People are kind

Mapping a global network of caring

Featured in

  • Published 20170727
  • ISBN: 9781925498417
  • Extent: 264pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THE PACKET OF soy milk was standing alone on the top shelf of the long-life milk section in the brightly lit aisle of Coles at Corinda. Normally, I could easily stretch up to the second-highest level to grab it. That day, though, the shelf was empty. I peered upwards and spied a solitary packet standing slightly back from the edge of the highest tier. Once, retrieving the packet would have been simple, a matter of standing on tiptoes and reaching up to get the milk. But that day my balance was shaky and I had to hold onto the trolley handle with my left hand while extending my right upwards. I felt my muscles cramp. I was in a lot of pain that morning and had been for a number of weeks.

I leaned against the shelf to steady myself, and tried to feel around for the soy milk, but for some reason I couldn’t move my arm or the hand that was now hooked over the rim of the shelf. I gripped the trolley tightly with my left hand and tried to leverage myself out of my predicament. All I did, though, was push the trolley further forward, my arm along with it, while still clutching the top shelf with my left hand. I knew I’d have to let go of something. So I did. I let go of the top shelf and my balance as well, as my feet slipped out from under me, while my hand, still gripping the trolley, pushed forwards. I fell on my knees, my eyes watering in sudden shock, as packets of soy milk tumbled to the ground around me.

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