At the Post Office

He breezed past me when he’d finished talking, and, my sleep-deprived mind a whirl, I double checked that I hadn’t mailed my wallet or phone along with the stack of envelopes I’d just deposited in the little tilting drawer.

“Keepin’ the postal service afloat,” He’d said.

“Yes, responsible citizens we are.”

“Eleven-hundred of these hand addressed with the little seals and everything, my staff does it all, it’s all we’ve been doing.”

I don’t know exactly what “these” are.  Christmas cards to his clients or something, I presume.  ”Well, I guess you can focus on Christmas now, right?”

“Christmas is done too.”  His tone sounded somewhat clipped.  ”My kids were down last weekend and we did Christmas.”

“Kind of kills it, doesn’t it?”

“Yeah, but it’s the only way I could get them.”

I’m his captive audience then, standing there with my empty box.  I’m somehow drawn into his lonely, overly busy existence for a moment, and don’t want to leave abruptly.

He’s still going on as we walk out into the rapidly fading afternoon light. “You got to celebrate when you’ve got them, you know?”

“Yeah,” I agreed, not knowing what else to do. “You take care, okay?”

I drove out, grateful for my little family, and my friends, and Advent, grateful that Christmas wasn’t already “done,” and grateful that Christmas will always be more than the day I could “get” to exchange presents with people.

And mostly right then, grateful I didn’t mail my wallet on three hours of sleep.  So quickly I slide back into my little world.

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6 Responses to At the Post Office

  1. Shari says:

    This was beautiful. Thank you.

  2. Leigh-Ann says:

    Shari’s right. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing this.

  3. Sarah says:

    Hey Anna….I agree with the others, such a great post. I’m feeling really melancholy this season, or at least the last couple days. I think some of it is this awareness of people around us who are so lost. Our neighbors are being evicted and I watch their kids and wonder what they will remember of this Christmas season.

    Anyway….going to hang out and read around your blog and look at your photos….

    • Anna says:

      Sarah, thanks for stopping in! It’s good to “see” you… And I understand the melancholy, especially watching something like that unfold right next to you. Christmas has become so convoluted in our society, and it’s sad that we as a society will trample people in Walmart parking lots on Black Friday, and not help our neighbors on Christmas, that most people will end up carrying credit card debt because somehow there’s an obligation to give presents we can’t afford to each other, and that some folks are so lonely they have to pour out their concerns to total strangers in the Post Office and hope someone truly hears them.

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