so the post office has misplaced a package that should be delivered to us. according to fedex smartpost or something like that. the usps and fedex have teamed up for delivery and there’s a rift in the relationship, as far as i can tell.
but that’s not really what this post is about.
so i called the saco post office, just like the fedex website tracking information told me to. and explained to the postlady that answered the phone that fedex smartpost says the package is at the saco postoffice even though we live in biddeford and i’d like to get it so if you could help out with that that would be great. and she says, if you live in biddeford…, and i think i might know where she’s going with this so i say, well, i went to the biddeford post office, where we have our p.o. box and asked them if they have my package from fedex smartpost and they said, after looking around for quite a while, while miss cv and i stood at the counter, that no, no they did not have our package.
so the postlady on the phone tells me, with pointed certainty, “you talked to xxxx.” and i said “what? who?” because — well, first, how would she know who i talked to…i haven’t given any other information besides what i’ve typed here at this point. small towns kind of freak me out this way. not that this is the case at this point but on many occasions people know stuff about what you’ve done with your day that you can’t imagine how they’ve come to know. and second, i don’t recognize the name she just said, not even enough to catch the name she just said, and to be honest i have no idea of the name of the woman i did talk with at the counter (probably a smalltown faux pas) so it really doesn’t matter. i would not be able to confirm on deny it either way.
i don’t have a third point so we’ll leave it at that.
so i say “what? who?” and she answers “the indian girl” and this is where i get really hung up in the conversation. no, i didn’t hang up but i get stuck. several mental images rush in and clog up my communication channels — causing a pregnant pause.
one thing – i go to the biddeford post office a lot. like i said, we have our post office box there and even though i have tried to structure things to keep us out of the Post Office Line as much as possible, sooner or later we have to go to the counter. and i’ve talked with every employee at the biddeford post office branch — at least the folks that work the counter. none of them look at an age where they could be called a girl or a boy. there are all absolutely men and women well out of their 20’s. i say this and maybe i shouldn’t be so sure. i mean, life in maine is hard and can age people pretty quick. but even with allowances for long shut-in winters full of drinking and chain-smoking, everyone at this post office counter looks well past a rosy cheeked, college-aged youth.
the indian girl. so there must only be one. right? of whatever indian means to this postal lady. and it must mean quite a bit to her, as it is the attribute of this person that my phone compatriot has locked onto. it is what she must see first and most important when she looks at this person.
and then — and then my mind is also working on the details. trying to force an “ohyoumeansoandso” instant where i can help track down my package… so i’ve formulated a girlish looking shadow in a blue-gray button up — but indian? does she mean native american or eastern indian? native american or eastern indian? i can’t resolve it. and then realize, it doesn’t matter because i haven’t seen anyone at the biddeford post office that i would determine to be either. which has really bugged the hell out of me by this point because now i’m trying to guess at another’s stereotypes that would peg someone as something.
so. a pregnant pause. i better say something quick.
“ok, wait a sec.” now she’s got me on hold calling over to the biddeford post office to try and figure out what’s going on. and comes back after a long while and tells me something about how she’s trying to reach the carrier and he knows that we have a postoffice box so he would just bring it back there but can she get my number to call me back when she knows more.
sure. ok. fedex says you guys have it. the tracking number says it’s at the post office, if that helps.
i can’t warm up today.