Going Postal

I don’t know anything about him, but he knows quite a bit about me. He knows my name and address. He knows I love food, I’m a current events junkie and tennis and trail running are my thing. He probably figures I like traveling around the West. He may also have picked up that I have a spiritual side. … at least a pop spiritual side, near as he can tell.

He likely assumes I’m married to someone from back East and that my husband and I run a plumbing company. He’s just a little wrong and a little behind.

It’s possible he thinks I’m quite a bit older than I am.

Who is this Columbo? My mailman. And he has a decided clues advantage.

A couple of weeks ago, on a street corner, I stood behind a mail carrier with her pushcart full of mailbox surprises—some no doubt welcomed, some surely not—and felt pangs of envy. It wasn’t the first time, and I know it won’t be the last.

When other kids played cowboys and indians or doctor and patient, I played mailman. There was something calming and fulfilling about putting things in the slots where they were intended to go. Easy but important. Especially then before junk dominated the slot-filling and forever robbed us of the anticipation of getting the mail.

If the work spectrum is assembly line on one end and mentally and spiritually challenging on the other, being a postal worker has to be somewhere left of center. That’s from where I sit, anyway, and why it’s hard to imagine why “going postal” ever became a thing. To me the job sounds rather glorious.

I did run into my mail carrier for the first time a couple of months ago. He was gregarious and friendly. Most of all he seemed to enjoy his job. He was RELAXED! The kind of relaxed I imagine comes with pushing a cart down beautiful Pearl Street with its Flatiron views and 300+ days of sunshine, stopping every few feet to put mail in boxes.

As for his clues about me, they are there if he is paying attention:

He knows I love food, (BON APPETIT), I’m a current events junkie (THE WEEK) and that tennis (TENNIS) and trail running (TRAIL RUNNER) are my thing. He probably figures I like traveling around the west (SUNSET). He may also have picked up that I have a spiritual side. … at least a pop spiritual side, near as he can tell (O – THE OPRAH MAGAZINE).

He likely assumes I’m married to someone from back East (mail and THE NEW YORKER subscription in Bill’s name) and that my husband and I run a plumbing company (more mail to Hollingsworth Plumbing and Heating).

It’s possible he thinks I’m quite a bit older than I am (WHY DO I KEEP GETTING POSTCARDS ABOUT ASSISTED LIVING PLACES??).

This is why I think the job is easy but not at all boring. I’m in. Too bad the United States Postal Service is on the wane. Bad timing on my part. I should’ve gone with my child-gut.

Jill