A stranger in the post office asks me if I can free her mail from her box. It’s a narrow box, nearly at the bottom of the wall. I crouch down, extracting envelope by envelope, taking care not to tear the paper. It’s clear she hasn’t collected her mail in some time. She waits patiently while I tug with some effort. While I hand up envelopes and fliers and magazines, I talk and talk, rambling on about the mail and whatever inane thing drifts into my mind. Around us, people open their boxes, collect their stuff, and disappear. I keep at my project, now kneeling. Finished, I shut her box door.
She thanks me, and we go our separate ways. Walking home, I keep thinking about that simple thing, how easy it is to give to a stranger. There’s likely an obvious lesson here. But one thing is clear, I got as much from the mail extraction as this woman.
… A cold and soggy April. Miniature daffodils push up through black soil. I keep feeding my wood stove.
2 thoughts on “Stranger Aid.”
So, you kept her Social Security check????
I’m kidding….only kidding.
In all seriousness, I have been enjoying your observations since Ben Hewitt recommended you as one of the writers that he reads consistently. I can see why. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
I have to admit — reading this, for a moment, I thought, Wait?! I kept her check??
Thanks for writing in and linking us together. For other readers, you should check out the trove of reading at Rod’s website, which can be found here: https://borderlandjournal.com/april-2022/