It always seems that whenever I need to send something in the mail my mail carrier knows it and puts extra effort in to getting their route done unusually early. This way, they are done and gone before I can put my letters out for them to pick up. Any other day my mail comes between noon and 3. On this particular day I had a few time sensitive letters I needed to get out. At 11 that morning I went out to put those letters in my mailbox thinking this time I’d be early enough to beat my mail carrier. Apparently there is no changing the ways of the universe. Had I gone out at 7 in the morning with letters to mail it would have been the day the postal workers go on strike. I collected the envelopes my mail person had so promptly delivered and took them and my own freshly stamped envelopes back into the house. Oh well, I didn’t hold it against my mail carrier for being efficient. I was going out to run some other errands anyway, it would be easy to stop at a mailbox somewhere.
I ended up going to a nearby grocery store that I knew had a mail box in front of it. I turned down a parking aisle and noticed a bum-ish looking older man sitting on the ground to the side of the mail receptacle. What an interesting place to sit. I got out of my car and walked towards the big blue US postal box and the bum man sitting next to it. We both saw each other looking at the other. It was hard not to look at him sitting there on the sidewalk next to the mailbox I needed to get to. As I got closer I gave a half smile, my reserved attempt at being friendly. Instead of watching me like he did when I was further away he responded to my reserved smile and eye contact by shyly looking down at his hands and chuckling. I was intrigued. I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what had made him laugh like that. Maybe it was me. Maybe he thought I walked funny, or smiled funny, or looked funny. Maybe he knew something I didn’t, like a postal worker had just come and picked up the mail early. Maybe he was just crazy. I placed my mail into the slot and looked over the mail box at the bum man again to see if I could get any other clues to his amusement. He continued to avoid direct eye contact and sat there smiling at his hands. He discretely watched me through the corner of his eye without turning his gaze away from his hands in his lap. He looked like he was trying to hold back more laughter. I guess I wasn’t meant to be in on the joke. I started to think perhaps I really was the joke. Looking around I couldn’t find anything that I thought would be interesting or amusing enough to bring a person to laughter... that is except the bum man himself sitting on the sidewalk laughing at who knows what. Maybe he was laughing at himself. I wanted to laugh too, but then I’d be the crazy one laughing to herself at who knows what. I should have joined him on the sidewalk.
As it approaches.....
7 years ago