Artist Panel Delivery, Compliments of UPS Frieght
I heard the rumble from inside my condominium before I could see the truck. The sound caught and reverberated between the buildings, and I thought, "That's got to be him." Deeper than the chortle of any other delivery truck and louder than idle of a fire engine, nothing like it has arrived before in our neighborhood.
But then again, I had never ordered anything like this before, and I think would be a prudent guess that no one else who lives here ever had, either. Normally, when over-sized supplies specified that they will be delivered "Freight," it has not been a big deal. In the past, things like panels for painting have appeared without incident at my doorstep.
This time, when the day for delivery came, no truck had arrived. When I called the next day to inquire, a nonplussed man with a drawling accent on the other line said,
"Whelp. I'm comin' down outta Commerce City. (Pause). And I don't gotta lift team."
"Oh... okay... so, what exactly does that mean?"
What it meant was, we were the lift team-- the driver and myself, and there was no time to make other arrangements-- he was on his way, which brings me to the window-rattling chortle of the 18-wheeler. I raced down the steps to meet a semi-truck with out-of-state plates, which had somehow managed to make the right hand turn into our condominium complex, and was sandwiched between our stairwell and the mailboxes.
The driver cut the cords on the palette and shouted down to me, as he strained to slide a box down off the back of the truck, "You think you can lift that?" I thought, "How would I know?", but there was only one way to find out. Each box, with two hardwood cradled panels inside, was about as tall as I am, three feet wide, and fairly heavy. The answer to his question, thankfully, was a qualified, "yes", and with some considerable effort, I stowed all six awkward, heavy boxes safely in the garage.
When the time came for him to start the engine back up, I thought, "How on earth is he going to get that out of here?" I was seriously concerned, and so I stayed to watch in case assistance was needed or disaster struck. The driver backed the semi out of the L-shape that he'd pulled into, missed the precariously positioned parked cars by mere inches, and piloted his rig around the the other side of the buildings with the grace of a ballerina. It was poetry in motion.
This delivery took place a little over a year ago, and the twelve panels that arrived have since become the SAK project (the Saints series).