Gareth Barsby: The Milkman
Many people say my line of work is an old-fashioned one, but I suppose that’s part of the “charm,” really. People are still nostalgic for the image of the sleepy little suburban house with flowers on the windowsill and a bottle of milk on the doorstep.
That, however, doesn’t explain one of my frequent stops. Every morning, I drive to these steps, where I find two empty bottles and payment for the last morning’s milk. I collect them before placing two milk bottles on the last step before the staircase of concrete enters the sea.
I sometimes tell myself work is work and I shouldn’t question these things, but often on the way to the next order, I have attempted to rationalise it. Someone lives nearby and wants to convince themselves to walk by the sea in the mornings. Someone wants to have a bowl of cereal or a cup of coffee while watching the waves.
If either of those explanations were true, it did not explain this one morning. After I placed down the bottles and ascended, I heard a slurp and turned around to see a large wet spot where the milk used to be.
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