, 50 storeys at least, and it was still under construction when I moved from Sunshine West to Richmond and started taking a different route to work.

But I still ride down that freeway sometimes, usually if I go straight from my girlfriend’s place in Flemington, and can still check on its progress. The other day, as I rode to work thinking about the email I was going to send my boss about transferring to London – because I’ve been in Melbourne for more than two years and I think I’m ready to move on – I noticed with surprise that the building was complete. Time to go, I said aloud in my helmet.

I wasn’t waiting for it to be finished, obviously, nor would I stay if it wasn’t. But I’m always on the lookout for pleasing symmetries in the set design of my life, and I like living in a city and watching it gradually change. One of my regrets about moving to London is that I won’t get to see Melbourne 108 gradually clawing its way to the top of the skyline.

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