Charles catalogued his packages and letters. The job was only supposed to last over the holidays, but somehow the post office convinced him to keep working.

“Holy Hell,” He said. “Zone 9? I’ll be delivering to drunks, pimps, and fools. Talk about a test of my endurance.” He took a swallow of whiskey from his hip flask. Breaking the rules and not getting caught might be the meaning of life.

He drove up the narrow street and a kid rode towards him on a bicycle. “He wants to play chicken, does he?” Charles gunned the engine. “Real lessons are learned the hard way.” The kid jumped out a-the-way between two cars and landed on the hood.

“How’s my driving?” Charles cackled. There were noon ladies standing outside their houses waiting for his mail. He felt his package and grunted, but he still preferred the German Shepherds that bit him in the ass.

“Mail man, you’re late. You got any mail for me?”

“Lady, just give me a second. I’ve got like a thousand packages to deliver in the next couple hours. Wait… nope, I don’t have one for you.”

“I know it’s in there; give me my mail.” She reached for his bag.

“Lady, if you steal the mail, it’s a federal offense.”

“My sister always mails me every Thursday. It’s overdue!” She reached for his bag.

“Get away from the government’s mail!”

“Or what? What-a-ya gonna do?”

“I’ll do this…” Charles took three drinks from his whiskey flask.”

“You drunken fool. Get out a here.”

Charles took his cue and left the street, he left the neighborhood; he left the city, the state. He ran out of gas.

The occasional car saw the old mail carrier walking alongside the road.

“They deliver packages this far out, in the desert?” A boy asked his dad.

“Apparently so, son. Whether rain, or sleet, or snow, the mail is delivered where it needs to go.”

Charles walked into the sunset. He died happy; away from city lights, and the people beneath them.



3 thoughts on “The Old Mail Carrier

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