Tinky's Famous Pies, Collingwood, January 2007
Murray was a guy with a thumb
standing on the side of the road.
Murray was a hemp shirt and sweat.
Murray sat in the back seat
all the way to Picton
smoking defensively out the
window, wind blowing ash from
his roll-your-owns into our hair.
Murray knew a story or two but
he’d left them all under a Rata
in Kahurangi. He thought he’d found
his own personal Bodhi Tree
but instead he discovered sandflies
and an attachment to homebrew
that finally grew too strong to
be ignored so he tramped
a couple of days to get out and
that was where we found him,
Murray, the guy and his thumb.
They say people come into your
life for a reason but we never
quite worked out the purpose
of Murray. We gave him passage
and he gave us a little of his
last crop rolled up in a scrap
of yellowing newspaper.
We left him outside a greasy
fish and chip shop and he waved
goodbye and there may have
even been a smile underneath
that dreadlocked beard.
Five hours later we were back in
our Wellington villa but the car
still smelled of bush and sweat
and hops and the particular
aroma of Murray.
More travel tales here.