The Parcel Essay

2040 words - 8 pages

“Bloody door bell!” I lift my head and look irritably towards the front door. Not that I can see the front door from where I’m sitting. The response is an automatic one. “I’m never going to get this finished,” I grumble. I stare at the screen, do a quick word count, 500 words. I need 5000 before I can submit the piece. I’ve got to get it finished, those bills on the side won’t pay themselves. It’s going to be one of those days, I just know it. Started off at breakfast, the milk was off, I burnt my mouth on the black coffee - that was the only option - I didn’t fancy finishing off the bottle of wine. Anyway 10 am is to early even for me to have a drinky poohs. To top it off I put my foot in the dogs water bowl and had to spend half an hour cleaning the kitchen floor. You see when I mopped up the spilt water it left a sparkling clean circle, on what I thought was an already clean floor. It’s eleven o’clock now and I’ve only just started writing.

I’m sitting and listening now. Someone’s still shuffling about outside. I hope it’s not Doris. I know she‘s got stamina and won‘t go away until either I answer the door or her stomach starts groaning to be fed. If you open the door before her stomach starts, you’ve had it. Once you let her in you can’t get rid of her, not until all the biscuits are gone. I’ve got chocolate biscuits and I don’t want to share. If I’m quiet maybe whoever it is will go away.

I turn back to the computer and continue typing. But curiosity is starting to get the better of me. I tilt the chair onto its back legs and try to look around the door frame, with out actually moving from the desk. The door bell rings again. The chair over balances and I land in a heap on the floor. A couple of bruises later, I stand up and peek down the hallway. Still hidden, I can see the front door, but anyone on the other side can’t see me. I watch as the figure silhouetted in the glass gives up and goes away. I give a sigh of relief. It’s not Doris. Whoever it was gave up far to soon for it to be Doris.

I really hate being rude, apart from with Doris that is. But I know what I’m like. If I let them in, I’d only be half listening to what the visitor had to say. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve put my foot in it, replying to a misheard question; agreeing with what has just been said only to realise I should have disagreed. The time Julie was chopsing on while I tried to write, I replied something like, ‘ah that’s terrible’, only to be informed that we were discussing the birth of her sister’s, much longed for child.

It’s not just friends that have to suffer either. I remember doing it to my daughter once; she’d apparently been telling me of an insult she received from a friend, saying she was over weight, and asking me if I though she need to go on a diet. She wouldn’t speak to me for a week after that.

I’m still standing in the hallway. I’ve just noticed a parcel propped up against the bottom pane of glass. All thoughts of...

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