We get bacon from a delivery boy now.
Well, not all our bacon. But it's only natural to have bacon needs that the major supermarkets can't fulfil. Actually, I'm not sure why my mum has decided to get bacon from the bacon boy. Maybe it's just a way to support a local entrepreneur.
Anyway, last Wednesday my mother was going to see Alexander McCall Smith in the Edinburgh book festival, so she left me in charge of getting our unsmoked back bacon and giving him the money, if he were to stop by while no one was in. This was just in case he came round - he was supposed to be there on Tuesday. Anyway, I completely forgot about the bacon boy very quickly. Let's call it a freak brain malfunction. Thus early on Wednesday evening when the doorbell rang, I assumed it was a door-to-door cavity wall insulating company and didn't get up to answer it. But I went to the front window upstair to catch a look of whoever it was as they were leaving. When I saw what looked like a teenaged boy in a white coat with a bucket (o' bacon!) I realised my mistake.
My mind works in weird ways, sometimes. I can be entirely ruthless and detached at times, and at others I get stupidly emotionally involved. As I watched as the bacon boy walked down the road, glancing back just in case someone had taken their time in coming to the door, I started to feel really guilty. What if this poor boy needed the bacon money to pay his way through university? What if my failure to buy his bacon led to the collapse of his business? Such things I think. But then, in an effort to make myself feel better, I remembered that he was supposed to come on Tuesday. That'll teach you, Bacon Boy! Come when you're supposed to! Still, the guilt remained.
This week, with my parents away on holiday, once again bacon buying duty fell to me. I was determined not to make the same mistake twice. However, a hitch occurred to me when I realised that my second ever driving lesson was scheduled right around the time would have been due - between 7 and 8 on Tuesday. Emily suggested I leave a note on the front door to the effect of, "I'm not in right now, but don't give up on us, Bacon Boy!". I ended up being too much in a rush to leave a note, but it didn't matter, anyway. The Bacon Boy came this evening.
I was looking out the front window because the ice cream van was there (there was always an ice cream van when I was growing up but I didn't remember there being one for years) and I wanted to see how much business it did. And there, coming along the street, with shoulder-length hair and unshaved lip-fuzz, was the Bacon Boy. Hooray for the Bacon Boy! I ran to get the money my mum left and went to answer the door.
When I answered the door, the Bacon Boy didn't say anything. He just sort of stared at me, or behind me, I couldn't quite tell. I assumed he was wondering where my mother was. She had, after all, been the authority in the house vis a vis bacon purchasing, so I explained that the parents were away. He still didn't say anything about what he was giving me, or even asking what I wanted, so I started to wonder if he was a bit special. So I just told him what it was that I thought my mum would buy and he finally responded and gave me the price when I asked. When I gave him the money and the goods were handed over, he finally looked at me, and at my hoodie, and asked, "Is that a Fullmetal Alchemist top?" Aha! The weird looks and silence are kind of explained. So we chatted about Fullmetal Alchemist and I told him that I'd been living in Japan for the last three years. His response was, "That is so cool." Finally, recognition!
He left, saying that Wednesday was now the day for bacon, and I was left feeling much better about the whole business.
This was about twenty minutes ago. Who says you need time to reflect before writing about the really life-changing events?