Thursday, August 24, 2017

A fight with the mailbox




    One exceptionally humid afternoon while I am in the side yard weeding the garden minding my own business, the substitute postal carrier makes quite the G-rated scene across the street delivering our mail. There is contorting of bodily parts and gnashing of teeth as if readying for a significant siege. In this case, it’s our mailbox, the adversary, posted firmly reporting for duty.
     I saw a little bit of humor in a commonplace week and I want to put a stamp on my thoughts.


     Day in and day out it’s a weighty process returning from the mailbox. I go over empty-handed eagerly anticipating at least one surprise. Usually I am disappointed. Seldom is there a handwritten letter. Those days have vanished into thin air like fountain pens, engraved stationary and wax seals.
     I barely can hold in two hands the oversized pile neatly wrapped with a rubber band that the postal carrier has left for me. Some days I should bring over a wheelbarrow. Sadly, it is all junk mail and after sorting through, it goes right into the circular file. In other words, there is an increase in my carbon footprint on earth in one mail run.
     Life is too short to be filled with junk.
     Of course, it is a good idea to open each envelope, in case there is a check for a million dollars from your long lost uncle in the pile. If that is indeed so, then I hope that you will close the newspaper – I won’t get my feelings hurt - and go figure out a new plan for living life to the fullest on your very own private Caribbean Island.
     Periodically it is a gilded certificate - a hoax - telling you if you call a toll free number, you will win a vacation to a superior resort on a golf course overlooking the ocean. Nice try. Don’t bait. You’ll be on a mailing list long past your due date has expired on earth.


     Now before I write any further, you must know that I do appreciate the US postal service.  Each employee is ready to help me at my local place, and they are a terrific energetic crew.
     The mail person pulled up to our mailbox in a pick-up truck and I would presume that he didn’t get close enough to the edge of the road to reach into the box. Our regular mail person has the routine down pat, and she literally streaks off with one foot on the gas slowing down just enough to hurl the mail into the slot like a championship ring toss pro.
     Our mailbox rests on the edge of a slope beside a gully, and I have had my share of slipping down into the muck without anything to reach out to catch my fall except the post. If anyone driving by were to see my face coming up out of the mire like I am part of the Game of Thrones’ Night Walkers, it would frighten them to pieces.
     Sometimes it is a dangerous life living in the woods and not having your mail comes right to your doorstep. I envy all you town folks, especially in the dead of winter when it takes a lot of effort to fight the wind and snow safely back and forth across the road before hyperthermia sets in and you are on the verge of loosing fingers and toes to frostbite.
     I feel for the temp guy and watch him get out of the truck, go to the other side of it and struggle maneuvering his body slowly to the edge to put the mail inside the black box. He slithers like a snake no doubt getting his clothes dusty, too, brushing up against his truck. Right then and there, I know he isn’t a happy camper and that he  realizes that there is more to this job than meets the eye. Unfortunately, I observe our mailbox swaying from side to side while he is trying to shove what I presume is a package inside. Sure, there is a little give to the mailbox on purpose. Not this much, though. He tries and tries to my amazement.
     Hold on. Shouldn’t I be a good citizen and go out there and give him a hand, collect my mail and save him the grief? Shame on me for not showing compassion. Whatever possessed me to stand there like a frozen statue, I have no clue. I’ve bungled numerous things myself, and have appreciated a bit of help.
     On the other hand, I bet that he is hoping nobody is spying on him. Meanwhile, I presume sweat comes dripping down his face and his clammy hands smear the address labels. Possibly he is assessing the situation for making changes in tomorrow’s delivery, if he does come back.
    Before I can make a move, he pulls into our driveway, steps out with the mail – there are two packages and no way they would have fit into the box by their sheer size – and deposits them on the porch with a ring of the doorbell. He drives back of our driveway like a teenager sneaking out on his parents, and once on the pavement, he roars off to the next house down the road. I don’t think he ever spots me.
     The sub postal worker comes by the next couple days and his routine improves immensely and his delivery flows like a syncopated beat in no time flat.

     Life is a learning curve. I rest my case and breath a sigh of relief.