Why would they? I don’t know how I didn’t see- I always see. This doesn’t fit at all, it doesn’t make sense.
I’ve decided to ask them. It’s not something I would usually do, but I need to know. I’m making a sign. Like a wanted poster from a film. And maybe someone will answer.
I haven’t finished the poster yet. I’ve tried six times so far but I keep getting it wrong. I must be very nervous. All I have to do is keep the letters the same size and at the same angle against the blue lines, then go over them. Seven times. I’ll try again.
Cut the sellotape, ready. Seven centimeters. Slice with the black-handled knife. Seven times. One. Two. Three. Four. Keep it straight. Five. Six. Seven. Keep it straight. More pieces, one for each side. Other hand. Seven times. Keep it straight. Start again. Seven centimeters. Seven times.
Tape it to the window. Wipe it. Wipe it… Keep it straight. Press it down. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. Keep it straight. Other hand. Wipe it…
WHO STOLE THE
Well, it wasn’t me but I wish I’d thought of it! It’s vaguely livened things up on my street, anyway. Very vaguely… It’s weird, Dan. It’s a note, handwritten in blue biro on lined paper- the letters drawn over again and again to make it stand out. I noticed it yesterday morning, taped to the porch window of number 2, on the corner. I’d love to know who stole it. And why…
That’s just seventy pence then, please. Thanks!
Probably for the same reason I’d do it- just for entertainment! I chose to live there, on that street, because I thought it had an old-fashioned, small-town community feel. That must’ve just been the church and the atmospheric street-lighting! I liked the over-sized numbers on the doors- but that’s about as far as the quirkiness turned out to go! It seems to be a neighbourhood full of hermits!
Anything else? One forty, please. Thanks!
Things do happen, of course, but never involving the residents. There are weddings at the weekends in the church at the top of the street, I’ve told you about that, haven’t I? I’m always seeing these enthusiastic brides treading carefully past my window, holding up their long white skirts. One of them tripped and very nearly fell a couple of weeks ago, but her bridesmaids pretended not to notice. It was quite touching…
I don’t think anyone on the street even goes to the regular church services-
Yes, please? The applewood? There’s two hundred and ten grams there, is that ok?
-Not that I can blame them! I went once, trying to ‘integrate myself into the community’. Never again! I’m very open-minded, and people can believe what they like, but that lot are crazy! I liked the singing and clapping at the beginning, I didn’t even mind when the pensioners got out their electric guitars and the drum kit. But falling over and speaking in tongues? That was scary…
I’ve never seen anyone from number 2… They get a lot of deliveries, though.
Yes, please? That’s two eighty, please. Thanks!
I’m terribly sorry to hear about the theft of your rosemary, especially as your herbs are so well-tended. I marvel at them every day on my way to work! I’ve never seen you touch them though, it’s as though they’re magically perfect!
Anyway, please accept this small replacement – not nearly as lovely as yours was, but perhaps you could nurture it?
Mary, Number 7
There are seven now. Seven. It’s been a hassle to sort all of them out. I wanted to stop after the third one but I couldn’t leave them there.
Gloves. Watch. Careful. Open the door, pick it up, pull it in. Don’t breathe. Close the door. Put it in the sink. Take off the note, open it, cling film. Put the tap on. One, two, three… Breathe. Leave the tap on for seven minutes. Then put it into a new pot, with the clean compost from the bag. Feed it from the green bottle. Seven drops. Cut all the brown bits off with the orange-handled scissors. The rubbish goes into a black bag. Tie it. The note goes in, too.
Six notes all said pretty much the same thing: ‘It wasn’t me, sorry!‘. But they were all in different handwriting. Different shapes, different sized loops, different ink. All from different people. I saw them. I know them. They all go past.
One of the notes was different, though. It was from the green girl who lives at number seven. I saw her. She always wears green. She works at the supermarket; her clothes have the same logo as the vans. She likes the herbs, she said. She notices them. Her name is Mary. She lives at number seven. I didn’t put her note in a black bag, just in cling film. Then on the top of the little cupboard, in the middle.
I’m going to give her some herbs. For her to cook with. I’ll give her green ones, she’ll like them. I can use the orange-handled scissors. Seven sprigs of each. Basil. Coriander. Mint. Parsley. Rosemary. Sage. Thyme. Elastic bands around them. Cling film.
I’ll put it out at the time when there’s no-one there. No-one has ever been on the street for those 14 minutes. 2:07pm until 2:21pm. Not for as long as I’ve watched.
Gloves. Watch. Careful. Don’t breathe. Open the door. Put it out, as far as I can reach. Put the note on top. Close the door.
MARY, NUMBER 7
THANKYOU FOR THE ROSEMARY. I WILL LOOK AFTER IT WELL. THE HERBS AREN’T REALLY PERFECT! I TRY TO TAKE CARE OF THEM. BUT IT DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK.
I HOPE YOU CAN USE THESE HERBS.
ROSE, NUMBER 2
I saw it on my way home yesterday. Just inside the gate of number two. A clingfilm package with a note for me on top. It’s in the same handwriting as the sign in the porch (which is still there, by the way). Block capitals, perfectly proportional. It’s very kind of her anyway; I’ve used the coriander already for a soup, and a bit of the basil.
Maybe I should cook her something with the herbs… There are loads of rosemary plants all of a sudden- I don’t think mine was such a clever present any more! Other people must have had the same idea. I swear I saw more people on the street yesterday too, it’s like the street’s finally coming alive or something!
Three hundred and fifty grams? Four twenty, please. Thanks!
At least I know her name now. Rose. I wonder what she looks like… Maybe she’s hideously disfigured and that’s why she doesn’t come out- what do you think, Dan? A birthmark maybe, or some horrible accident? I hope I get to meet her soon!
Yes, please? That’s four ninety, please. Thanks!
Thanks so much for the herbs, I used them for a soup and a pasta dish. I’ve made one of the pasta dishes for you, I hope you like it. It’s vegetarian, in case you don’t eat meat!
I must confess, I’m very curious about you- why have I never seen you? I hope we meet one day.
Did you find out who stole your rosemary?
I couldn’t eat it, of course. But it’s very kind of her. I put it in a black bag. I knew she’d like the herbs. It’s very kind of her. I do wish I could meet her. She couldn’t come in here, of course. I’m afraid she might try knocking on the door soon. She’ll want her dish back. I put it under the tap for seven minutes, then put bleach in it. Then I had to wash.
I’ll have to put it outside for her. With another note.
MARY, NUMBER 7
THANKYOU FOR THE PASTA.
I just don’t get it. It’s so weird. Why would she do that? It doesn’t make sense.
I don’t even know why it’s bothering me! It’s not like she owes me anything. I just felt like we connected or something… It’s so weird. It makes me so much more curious about her! Why on earth would she be like that? It’s so rude! I feel like leaving her a nasty note back, saying she didn’t deserve the sodding pasta!
Yes, please? That’s two pounds, please. Thanks!
Would be more effective if I could figure out how to do italics…