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November 14, 2022

I folded the two sheets of paper as precisely as I could. The fold didn’t line up correctly, so the panels didn’t exactly measure 3.66” each. I wondered if that might cause a problem and I thought about turning the printer back on and starting over and then I wondered if anyone would notice. How could something like that pose a problem? They certainly couldn’t hold that against me. Could they? They couldn’t.

I addressed the envelope with the New York address and then double checked to make sure I had written it correctly and that it was legible. I looked again at the instructions to make sure I had followed everything correctly. One of the instructions was to be certain I followed the instructions, so I knew they were serious about everything being just so. There was no instruction that mentioned the measurement of the folded sheet of paper and I took that as a good sign and felt mildly reassured.

I put the two sheets of folded paper inside the envelope, sealed it and added a stamp. I thought about giving the envelope a kiss for good luck, but on second thought I decided that seemed a little silly, so I didn’t. Fifteen minutes later, while walking to the mailbox I thought it was no sillier than wondering if the two sheets that weren’t folded precisely to three 3.66” panels might cause a problem.

I really wasn’t absolutely sure what would cause a problem and what wouldn’t cause a problem.

I left the apartment and walked into a gray sky toward the mailbox at the corner of 47th and Coleridge. My watch confirmed that I had plenty of time before the last mail pick up of the day at 5:00 PM. On the way to the mailbox I thought again about kissing the envelope for luck. There weren’t many people on the street and it didn’t seem like those who were out walking somewhere were paying any attention to me. I decided again that it was probably a little silly to kiss an envelope for good luck.

I approached the mailbox at 4:45 PM and opened the chute and was just about to drop my letter into the slot when I wondered: what if the mail carrier was running early and had already emptied the box? One of the instructions I was urged to follow told me that the letter had to be postmarked by today. The mail carrier wouldn’t have emptied the box early, I decided, because that would have more than likely meant that they’d get in trouble and who wants trouble on the job. I was, I was relatively sure, safe.

I didn’t worry about someone possibly calling in sick today and the mailbox not being emptied at 5:00 PM as scheduled because the post office couldn’t allow something like that to happen. This was the mail. If someone had called in sick then arrangements would have been made for a replacement mail carrier to fill in. I was positive of that.

I took a quick peek around and didn’t see anyone looking at me, so I held the letter up and pretended to read the address – just like I was proofreading it – in case anyone was watching me and gave it a quick peck for luck. I smiled a little then and my face felt a little warm. I dropped the envelope into the box and listened to it fall to the bottom. It made a soft little thud when it reached the bottom so I was certain there were other letters in there and that I hadn’t missed the last collection of the day.

I turned around and walked home.

I wondered how long it would be until I heard something.

I was certain that I had addressed the envelope correctly because I had checked that.


Ragtag Daily Prompt: ENVELOPE

2 Comments leave one →
  1. November 14, 2022 6:49 pm

    Whew. I’m just glad you made it to the mailbox. OCD or CDO–as it should be. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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