Mail call

My mailbox finally had something peeking through the slits when I got home: o what bounty! Two ads for a hair salon (the same hair salon; perhaps they think I’m two-headed?); three ads for pizza places (three different pizza places, all glossier in their presentations than the hair salon); a card good for one hot chocolate sachet (pouch or packet, that is, not stuff to put in your dresser drawer to make lingerie smell flowery); and an ad for a shoe store that never reveals its location either in the area or online.

But that was just the junk. Also: the current copy of Publishers Weekly, a notice from my bank (good lord, they’ve been my bank for only a week and they’re already sending me a notice!), and a slip requesting that I collect a package at the local post office.

The local post office would be…where? I have trolled the neighborhood pretty thoroughly and haven’t seen a post office. Fortunately, the notice spells it all out (in both English and French). My local post office is inside the Shoppers Mart on Fenwick Road and it has incredible hours: 0900-2100 four days a week and until 1800 Friday and Saturday.

So, off to Shoppers Mart (which is a drug store) I go–it’s just three blocks so no matter what the package might be, I can drag it home, right?

Oh, so wrong! I was forewarned when the postal agent came back out to the counter after a long absence in the back room looking for it. Her hair was newly disarranged. “I’ve found it,” she reported dubiously. “I hope you didn’t walk here.” Well, yes, of course, I did….

It weights 37 pounds and is big enough that the only way I can get any purchase on it is to grip the bottom edges with my arms spread eagled–and then I can just barely see over the top.

And I do this all the way down the DARK concrete steps to the street. Where I realize there is no way I can haul this thing three blocks.

This must happen with fair frequency at Shoppers Mart because no one turns a hair when I stagger back inside (yes, I went back up those dark concrete steps–all nine of ’em) and wonder aloud if a taxi can be summoned. Of course it can and it is and I’m home at a cost of 80 cents over the meter drop.

I live on the third floor. Just as I plan that part out–unpacking the box in the vestibule would shed five pounds, according to the markings on the carton–a nice young man (yes, I am getting old; I just said “nice young man” in that generic sort of way that only old people say it) hopped up and offered to do the hauling. I was not proud. I let him.

Contents of box? An inflatable bed (for visitors). The ad copy in the catalog (that would be catalogue) hyped not only its comfort but its lightweight portability. Ah, yes, all things are relative and Fenwick Road (the location of the post office) is so very close–and so far away.



2 Responses to “Mail call”

  1. Armin Arethna Says:

    Hi Francisca,

    I’ve been missing your wit and sense of humor, and so I am very glad to be able to connect with you via your blog. It sounds like you are having a good time – and an adventure! And you always have the most exciting stories to tell — I still remember that one about you in the biker pub on the way to Yuba City! I look forward to hearing about your Canadian experiences, and hope that you are enjoying yourself!

    Best Wishes,

  2. Sandy Says:

    Slowly, slowly, I am converting everyone to spelling “catalog” with a -ue. At my current pace, I may convert one more person before I die of old age forty years from now.

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