What happens when a delivery of ice cream is left at the wrong home during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Last night, my husband ordered Thai food from a family-owned restaurant that is located within walking distance. We try to support it whenever we can. Very nice people. Fantastic food. It even has one thing I can safely eat because it doesn’t include any of the foods that I am allergic to.
I was only vaguely aware that my husband was going out to get Thai food because I was taking a nap when he asked if I wanted food from that restaurant. I remember saying “Yes”.
Wasn’t quite awake yet, but working on that, when someone knocked on the door.
I got out of bed, figuring my husband had forgotten something or had returned but lacked keys. My plan was to unlock the door and let my husband in. This takes about two seconds, so I didn’t bother to put on a mask first.
Instead, it was the son of the next door neighbor who constantly builds things. Still not quite awake, I opened the door, but not the screen door.
“Are you Breonna?” he asked, holding up a brown paper bag with a handle on it. The bag had some writing on it, but I couldn’t see it clearly enough to read it.
“No.” I responded, in a questioning manner.
The next door neighbor’s kid explained that someone ordered food that was mistakenly left on his porch by a delivery driver. Since they didn’t place any orders for delivery, he figured out that the food must have been intended for someone else.
He pointed to the writing on the bag. A sloppy scribble probably said “Breonna.”
“My name is Jen, not Breonna,” I explained, “And my husband’s name is Shawn. No one named Breonna lives here.”
The neighbor’s kid introduced himself. Then looked down at the paper bag in his hand, somewhat disappointed. He said something about not knowing anyone named Breonna, and deciding to see if the delivery was supposed to go to our mobile home.
“What’s in the bag?” I asked.
“Ice cream!” he responded, holding up the brown paper bag once again.
It was a hot day, during a heat wave, where the air did not cool down as the sun set. We live in a place that has little humidity — except during this kind of weather. It was entirely understandable that someone would have ice cream delivered under these conditions.
Suddenly, I realized the bigger problem.
“Oh, no! That’s gonna melt!” I explained.
The neighbor’s kid nodded his head, and shrugged. Then, he looked at another neighbor’s house, the first one people see when they enter our mobile home park.
“Do you know the people in that one?”
I shook my head no. “I don’t. I hardly leave the house anymore since … well, the pandemic”. The kid nodded his head, as if he understood my decision. He decided to go to the first house from the street and see if Breonna was there.
I told him it was good of him to try and do that. He smiled. I figure he might be a high-school student. And maybe he doesn’t get much praise for trying to do the right thing.
After I closed the door, I realized neither one of us had been wearing a mask. His father, whom I’ve never seen wear a mask, walks around outside without one. This high-school-kid seems to have been influenced by his father’s risky decision.
Even so, the kid knew enough to back up several feet from the door, after watching me back away from him after opening it. There was a screen door in between us, which provided a bit of a barrier He seems like a good kid, with more compassion and less selfishness than his father.
I’ve no idea if Breonna got her ice cream delivery before it melted away.
Originally published at https://bookofjen.net on November 22, 2020.