Rolling in the aisles
I did not want to make multiple trips, nor have to cover the same ground twice. Additionally, it was later in the afternoon, so looming closing times meant I only had so much time to fit in all my errands. They all had to happen in one trip, carrying capacity be hanged.
The just-in-time stop at the thrift store provided things I was looking for (curtains) and unexpected treasures I wasn’t (glass spice jars with hinged lids). Geography dictated it was grocery shopping next.
It being coronatide, we’re all trying to keep out of each other’s way. A woman accidentally cuts me off by the yogurt, but we both smile and laugh good naturedly at each other. Later, outside, I back into her with my bike having failed to notice her behind me while I fiddled and grumbled with my lock. Again we smile and laugh with each other as I try to disavow that it was payback.
My bike was heavy laden by the time I locked it to a flimsy bus sign pole in front of the German meat shop.
I decided to take a risk: make it fast and leave the box packed, just taking the handlebar-dangling bags with me.
As I walk toward the door I hear a thump. I look behind me. My bike, awkwardly attached to the flimsy pole, rocking on the peaked end of the pedal as the tires twirl in space.
My groceries, however, are rolling in the street. Cars are approaching in that lane. Including a bus.
I scramble to gather bruised bananas and muddy peppers from the curbside puddles. Fortunately the road is crowned, so my apple comes rolling back toward me.
Very kindly the first car stops and waits for me to gather all my things. In fact the driver then pulls up next to me with his window open and asks if I need any help.
Next the bus which now has a red light pulls up next to me. The driver opens the door, and calls out with a chuckle: “do you need another bag?”
I was expecting a bus driver to be annoyed and if anything to yell at me.
So this tale of the misadventures of hapless Karla does not end with anyone crying. Instead, it was a refreshing demonstration of how good-natured strangers can be.