“I have all these boxes to mail,” he says.
His voice is pleasant and chatty in the long line to mail his packages. He jokes with the woman standing behind him holding four small boxes. She is short, wearing a worn hoodie and struggling to balance her Christmas packages.
“Yes, after these I’ll go home and bring in six more this afternoon to mail.”
“Oh,” he says to something she asks him; I cannot hear what it is.
“One day is pretty much the same as all the others. I just live a few miles from here, in Canyon Lake. We found a good deal on the house we liked so we bought it.” All in that order.
I am next in line. I step up to mail my two parcels. I think of the conversation that has now dissolved in front of me.
I want to send a book to the man whose days are all the same. But really, could words in a book of poems, say, be of service to him? Would he even bother to read it?
I wonder if his days have turned into concepts while he was not paying attention; or all the wrinkles of each one ironed out so there is no marking one day from another. The days, now bled of life, are no longer able to shine as
Laced with wonder.
In the wake of presence I am awakened to something not there before: to pay close attention to the creases and rumples in each day, to note where a button is missing, a collar frayed--all with their own personal delights shining through the ordinary. No, that IS the ordinary—a quickening sense of the quirky quotidian.Mailing gifts to others, I am gifted by this man, an oracle of the ordinary.
©2017 Christmas Gifts Dennis Patrick Slattery
copyright 2017 All Rights Reserved