Today I was scribbling away in my notebook – doing an exercise from the A215 Big Red Book, listening to loud classical music (I think it was Bach at this point) and enjoying a hot frothy coffee. I knew I had very little time before school finished and I would become chief middle-man for my children’s social lives, so I didn’t want to be interrupted. The doorbell rang. Okay, I thought. So it might be a delivery…..hesitation…..Oh bugger – what if it’s Jehovah’s Witnesses…. I peered through the space of the porch and could only see one figure – tall and thin, not wearing black. Good. I opened the door.
A young, pale, tall, skinny chap with untidy grey clothes and very non-Hollywood teeth smiled at me.
‘Oh, hello’ he said unfolding a laminated piece of card and bobbing a polite almost-bow in a rather modest stand-offish way. ‘I’m an ex-offender…….’ I knew what he was saying and I had already sussed out what he was going to say, so at this point I had stopped listening and started to think about how I didn’t want to ask him (or anyone) in with his dirty boots and let him take up my time. I can’t walk him round to the garden to find my husband because I don’t have any shoes on, I don’t want to leave the door open because the house will get cold….. He says something about how he is making an honest living these days and I feel guilty for all the people that probably don’t trust him. To me it’s not about trust right now, it’s about time.
‘If you don’t mind I’ll just go and get my husband to come round to talk to you because I’m a bit busy.’ I said unconvincingly. Yeurgh. And I shut the door on him. I left him standing out in the cold and probably convinced him that I’m a thoroughly neurotic, stuck-up, middle-class housewife who needs to get a man to protect her from this nasty criminal at the door. Damn. I dashed to the back of the house and begged my husband to go round and buy something from him. Oh yes Mrs. Carter – that’ll ease your guilty middle-class conscience. How sickly.
I plonk my guilty fat arse back on my posture chair and think about how he must get that sort of treatment all the time and worse. I’m sure if the chap is allowed to come knocking on people’s doors as part of some rehabilitation scheme he’s hardly likely to be a huge threat to the general public. So as my penance I have completely lost my train of thought and have now given my time up to him without him knowing. And as an add-on punishment, hubby just came in to show me the nick-nacks we’d spend our depleting cash supply on!
So my apologies to this young man. I hope he does manage to get back on his feet. And I hope he won’t judge me too harshly.
I also really hope the ‘double pop-up basket’ proves to be useful . . .
And just to prove that I’m not THAT middle-class I’m going to put some rock music on now