Cloak

Last week I had to go to the post office again because my mail lady is a crazy person.

I know we live out in the middle of nowhere and I know our house is down a hill, but if you can’t hang then don’t become a New River Mail Lady.

We have a fairly large mailbox at the top of the hill, but any time something doesn’t fit she will not drop it at our house.  I’ve called the post office only to be told that the mail lady is nervous about our road.

Nervous?

I get nervous about a lot of things, but it’s a road and I’m sick of going to the damn post office.  I wonder what would happen if I called the post office and told them I was nervous about driving forever to the post office.

Okay, now I’m crazy too.  Anyway, not the point of the post, but that woman just…moving on.

I was waiting in line at said post office and there was a family (mom, dad, girl and a boy) standing off to the side and the children were taking turns getting, what appeared to be ID or Passport pictures.  I’m pretty sure those are the only pictures you can get at the post office.

They were all dressed nicely and the children were happy and well behaved. There was no real reason for me to notice them.  They were blending in with the general post office scene.

Until I looked at the man.  He stared at the ground, occasionally at his wife or his children, but not once at the photographer or the other people standing in line or the occasional person smiling at his beautiful children.

Eyes down.

Now, if you are a chronic people watcher like I am you notice these things and because I am slightly odd I begin to wonder why this man is not making eye contact.  All the way through the line I tried to figure out why he seemed so still, unwilling to engage, almost uncomfortable.  He looked as though if he could he would make himself and his family transparent.

I’m not sure if he was new to the country, didn’t speak English, or hiding from something, or just stoic, but there was something that drew me to his face and I felt for him.

It has never occurred to me to blend in.  I’ve spent most of my life wanting to stand out, not in an obnoxious way, but I don’t want to melt in with the crowd.  I think, or I thought, everyone wanted to be acknowledged.

Not this man.  He just wanted to get done what needed to be done and slip away unnoticed.

I took a minute to wonder what it would feel like to be on edge like that, always looking over your shoulder.  Nervous.

Now, maybe this man was just…no, there was something up, I know it.

As I was leaving I looked back one more time at him and his family.  I saw them and I saw him, acknowledged.

I’m  sure I will never see them again, but I found myself hoping that someday this man got to a place where he felt comfortable looking around.  Not sure why I cared, but I did.

I know, why the hell can’t I just go to the post office and stand in line like everyone else?

Driving home I imagined the whole family in their car laughing and wondering who the crazy nut was in line that kept staring at them.

My thoughts from the laundry room.  Wide awake.

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