Beginning Puzzle #9

There was box on the front porch mat. 

I’d been in the office for a while. To get to the front porch, the office must be passed. The office has a large window which faces the street, driveway, and walk, so that I can watch for zombies and aliens. The phantom deliverer was either invisible or a ninja.

Ninja Delivery – “When you don’t want people to see it coming.”

I informed my wife of the find. She was as surprised as me. “I didn’t hear a truck or anything.”

Anything, I guess, were footfalls. I was nodding, but thinking, at what point had I been dashing around the house naked? I used to do it often, less so after the Okinawa Incident.

We were stationed at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa (or in Okinawa Prefecture), Japan. As we were lowly enlisted people, we were residing off-base. There wasn’t enough housing for everyone on base. We enjoyed our little apartment. Two of them could fit into our great room, the cathedral-ceiling living-dining-kitchen combo in our current house. The whole place was like an Easy Bake kitchen blown up by about four times.

Living there was fun. The place was full of couples like us. Typhoon parties were lively, although the walls were thin. The newlyweds’ loud and energetic coupling brought everyone in the neighborhood over to ensure no one was being killed. Space between apartment buildings and houses were tight. I chose that day after showering to turn on music and dance around naked, entertaining my wife and the cats.

I was also entertaining three third-grade girls on the porch next door, just five feet away from the bedroom where I gyrated…until I saw them. High on music, by the time I’d noticed them, they were sneaking away. I’m sure I shocked them for life.

Since the Okinawa Incident, I’ve been more careful about dancing around the house naked. My wife still calls if she’s coming home and bringing someone along, though. It’s safer for everyone.

I’d not danced around that day, but I had stripped naked for a shower and then remembered that I’d wanted to check on something in the office. What the hell, what are the chances of someone being outside and looking in just as naked me sauntered by?

Yet, my mind summoned an image of the UPS guy hurrying to the door, preparing to ring the bell, package in hand, and seeing me through one of the windows on either side of the door. As he’s ready to ring the bell, my nude man-feast passes by the window. Averting his eyes with a hard gulp, he mutters, “I’ll just leave this here,” and flees, head down, like someone’s shooting at him.

Anyway, I learned from checking tracking numbers on the Internet machine that these are the puzzles we’d ordered from Zulily. After letting the package sit outside for a few hours to lose some of its COVID-19 strength, I brought it in and put it in the sanitizing zone. When another day had passed, we deemed it safe to risk opening the package.

Oh, new puzzles. I was sure that they probably had all the pieces. One — fifteen hundred pieces (yeah, we’re getting bold) — featured a red Corvette. The year isn’t given, but I guess it’s a 1960. I had a neighbor who had one, and once rode in the trunk, so I was pretty sure about it. You don’t forget something like that.

“That’s a lot of red,” my wife said. I know she’s thinking of past puzzles that featured long stretches of blue sky, blue oceans, or green lawns.

We turned to the other one. It’s a lovely reproduction of a David Bradley painting with vivid colors and many details. I opened the box. The colors look true. Among the pieces were eyes, heads, and faces. That appealed to us; it’s easier to find faces and put them on heads than test red piece after red piece.

We began today, because it’s Sunday. An old wise woman once told us that it’s best to start new projects on a Sunday.

Damn, I just realize that she said Monday.

Or was it Friday?

Oh, well, what do days of the week matter during this period, when most of us are inside, hunkering down against zombies or alien invaders?

We have begun the puzzle.


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