Stravinsky's Mailman


April 28, 2002
I saw the mailman again today.  He comes to see me everyday, displaying proudly his ribbons and medals.  He points to each one and gives me the story behind it.  The blue one with the starburst and the scimitar, he says, was earned by uncovering that ring of imposter mailmen.
      You might have read about that.
      Real mailmen were being followed, house-to-house, by imposters who would remove the mail just as soon as it was put inside the box.  The real mailmen, as was commonly known by the criminal elements in town, never turned around, not ever.  The imposters stole mail with impunity until my mailman came along.  He turned around and said, "You ain't no real mailman!  Real mailmen don't wear aviator's goggles!"
      With a single turn of the head, my mailman busted this ring wide open!
      The green one with the figs and lotus clusters on a red background was given for perfect attendance.  "You are the best at showing up," they said to him at the ceremony.  The band played Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.
      Snacks were served.

April 30, 2002
My mailman is tied up in the basement.  I lured him in with Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.  I was playing it on the record player.  He was good-natured about it.  After he came into my house I locked the door.  He asked me where the awards ceremony was and I told him that there was to be no awards ceremony.  The music was a clever ruse, was it not?  Later on he seemed more upset about there not being an award ceremony than his being clubbed.  I anticipated this and while he was unconscious I had crafted a fake medal for him from an old pop-top beer can, some construction paper, and a safety pin.  He beamed with pride when I presented it to him.
      "You are the best at receiving an impromptu clubbing," I snorted.

May 5, 2002
My mailman objects to my cooking.  He turned his nose up at both the Lobster Thurmador and the Beef Wellington.  He said he likes potpies, that philistine!  I swung the club with a white-knuckled grip that night.
      My neighbor asked me if I have been getting my mail and I said, "Why yes, I have.  Haven't you?"  That isn't a lie; I have been getting my mail.  I've been getting it from that swaggering bare-faced mailman, the replacement.  He is efficient, but his style lacks the zip and brio of his predecessor.  He doesn't have any awards and his prospects are grim, a future uncluttered with dreams, undefined.  I told him that my neighbor is a dribbling dotard and that I promised his nephew, Chaz, that I would accept his mail for him and forward it on.  If I don't the company will come and shut off his power.  The new mailman is an idiot.

June 14, 2002
My mailman rolled up his sleeves today to show me his sailor tattoos.  I took that to be a subtle threat and I told him so.  I playfully reached for my club.  He rolled his sleeves back down and sat there on the chaise lounge, trembling like an old car at a stop light.
      My mailman is learning.

June 15, 2002
His night terrors are becoming worse.  My mailman is scared of the dark.  He told me that night is when the furies come out and he is afraid of the furies.  Largesse on my part led me to install incandescent lighting in the basement.  My mailman didn't say anything about it but I know he appreciated it because when I peeked in on him last night he was curled up in a little ball, sleeping peacefully, like a sated bride on her wedding night.  Every so often he would twitch and smile and make small noises like dogs do when they dream.

June 21, 2002
My mailman and I really got into it last night.  We both yelled and said things we didn't mean.  He told me that I don't appreciate him and I said, "Do you see any other mailmen here!?"
      That seemed to pacify him—that and the clubbing.

November 23, 2002
My mailman has started complaining about a tooth ache.  I gave him some oil of clove to apply to it, but he said that it didn't work and that his tooth still pinged, sending echoes of pain reverberating, racquetball style, around his skull.  He also complained that his mouth tasted like cloves.  Do you think my mailman thanked me?  No.
      Club-Club-Club-Club-Club!

November 26, 2002
My mailman has been asking for a dentist.  I thought I had taken care of this.  He is persistent and I've noticed a disturbing trend in his behavior; for instance, last night when I placed my eye on the peep hole in the closet door I found myself staring right into his own eyeball.  We stared each other down for about two hours before I finally looked away.  I'm beginning to suspect that he is unhappy.  Does he think dentists just go around door to door peddling their services?  My mailman sure is old fashioned.
      How am I going to capture a dentist?

March 16, 2003
My other neighbor, Dr. Falcone, the famous veterinarian, stopped by to borrow a cup of sugar and I asked her who she used when her mailman had that impacted molar.  We both laughed when she said 'Dr. Club.'
      She is funny, that vet.
      "Seriously, though," I said, "what did you do?"

March 18, 2003
My mailman, the one who normally devours his potpie with the abandon of a Burmese python on shore leave, merely poked at it this evening with a thoughtful fork.  My mailman seems to be in the grip of some sort of weltsmerz, the likes of which I've never seen.
      I asked him how his day was and he said, "My Tomorrows are but a series of Yesterdays separated by an interminable 'Now'.  Pass the butter."
      'Pass the club' is more like it but I didn't say it.

June 16, 2003
I took care of his dental problem with a 'Pocket Dentist' borrowed from one Dr. Falcone.  She said she got it from Sears.
      My mailman said that a pair of pliers lacked the same ontological authenticity as a real dentist and I told him to stop sneaking off into my library.  My mailman is a smarty-pants.  My club hand twitched at his insolent philosophical stance.
      After dinner my mailman retired to the cellar and shut the door.  He knew I had prepared bread pudding for him in an effort to palliate his dudgeon over my ham-fisted attempt at pocket dentistry, but he left it untouched and un-tasted.  Unbelievable!
      My mailman lacks a sense of decency, lacks decorum; he lacks that spark of integrity that churns the buttermilk of society to give us our heroes!
      Clearing the plates in the sink, I got distracted by the insouciant laughter coming from Mrs. Ferguson, my neighbor to the rear, as she played 'Red Light-Green Light' with her mailman.  Her mailman, to be fair, is a lot younger than mine and a bit more athletic.  In another yard I saw Margaritte raking leaves with hers, smoking cigarettes and making light of life.  Her mailman seems to like her.
      From his lodgings behind the root cellar door I heard Stravinsky's Rite of Spring playing on the record player I got him.  I felt myself swept up in the sweaty arms of nostalgia.
      After putting the last of the dishes away, my hands were dry and resolute; I knew what had to be done.  My belly is big with child now, but that matters little.  I think I need to introduce myself to that new mailman, that one with the smooth face and undefined future.  
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