Underhill Avenue, via Sierra Leone and Target

It’s less than 48 hours since I’ve been back in Brooklyn, so my head is still waiting for my body to catch up. Wait, I think I mean my body is waiting for my head to catch up. My computer tells me it’s five-ish on Monday afternoon, but to me it’s actually tomorrow morning in Sydney. Tonight is my first fiction workshop class, and my main achievement will be to get there on time. Anything more than that I will have to regard as a bonus.

This afternoon I wandered around the homewares department of Target at the vast Atlantic Avenue mall, looking for a few specific items to make my cell – sorry, room – more livable. A desk, I thought, would be a good idea. And something to sit on. As my trolley began to pile up, it occurred to me that home delivery might be a good idea for these bulky items. Delivery would be free, and my only expense would be a tip for the unlucky guy whose job it would be to lug it all to my place. On inquiry, however, I learned that I could only have my goods delivered free – or delivered at all, in fact – if I had purchased them online. Old-fashioned shopping in the old-fashioned shop disqualified me for the service. And so it was that, during an intense mid-afternoon downpour, I found myself in hurried league with a taxi driver from Sierra Leone, who knew the trick of getting the Target trolley out of the store (mere mortals’ trollies get no further than the storefront’s sliding doors), and then my stuff into the enormous trunk of his car. I was so ecstatic about the achievement of securing a taxi in this weather that I didn’t understand what the driver was asking me as we set off in the car. After a few polite attempts I realised he hadn’t a clue where to take me and my stuff.

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