It was Sunday morning. I was walking to the market, long raincoat, bag over my shoulder. It looked like rain so I was moving fast.
That route to the market, along Oriental Parade, is soothing. That time, too. Few people on the street. A couple of early runners. And once I reach the market, few weary parents with early-waking small children. And their pushchairs. And their trikes. Getting in the road, filling up the narrow aisles between the piles of produce. Almost as bad as old people pulling shopping trundlers. It’s worth getting there early, to avoid all those wheels.
Anyway, that day was as per usual. Until I was nearly at the Copthorne. Because, from a little Copthorne balcony a few floors up, a young woman was calling out to passersby, at that moment two woman runners going in opposite directions between the spreading pohutukawa trees that line the pavement on the sea side of Oriental Parade. The runner coming towards me acknowledged the raucous comment the young woman shouted at her, with a wave, without slowing down at all. And then I walked into the gap between the two pohutukawas directly across the road from the Copthorne, directly beneath the young woman on her balcony. And this is what she called to me, in her gritty, drunken, voice:
You’re beautiful too, old man. You look just like Sean Connery.