March 11, 2003

Stalking The Wild Stamp: A True Tale of Adventure

I'm so damn The current mood of augustdreams at

A Butterfly landed on Woodstock! If only I'd had film in my camera. I had her out in the backyard with me so she could eat some Clover and commune with nature. This beautiful, yellow Butterfly landed on her back. Woodstock twitched her ears and it quickly floated away. A nice moment and a nice memory to tuck away.

I mailed some long overdue cards and letters today. The hottest nightclubs in NYC have got nothing on our tiny, local post office. I kid you not. The line often stretches out the door and onto the sidewalk. I keep expecting some guy behind a velvet rope to sneer at me whilst checking his list for my name. Parking spots are mere legend. There are those who scoff at the legend, but I hear tell that many years ago, someone actually got a space.

When you finally do get inside there are gaggles of tiny, elderly women who gather to exchange gossip and count endless change for the Stamp machine. Then there are people who lean against the wall, being very coy. You are forced to make eye contact and play the "Are you in line or aren't you?" game by gestures and blinks. Generally, you either have to give the head nod to the space in front of you as if to say "Is this your territory?" and hope for a response of some sort. If you don't get one, you must take that boldest of steps... you must step forward, thereby crossing the demilitarized zone between you and the next obviously-in-line person. Sometimes, you are rewarded for this bold move. Other times, the coy wall-leaner will dart forward and get in front of you with a look of pure, animal rage. It's best to lower your eyes and pretend you'd only moved up to read about the new books of floral stamps being offered and the rates on packages to Canada.

WIth any luck, the roving packs of feral preteens who are there to take advantage of the air conditioned comfort, won't take notice of you. If they do, they will attempt to persuade you to lend them change for the ancient bubblegum machine. The Gumballs themselves look as if they began life at some point during the Pleistocene Epoch. Their colors have dimmed from bright, shiny primary to dull, ominous pastels. Once in a while, the kids will get into a scuffle or begin hanging around the table annoying the old ladies who are busily sticking one-cent stamps onto oddly shaped packages and the security guy (who makes up exactly half the sum total of employees) will scowl and herd them outside where they'll lie about on the lawn like Pink, plastic Flamingoes after a storm.

So it was that I steeled my courage, parked half a mile down the street, and braved that microcosm of humanity to send out my letters.

Have a great night and thanks for reading.

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