Friday, October 6, 2006

Ode to My Mailman

I haven't lived in my neighborhood all that long, relatively speaking. Lots of my neighbors have lived here for about 50 years. And up until a few weeks ago, we had our original mailman, Jim.

Let me first say, he's not dead, because the fact that my title here is Ode to... might lead you to that assumption. Oh no. He's still very much alive.

Jim was the best mailman. He got my mail in my mailbox every single day between about 11:30-noon. If I forgot to stamp a letter I had put out for pick up, he'd knock on my door and remind me. If I ever went out of town, I didn't have to bother going to the Post Office to get my mail stopped. I just asked Jim to hold it for me. I haven't ever lived anywhere where I actually knew my mailman by name. My current neighborhood is the kind that requires the mailman to go on foot because our mailboxes are on our front porches. I remember being so excited about the thought of that when we first moved in. Mail- door service? It sounded so very luxurious, and well... it is! So I guess that's one reason I know my mailman by name.

But it's also because he makes a point of saying hi to me, and pretty much everyone else in the neighborhood whenever we run into him. Jim has walked his ass off for years and years! He is really tan and lean because of it. I've never seen him without a cigarette. Anyway, if it weren't for his leathery skin, he'd still look pretty young. That's what walking every day, and being a happy and friendly fella does for you, even if you do smoke, I guess!

I've thought before that he probably knows quite a bit about me just based on the mail I receive. I remember one day he told me that my neighbor and I both used Netflix (I don't anymore, in case you're wondering...) and that we should trade movies before sending them back. Sometimes I'd see him down the street and say hi and he'd tell me he just dropped off some package. So he actually paid attention to stuff, and he had a great memory.

The other day, one of our 80 year old neighbors told us that Jim's last day in our neighborhood had come and gone. I had no idea this was happening. I was so sad I didn't get to say so long! Apparently our's was not Jim's only neighborhood he delivered the mail to, but it was the most time consuming. Now he's cut back on his hours and our neighborhood is off his list. Whaaaa. Whaaa. Whaaa.

I still have that great luxury of mail service right at my front door, but I don't have Jim. My mail comes at random times everyday, being delivered by random mailpeople each day. I don't know their names, and they don't seem to know mine. Things just don't feel the same around here...

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