[ Sit In A Public Place ]

Prompt: Sit in a public place (cafe/bar/restaurant) and listen to a conversation going on a round you.This conversation is your prompt to create.


I went out this morning to collect the veg box from Jack, the greengrocer. I had not been out since Monday. There was a five person queue. I stood in the sun not speaking to anyone, no one was near enough for a conversation.

A food truck pulled up in front of the local shop. The woman driving asked whose was the car the truck was blocking in and no one knew. I watched her unload fragile boxes [and drop one], fascinated how she piled them onto the sack truck. It was a complex game of stacking with rules only she knew. Eventually, satisfied she had met the arcane requirements of the manual handling protocol, she tipped the truck back on its two wheels and pushed the booty inside the shop. The man in the cab meanwhile unloaded armfuls of food in bags and walked them inside after the driver.

They drove away as I was served. I gave Jack a paper with our address and my phone number on it. He asked if this was enough food for two vegetarians for a week. I assured him it was and thanked him.

On a concrete bench outside his shop I transferred the produce into a rucksack and a shopping bag, suddenly conscious of the amount of fresh food on display.  I thanked him again I told him I’d be back next Friday.

I walked into the convenience shop and the woman behind the till, who I had never seen before, shouted at me to stand outside and hadn’t I read the sign? Of course I had not.

So I waited until I could enter and bought spices and what tins there were for sale.

I then walked home, social distancing. Two people thanked me for standing aside on the narrow pavement.

As I crossed the road and entered my gate I could hear the birds sing.

We are living in a time of silence.

People are making extraordinary humane gestures all around us.

I give thanks.

I think I need to put this prompt aside for the duration.