Saturday, 17 June 2017

Walking home at dusk

Today a friend and I went up to Newtown for lunch and we had some Thai food. After leaving the restaurant we walked south on King Street and I saw a young woman with pink hair wearing a white long sleeved shirt and a rainbow coloured bow tie. My friend and I stopped at Parliament, a cafe near Alice Street where there's an old 70s Ducati 750 stuffed into the fireplace and a church pew for customers to sit on. After leaving the cafe my friend caught a cab and I walked back up toward the pub next to the railway station, because I had to use the loo.

In the pub after answering the call of nature I walked back out into the bar area. It was close to 4.30pm by this time and the room was full of young people. They sat on stools and gathered on their feet around the bar that ran the length of the room toward the street windows. I dodged my way through the press of people, heading for the door and out on the street I walked north, back toward home.

In Victoria Park the lights were already on. I could see two taxis parked at the kerb near the university with their vacancy lights illuminated. The drivers were standing on the footpath talking animatedly and I guessed that they knew each other and had arranged to meet there. Near Broadway I saw a candy coloured police car moving sedately down toward the traffic lights. I went across Broadway into Bay Street and walked down to Wentworth Park. In the park there were still parents supervising their children on the play equipment next to the path. A group of young people walked toward me on the path. Near the viaduct over Wattle Street I saw the train heading eastward, its windows shining in the darkness. There were three vehicles parked on the footpath under the viaduct. People had set up tables and benches for the homeless people who live in the park and they were standing behind the tables serving food to them.

A woman carrying a smartphone in her hands came up to me and asked what was happening. "They're giving food to the homeless people," I said to her as we stood on the footpath next to the traffic. "There are homeless people living under the arches. Lots of them." A group of people walked in my direction on the footpath and I could see that several of them wore T-shirts printed with the name of a well known Sydney seafood restaurant. I guessed they were Fish Market employees leaving work for the day.

At the back of the Fish Market it was dark and I saw a young woman on a scooter and a man jogging on the pavement. The shipping containers in the parking lot with the fish nets piled on top of them stood in front of the motorway pylons, on top of which the concrete roadway sat. It was getting dark. In Miller Street I heard the rail car sound its bell and looking down into the cutting I saw the train pulling up at the station, its lights shining in the gloom. I entered Harris Street with its bars and pubs and was soon home.

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