I shut the book. I could still hear the gentle rumble of the traffic – it was almost like the sea. I went to see what message had been left on my phone. It was from work. I wandered over to check the email, but I clicked on my web browser and started to search for secondhand tents. I still had my sleeping bag and everything would fit in my pack. The boxes I could dump on my way south. I checked my bank account. There was enough money for a tent. I listened to the traffic. I slid the arrow over the buy now button. I did not click.
I sat back on the box I was using as my chair. It wouldn’t be the same. I have heard there are hotels in Punakaiki now. I bet they have built a boardwalk over that flax swamp. The West Coast had moved on; not back to the great days of the gold rush and the coalmines but no longer how I remembered it either.
I left my search and clicked to check the email. It was just like the phone message - another piece to add to the corporate puzzle I was assembling. I had never bothered to build a career before. I had taken whatever jobs were going until I had enough money to move on.
I started to type a reply to the email. I was on my career path, like the cars outside, heading somewhere. I hoped it would be worth it.
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