Today at 12.30h. Conflict: external and internal.

Grocery delivery van arrives in our narrow, single lane road.

Delivery Man offloads weekly victuals and leaves them in designated socially distant area.

Door of cabin swung shut and locks delivery man out. *Engine still running.

DM cannot find his keys. Distressed, apologetic, needs to call depot.

I mask up and wash my hands; he masks up. I give him our landline phone. He ‘phones home’. E.T. comes to mind.

“They will be here soon.”

It’s mid-day. The weather is meltingly hot. I give him a huge umbrella and a bottle of water. We can’t invite him in: we’re in the ‘vulnerable and shielding’ bracket.

DM sits on the ground up the road in the shade of a neighbour’s fence. I feel a pang of guilt.

The large van is obstructing traffic arriving and leaving.

I send an apologetic email to all the neighbours.

Two hours creep by.

I give him another bottle of water all the while secretly worrying that he will want to pee. I make preparations for that eventuality. Hand sanitiser by the front door. Check. All doors to the nearest loo wedged open. The loo is given its second thorough sanitising of the day. Fresh towel. Check. Anti-bacterial soap dispenser. Check.

I continue to feel guilty that a delivery of food to the house has caused this mayhem, and the poor man is in all that heat. Best Beloved rolls his eyes. “Not everything bad that happens in the world is your fault.” Not the first time he’s said this over the 50 years we’ve been together.

DM finds the keys in one of his pockets (they’re like bags sewn on the outside seams of his trousers). He’s excited! So am I.

He puts the key in the lock and tries to turn it. It doesn’t work. He goes to the passenger door and tries again. Nope.

The cavalry arrives in the shape of a short stocky chap in a high vis tabard, with keys and a number that has to be entered into a gizmo that he’s brought with him.

The cabin door opens!

DM returns the umbrella with thanks, scrambles into the open cabin before it slams shut again, and drives the van away to the nearest gas station, across the valley.

“I might cry.” 

Another eyes rolling response.

“Go and put your blower thing on and cool down.” Best Beloved says. Then he makes me a mug of tea.

I’m in the lounge, sitting at my computer, enjoying the breeze from the fan, with tea a few inches from my hand. 

All’s right with the world.

*One thing continues to puzzle us: how was the engine running, if DM had the keys in his pocket?

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