Mail Call


The woman shuffled heavily in white socks from the worn chair to a polished table. She picked up a single envelope with a shredded top and pulled out the contents.

Shaking her head, “No, this isn’t it,” she declared and laid it back down.

She moved to the ceiling high bookcase that stood next to the television. It was sparsely decorated with knickknacks, pictures, tiny black dolls and a ragged Bible.

The woman reached up and pulled out a handful of opened mail that leaned up against the side of a shelf.
“Bills,” she said without looking up.

The bills were crisp white against yellow shelves. I didn’t notice them until the woman pulled out the stack. Then I noticed another stack of white against yellow on another shelf. Two more stacks were at the top of the book case, several inches thick.

The stacks of mail were everywhere. One was on the mantle wedged between two pictures; one was tucked under the table; and another one rested next to the woman’s purse on the floor.

Once I knew they were there, I sought them out. Stack after stack, I knew to look.

I couldn’t un-see the stacks.

It was like mushroom hunting; it’s more than knowing where to look, it’s knowing how to look.

Once you’ve got it, you’ve got it.