I used to
live in an
old post office,
a flat, that once upon
a time had been the
place where people
bought stamps and weighed
parcels and sent items.
Once a week, without fail, for the
two years I lived there, a shuffling old
chap would arrive at the front door,
his hand shaking as he extended
I’d take it, say thanks. Shut the door.
Later that same day (always that same
day) I’d take a stroll down the road,
about 200m I suppose, and I’d pop the
letter in the public mailbox.
I never tampered with them. Never opened
them. Never even studied the handwriting, or
looked to remember the name or address.
Just a case of making sure the guy’s
letter went in the slot.
We never spoke. He just handed me the
mail. Thinking, no doubt, he was in the
right place, arriving right on time, doing
the right thing.
It was a good thing to do I suppose.
A wee task for someone else.
Not that I thought of it that way.
I just did it. It was something to do.
And maybe I laughed – a little – at the situation. The
absurdity. The purity. The confusion. The
heartbreak. The wholesomeness. The madness.
The mirth. The worth. The weirdness. The way
it came to be. He arrived with a letter. And handed
it to me. I took it. And put it in the box down the road.
Never thought not to. Never considered doing anything
else with it.
First real deadline.