Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Delivery

On Thursday Morning 12th October 2006 I took delivery of an essential piece of kitchen hardware. This is what happened.

'Fridge.' the delivery man said, already three steps back up the driveway to his large orange lorry.

I fidgeted quickly around the house, closing doors on rooms of mess, picking up as much litter from the hall carpet as I could then went to the doorway again.

The back door of the truck rolled upwards with the sound of soft thunder. Inside someone was already shoving the huge brown-covered parcel outwards. The delivery man caught it neatly on his shoulder - like a Miriam or a Ruth carrying the clay water pitcher from the well. He came towards me: gracefully, balanced, unsmiling.

'Where do you want it?'

Behind him, from where the fridge had been, I had the impression of the silhouette of a man toppling silently towards the road: arms out, body arched.

'In here?'

I stood aside, my eyes still on bushes that hid that section of the road where the man had fallen. No sound, no sign - as if a dream had suddenly appeared in my mind and then gone again.

'Well?' He was frowning now, swaying a little with the weight , so I gestured him through, watching him as he lowered the fridge to waist height to go through the doors.

'Either that thing is surprisingly light or you're surprisingly strong.'

He grinned. 'Just here?'

I nodded. I was still thinking about the man on the road.

I watched him go back to the van. Thirties. Black jeans. White T shirt making a convex curve over his belly and then an overhang above his belt. He reached in to the driver's cab, pulled out a board with paper attached with a bull dog clip and brought it to the door way for me. 'Sign there, print there.'

'Is your friend OK?'

'Friend?'

Perhaps it had been something else: a dog, a large bird. 'I thought he fell out the back.'

He raised his eyes skywards at me. 'Oh that. He always doing that.'

'Doesn't he get hurt?'

The stretched white T shirt shrugged up and down. 'Dunno. Don't think so.'

10 Comments:

Blogger Susan said...

Eyes wide open, mouth agape...

What?! I love this, but I'm left with so many questions. Please, please elaborate, Clare!

Sun Oct 15, 07:43:00 pm  
Blogger Debra Hamel said...

Indeed! Very strange. Very interesting.

Sun Oct 15, 07:57:00 pm  
Anonymous clare said...

Then they just drove off! It seemed so strange to me too. It seemed such a surreal scene - one of them carrying a fridge on one shoulder and the other falling soundlessly off the back of a lorry...

Sun Oct 15, 09:00:00 pm  
Anonymous marly said...

Definitely something going on there! Perhaps the bird man has to give up all his strength and tumble from the truck in order for the muscle man to be as strong as two and heave ho! the fridges, O...

More story to come, surely.

Mon Oct 16, 05:28:00 am  
Blogger Lee said...

Turn it into a surrealish short story ... otherwise I might!

(Blogging from Tampa International Airport. These WiFi hotspots are everywhere, and I love sitting with all the youngish SV types, Starbucks coffee to hand.)

Mon Oct 16, 03:50:00 pm  
Blogger Jan said...

At least it wasn't a Doumbek...although the guy who fell out of the lorry may well have been Adrian...

Mon Oct 16, 04:19:00 pm  
Blogger adrian the percussionist said...

No, it wasn't me. I have to watch I don't damage my hands, especially the non-dominant one, because my ka is a bit weaker than my dum or my tek. Because of this, I've given up delivering fridges. However, my spirit does tend to linger around them, attracted to the disturbed molecules of unsettled coolant, and and can be glimpsed as an aura that looks surprisingly like a silhouette if glimpsed at the correct angle.

Mon Oct 16, 05:12:00 pm  
Blogger twitches said...

Seriously, this is real? I didn't even comment the first time I wrote it because I thought it fictional, and couldn't think of a damn thing to say in response. I think I prefer that it's a real experience, so I don't have to try and figure it out.

Mon Oct 16, 10:12:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an odd thing to happen Clare - staight from the twilight zone of writer's heaven. I just love the 'Oh that, he does it all the time ...' There has got to be a story there. Or maybe you've already told it - gave me a laugh!

Tue Oct 17, 05:14:00 am  
Anonymous clare said...

Well, thank you all - and yes Lee and CB - it looks like it should be the next competition for BAFAB week - though I think the suggestion from Marly is pretty well unbeatable. The bird man's name is of course Doumbek (thank you Jan), and that idea of an aura cause by unsettled coolant molecules is superb, thank you Adrain the percussionist (who is so not Adrian Benson)...so then Twitches and I can work out excatly what comes next.

Tue Oct 17, 10:57:00 pm  

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