Like some low-budget, sorry-ass version of Groundhog Day the postman arrived somewhat later than usual once again. He’d have clutches of loose, assorted mail for number fourteen in both hands, a large brown, scotch-taped package for number sixteen, and then, on cue, he’d stop to look studiously at his watch, then tilt his neck almost straight up, as if to check on the weather for some curious and unexplained reason. Finally, approaching my house he’d fumble around expectantly in his now empty-looking bag, building tension for effect. Shortly thereafter, I’d hear the discernable faint shuffle of ubiquitous black Clarks coming up the driveway.
Wrought with anticipation, like the very last kid on Santa’s route I’d wait eagerly for my turn. Against an eternally overcast and leaden sky, the soft shadow of his oversized standard issue postal hat would creep upwards on the opaque Neo Georgian glass of the front door. Behind the door, I’d sit patiently and quietly on the hallway stairs waiting for that special letter, as I had the day before, and before that, for more days than I could remember. Maybe today, I hoped, the letter would arrive.