overheard on the wharf at dusk... "that's odd, even here the sun sets in the west". a visitor from another planet, perhaps? days end finds me in Aotearoa, land of the long white cloud, a whirled away from my usual haunts.
nonetheless there are familiar paths to tread, flowers to pick and slip unobstrusively into a pocket, rusted fragments to find. i go down to the sea. the tide is out so my quest for a bottle of seawater takes me somewhat gingerly down slimy steps. winkles cluster busily about. there are mussels in abundance. water bottle filled i turn to Taranaki street and the familar comfort of the Green Parrot. my luck is in, there's a corner table where i can establish my defences, back to the wall, behind the journal/keep, and play the watcher.
three men whose sporting days are long behind them consume vast platters of grilled meats. they chew open-mouthed and manage conversation at the same time. old friends who can dispense with niceties. the waiter brings bread and butter, i spread one on the other, liberally apply salt and am well content.
no walking up Taranaki in the rain tonight. the dimming sky is soft, blue, gentle. last year, caught in a thunderstorm after dark, i was gathered up by a kindly police officer who would not hear of my quest for a bus and insisted on driving me back to my digs in Island Bay. only in Wellington, where (no doubt to that bizarre visitor's ongoing surprise) the sun has just gone to rest, in the west.