Grinning Down Queen Street


Today could have been any normal random day. Only it wasn’t. If I had known that I could have been this foolishly happy by just a book then I would have borrowed this book sooner: Malazan Book of the Fallen: Book 6 Bonehunters!

 

The best part about Auckland Library is the fact that they are so impossibly huge. As I returned a novel to the library, I could not stop myself from checking out the book collection. There is something about having this many books in front of me that dissolves my resolve. I did not expect to find Steven Erickson’sThe Bonehunters’ amidst the fantasy section. I already knew the library contained the entire 10 book series + standalone novels. The first book of the series ‘Gardens of the Moon’ already has a month waiting time before could borrow it.

With unmasked joy, I walked out of the library with my favourite book in tow, grinning like a proper maniac.

I always have music playing when I walk and today I kept playing the same 3 songs in repeat: Sinai by ilan Bluestone, Skylarking by BT and Snake Eyes by Mumford & Sons. My feet sprung up with each step, insync with the beats of the trance songs played in my ear.

I DID THAT ON THE BUSIEST STREET OF AUCKLAND!

I tried to control my glee but could barely manage. A small smile still crept up my face regardless of how hard I tried and I walked in tune with the best music of the day. I looked around at the tired faces, the ones who walked alone and the ones who walked in groups. Some sad and some amused. I moved on, unmoved amongst them, careless in my strides.


 

Halfway through Queen street, there is a cobbled lane the name of which I could never remember.

Whenever I look at the lane I feel like I am in Rome or any other Italian city. The restaurants have tables lined up along the lane, cementing the European look. A human statue stood at the intersection on a pedestal with his left arm outstretched holding a oil lantern. I did not notice his right hand. His face and body was smeared by black colour, giving the impression of a coal miner,  his eyes darting, scanning the crowd. One old fellow walked past the guy in an attempt to blow out his lantern, unsuccessfully. Another guy walked past the street artist and dropped some coins in the basket.

The immobile man quickly leap down the pedestal and grabbed the coins. I could not help it, I laughed. I was not the only one who was amused though, as others saw the same spectacle. The street artist though was enjoying himself too. He knew what he was doing.

 


 

My quick feet darted past the man covered in black and onwards my destination.

Undeterred, unmitigated and still gleeful. I could not wait to board the train and read Bonehunters.

Who knew the book could mean so much. The book is not even a happy book; it is full of blood and death, friendships and love, Gods and Man. And it is a masterpiece.

PS: I got an idea after that. Maybe I should start using the lanes and scenes from Auckland to spin fictions.

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