Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Ten months ago, someone at the youth hostel that I used to stay at got all possessive over the free food that other people had left behind, and stopped me from taking any when I was starving. So a few minutes later I bought myself a McBurger, before unfortunately noticing a tramp.

Today the opposite happened.

Whilst checking my mail at the hostel, I was told that the employee in question had now left, so I disregarded their year-old one-off demand, and took away some free Weet-Bix that some departee had kindly donated for someone else to enjoy.

Afterwards on Queen Street, I saw a bag lady called Victoria. I asked her if she wanted a burger, and a few minutes later we were sitting in Burger King chatting away over our meal. Alas, I was genuinely sorry to leave her smile behind me as I had to go catch my bus. As I got to the escalators, I glanced back at the table where I’d left her, but couldn’t see her. I wondered whether she’d been real. With another trip home looming, it all reminded me a bit of Rex.

As I caught the bus out of Auckland’s Central Business District, I realised that I was unusually on an express bus, taking a different shorter route back to my flat in Howick. I looked out of the window. The motorway flyover was climbing high above the area that I had come to know as home. Way below were the warm lights of Newmarket, a familiar place at an unfamiliar angle, getting smaller beneath and behind me. It was like looking out of an aircraft window, and as usual I wondered if I was seeing those darkened disappearing streets for the last time.


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