Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I'm a one-mailbox-man; and it feels strange

This key is to our Deloraine post office mailbox. Our Deloraine house, which we owned from 1990 to 2002, had no postal delivery. So from 1990 Sweetheart Vivienne and I rented P O Box 75, paying an annual fee for the privilege. As our Mole Creek house, where we’ve lived since 2002, has no mail delivery either, from 2002 we’ve rented P O Box 181 at the Mole Creek post office. Because it was only a few dollars each year to rent the Deloraine box, we elected to continue with it. For the years I was a trustee of Environment House Trust, the Trust’s mail went there. But after I resigned my trusteeship last 26 July, only junk mail came to it. So yesterday, two days before 31 March when the current rental year ends, I handed in the key. (Whew – what an intro. Are you still with me?)

Taking the key off my keyring and sliding it across the counter was a poignant moment. I thought about all the mail I’d collected from that box in the last 20 years: Mountains of work mail. Also private mail that caused me joy, sadness, frustration, anger. Plus bills – incessant, insistent, inevitable bills. Finally junk mail – loads and loads of it. Handing over that key marked the end of an era for me. Funny how in some perverse way I defined myself by P O Box 75 and its contents. Today I awoke a one-mailbox-man. It felt strange.

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