December 5, 2019 § 3 Comments
I stood in line at the post office. I had parked my bike in the foyer, lights still blinking. My hi-viz rain jacket was dripping a bit, making a little puddle around my feet.
I recalled something I’d once read. “There are no successful people at the post office.”
Like that part in Alice’s Restaurant where everybody on the jail bench moved away from Arlo when they found out he’d been arrested for littering, the patrons were giving me a wide berth and looking through me.
I thought of the corollary to the above rule: “And people at the post office on bicycles aren’t people.”
I got to the window. “How’s your day going?” I asked the lady as a raindrop splopped onto the counter.
She nodded at the window. “The weather. I hate the rain. Just hate it.”
She was so big that there were two of her. “How come?” I asked.
“You can’t do anything on days like this.”
I was standing there in my rain gear, rolled up pant leg, and bike visible in the foyer. “You can’t?”
“Nope,” she said. “Days like this all you can do is sit inside and drink hot cocoa. Which is EXACTLY what I’ll be doing in four hours’ time.” She said it with the sadness you’d expect if someone had told her that Sara Lee had gone bankrupt, or was now vegan only.
I loved the way she made it sound like the rain was preventing her from engaging in her normal active lifestyle, all that bungee jumping, rock climbing, and hang gliding she normally did after work when the sun was out. As if her today wasn’t the equal of her every day, always indoors or wrapped in a steel cage, shuffling from chair to sofa and back again from the moment she awoke to the moment she went to bed.
“Yeah,” I agreed. “Days like today you just have to stay put.”
She nodded without looking up, weighing my letter and slapping on a stamp while breathing heavily from the effort of existing. “You said it, my friend.”
I kinda did.