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Listening to the voices…


Today I was sitting at home minding my own business, reading a book that’s been on my TBR list for 2 years – Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale – and a little voice in the back of my head kept hassling me to go to the post office.

‘You haven’t checked the post office since FRIDAY,’ the little voice said, ‘That’s THREE WHOLE POSTAL DAYS.’

‘So?’ I replied. ‘Sometimes a week goes by and I don’t get anything.’

‘GO. GO NOW.’ The voice demanded.

Finally I gave up, putting down Handmaid’s Tale 2/3 read, and walked the 2 kilometres to the post office.  Just in case the publishers had been busy, I took a bag with two supermarket calico bags inside.  It’s not usually necessary, but I’ve learnt to plan ahead.  Besides, if I had the room and the energy I planned to pick up a few things from the supermarket.

I checked the post office box.  Yep, it was full.  I pulled out a couple of parcels stacked one on top of the other; as they slid out of the box two notification cards were revealed, stashed on top.  I glanced at the mail I collected already, then strolled into the post office.

Keith and Rod, the two guys who own the Lynbrook Village post office franchise, were both busy with a queue of customers.  Have I ever mentioned that this is the best post office ever?  Keith and Rod are always friendly and they never complain about my parcels.  I get my mail delivered to the post office because the posties used to lose my mail if it was supposed to be delivered to the house.  Usually post offices try to deter people from having parcels delivered to post boxes but these guys seem to appreciate the business.  Even if a post office opens at the new shopping centre on Thompson’s road, I’m sticking with Keith and Rod.  Best service ever.

I digress.

Keith served me when it was my turn.  He looked at me over his glasses in that way of his when he’s being half-serious, half-joking, and asked me if I’d brought a truck.

‘No,’ I replied.

At that point I was a little concerned – one day the pile waiting for me was so high it was well above my knees.

As Keith walked to the shelves to pull my mail, he asked if I was on my bike.  Luckily I’d walked – I had some nasty accidents so I haven’t ridden my (non-stationary) bike for months.  Keith pulled four more parcels out.  We chatted as I signed for two, then I walked home with both my large calico shopping bags bulging with parcels, arms lengthening, pulling out of their sockets.

I didn’t go to the supermarket.  I didn’t think I could carry any more.

When I arrived home, I opened my mail to discover TEN BOOKS.

Smokey will post an epic items received once I’ve recovered from the journey.  I just need to read a little something first…   I just heard Her Royal Highness.  She jumped down from her cat scratching post from the sounds of it – it has a platform on the top.  Now she’s munching biscuits in the kitchen.  I think she’s about to start cracking the whip, delivering her words of wisdom for the ‘items received  column.  Hopefully she’ll be in a mood to pose for photos.

spot the cat owner by Ian Gunn
Spot the cat owner by Ian Gunn

PS – this is not unlike me today.  I’m wearing black trackies covered in gray cat hairs.

Nalini is an award-winning writer and artist as well as managing editor of Dark Matter Zine.


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