“Of course it is,” I reassure him.
“Are you sure that’s ok?” I ask, in turn.
“No problem,” affirms Big A, on the other end of the telephone.
Relieved, I grab some of the most urgent washing and stuff it into a bin bag, before taking another black bag from the cupboard, trotting outside, and filling it with some spare straw for his chickens. It is neighbourly transactions like this that make communities go round. I scoot down the garden path, feeling all community-minded.
It occurs to me, as I am half way across the road, that I have no identification on me whatsoever. No credit cards, no driving license, nothing. And it also occurs to me that, should the worst happen and I am run over by a passing haulier, the police will be faced with the task of piecing together my entire life based on the profile of an unidentified accident victim found with one black bag of farmyard straw and one black bag of womans’ used panties.
I do not wish my life to be reduced to ‘Body – STRAW/PANTIES’ on a whiteboard in some anonymous police station somewhere. Thank God for the upcoming ID cards – I wish we could have them sooner.
Big A is waiting at his front door, and takes the straw gratefully. He shows me to his washing machine.
“How does it work?” I ask.
He looks blank. “Search me,” he replies.