July 5th, 2005
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notes from the post office

One of my greatest joys in living in a rural area is the daily jaunt to the post office. There is something about making the trip to the mail, a quick seven minute walk, that adds to your anticipation. You have much more time to think about what might be sitting in that box waiting, time to feel good about what your are about to send off. Your packages and letters traveling around the world, going to places that you currently cannot go but wish to. Energy flitting about the continents.
Today I fit my key into the little box, number 411. It is in the top right hand corner of a wall of little boxes. I always liked the corner, you never have to look at the numbers. I opened the small door and for the first time noticed the marks left on all of the mailboxes. The light was hitting the wall in a certain way, causing the marks to stand out. Marks left by dirty hands, finger prints, grease smudges, marks left by key rings hitting the boxes as people shut the doors quickly after retreiving the mail. They were all different and told a bit of a story. I like thinking about what they were doing. This person has been working in the garden and just popped in on her way to the hardware store. This person was working on a car. This person is elderly and scrapes their key along the side of the box trying to find the keyhole everytime. This person was eating chips and left a grease smudge and some crumbs.
Like a new kind of language that only a person who cleans post office boxes on a regular basis might notice.
Or someone who was afraid of germs. (which I’m not thankfully or it could have been a problem).
Or maybe someone who is looking at things in a different light for the first time.

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