It’s a small town, that we’re clear on. And granted, it’s made smaller because we don’t live in it; rather, we go to it, run errands that take us along the same few roads to the same few places, and we don’t otherwise participate much. Many of the streets have gone unexplored, and I cannot tell you what the inside of the public library or pool look like. You see, we don’t live there, and therefore we would have to pay a fee. Even though our mailing address is town. (Frag.)
One errand is going to the post office. We pick up our mail as opposed to having it delivered to our new, never-used mailbox across the road from the house. Why? Mail theft is rampant in the sticks. Tweakers with an urge and a car. I can’t sit in front of my house waiting for the delivery. Won’t. So I take the rig for a spin.
Did I mention it’s cold here? I should, because I need to describe something peculiar to this area. Men wear shorts in freezing weather. Not all men, just some. Shorts and a heavy jacket. It is odd.
Today was the coldest day so far this late Autumn. So cold that I thought I might have some difficulty with the rig, but I didn’t. So cold that I kept my errands to a minimum, and the post office was the first stop.
There is an apartment building kitty-corner. It is an historic building, or so said the realtor that asked if we might be interested. But I have been going to the post office long enough to know that while the building may be old, its residents are of a somewhat transient nature, and rest assured have histories.
Not all of the residents are short term. There is the short, obese guy with the cane who sits out in front and screams at other tenants. Alto-tenor screams. The building manager and his wife have been there for at least as long as we have lived here. He’s tall and skinny, she the opposite, and both are somewhat elderly. Each morning they hold hands as they cross the street to the bar where they will remain for the better part of the day drinking tall boys of Busch Light. (I used to play poker at that bar.)
Perhaps because today was 20°F with a wind chill to-boot, I only saw the (How should I put this?) albino crack whore watering the frozen planters the new landlord has placed to spruce up the place. She was wearing gym shorts and a midriff t-shirt. Keeping with the local frosty fashion, she did have boots on. I’ll give her that.
I have wanted to write about this woman for some time. The long lead-in can be understood as hesitancy. She is not unattractive. Her age is hidden by the drugs. Otherwise, I know very little about her. And to be honest, I am not certain of her profession. (I'm leaving the above description as it is; I don't like it either.) However, I do know what she sounds like, the words she uses and they way she uses them, all of which speak to another place, a better time, something more than burned lips and a sore throat in Section 8 housing.
When I came out of the post office, she was gone. We received a Christmas card from the widow and daughter of an old high school friend. I then went to get wood pellets for the pellet stove. Tonight is supposed to be colder yet.