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If struggling with a locked car trunk was not enough this week, I went to put a get-well-soon card in my mailbox the other day and noticed that the box was a little rickety. It was not firmly attached to the post; instead, it perched hesitantly there, like a criminal about to flee. The box didn’t seem receptive to housing my card, so I took it out, but not before making the situation worse: I gripped both sides of the box and tipped it back and forth, lifted it up as far as it would go, making sure that it was broken. I peered underneath and could see that it was only partially attached to the post, that the metal had come apart. I rolled the box back and forth a few more times for good measure, hurrying along its demise; this felt good for some reason. It felt good to wreck the mailbox.
The next day I was out in the yard raking and the wind came up, toppling by mailbox to the ground where it lay like a severed horse’s head braying silently into the dirt. It’s what I deserved after manhandling it. I tried to set it back on top of the post but it wouldn’t stay. The wheels in my single-lady brain started turning: How do you fix a mailbox? Do I need brand-new everything? How much will it cost? How long will I go with a headless mailbox post? Will the mail lady still deliver my mail? I finished raking and set the mailbox on top of my rosemary bush, where it would have looked decorative and fancy if not for the beheaded post standing next to it. In a burst of energy I wrestled the skinny post to the ground and hauled it back to the dumpster, leaving a gaping hole in its place. That felt good too.
The next day was Monday and I waited to see if my mail would be delivered. No. Tuesday came and still no mail. I wondered what my delivery person was thinking; either she had an aversion to rosemary or she didn’t want blood on her hands. Maybe she was punishing me; to a recovering Catholic, that idea made sense and felt right. However, no matter how much I was enjoying the shame and guilt and mental lashings involved in not conforming to postal regulations, I did want my mail. I called Man-Friend and confessed the whole story; he promised to help me fix it.
On Wednesday morning I put the mailbox head on a lawn chair next to the post and attached a heartfelt plea (see Exhibit A). I did get my mail that day, along with PS Form 4056, dated 1991: “Your Mailbox Needs Attention!” There were two cartoon pictures of mailboxes: one falling apart, one standing tall and proud. The dilapidated one was circled, along with “Fault # 16: A new post for your box should be provided.” Good eye, mail lady.
I’m happy to report that later today, my severed mailbox head will be firmly attached to my new metal post, which is anchored in quick-dry cement just above Jimmy Hoffa’s final resting spot—now that I finally got him out of my trunk.
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