I went to my post office box today. There was the usual mail there, a few bills, bank statements and advertisements. A magazine and a catalog. Not close to being full. But in the bottom of the box, after I had removed everything else, was a yellow card. It laid flat on the bottom of the box and was exactly the width of the box. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get a hold of it. It wouldn’t slide side to side because it filled the box exactly. It wouldn’t slide forward because the door of the box is narrower than the inside. I was afraid that if I slid it back, it would fall out of the box onto the floor back in the secret, never-seen postal area. I’m sure there is an old, grey-haired guy in a blue sweater with patches on the sleeves and a green visor back there sleeping since they moved him from the old post office years ago.
But seriously, I finally managed to get a grasp on the card and somehow pop it out of it’s place on the bottom of the box. What was it? A notice from the post office. What did it say? It said there was too much mail to fit in my box and I had to call at the window for all of it.
Wait a minute? The card was at the bottom of the box. Did they take everything out of the box to put this notice in first? Did they carefully slide it under all the mail already in there? Why didn’t they cram my mail in until it looks like it came from an accordion factory like they usually do?
It wasn’t even a new card. It had been folded, by the look of the crease in it. Maybe even spindled… It had another box number written on it and crossed out.
I don’t know what there could be that wouldn’t fit in the box waiting for me. Packages are handled differently. They leave a key and you get the package from a special box with the key, which the box refuses to let go of the key once you use it. Maybe they were all in use because of Christmas shipping.
It was well after closing time at the Post Office. The gate to the counter area was down and the lights out there. That’s one of the things I like about having the box, I don’t need to fight the parking during the day when they are open. If they think I’ll make another trip there just to find out what wasn’t in the box, they’re wrong. I’m just not going there during the day this time of year.
Besides, I’m not expecting anything. It’s probably just more catalogs, and ads. Maybe one of those 600-page electronics catalogs they send me after I order something from their online catalog. Why would I want to wade through a 600-page print catalog looking for something that I can find in a tenth of the time online? They usually go in the recycling pile unopened. When the kids were little, they made good booster seats.
So I don’t know what I missed. Maybe they will put it in my box now that I emptied it. Maybe a key to one of the package boxes will become available. Maybe they will send it back where it came from. I don’t care. If I have to ask at the counter for whatever it is, it will have to wait until January, or at least after Christmas. I do have to pay the bill for the PO Box… they managed to get that into the box.