Pukapuka Books


Friday, August 20, 2010

Page #1 “OUT OF IT” a novel by Michael O’Leary

“As the train pulled out of Morningside Station and swung in a curve to the left in a steady climb towards Kingsland I felt a surge of subdued excitement and illicit pleasure. It was the first illegitimate day that I had taken off work and I remembered with guilt and sheer joy my wife’s voice lying over the telephone as she told my boss that I would not be into the office that day because I had put my back out on the weekend whilst lifting some posts for a fence I was building around our home in New Lynn. It had taken a lot of persuasion and argument the night before to get her to do what she called “This immoral act”. I had worked at this government department for nearly ten years, since Maureen and I were first married and had settled down along with the dust, and had never taken a day off. “And all for a bloody game of cricket!” she had screamed in outrage and incomprehension as she envisaged the whole of our safe, secure suburban fortress crumbling into a degenerate void. “Don’t shout, dear, you’ll wake the children. It’s only one day and …” “Don’t you, don’t wake the children, me! It’s more than “only one day” and you know it. This little escapade threatens everything we’ve worked for and believed in. I thought after ten years you might have changed bit now I see … now I see … Oh! What’s the use! Neither of us could say any more that evening but I knew she would do what I wanted. So the next morning I woke not to the usual sound of the 6.30 alarm but to my oldest son and daughter coming in and kissing me goodbye before they left for school. “How come dad’s not goin’ to work” I heard Jenny say and Maureen answer, “Well your father’s not well”. Then she came into our room, the baby in one arm and my breakfast begrudgingly balancing in her free hand. “There!” she said, “And I hope ya choke on it!”. But as she walked out of the door I heard a stifled chuckle coming from her, and as I watched her back disappear she suddenly became again the beautiful young woman whom I had met at the St Patrick’s Day dance all those years ago.”
He stepped down off the train onto what passes for a platform at Kingsland Station. As the old carriages of the City Rail train moved on up towards Mt Eden he had his usual feeling of living in a world which no longer existed. For every day of the last decade when he caught the 7.30 a.m. train from New Lynn and then the 5.15 p.m. home from Auckland, he was aware that he travelled on a transport system which had been condemned to death several times over. As he, Patrick Malone, walked past the

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