I’m awake, I’m awake—I only look asleep because I am in the daily trance of waiting for the mailman; I’m sitting on the front couch with a cold coming on. But my mood is good—the mailman will come. She will—
When the mailman comes, it will just be wonderful! Who knows what she will bring what it can be what can it be what will it be—
Oh! Silly me! I dozed off—I peer out the window—still no mailman. I go to make a coffee in my Keurig machine to keep me awake—need to be awake, need to be, for the mailman—the machine does its job and I go back to the front couch, and set the coffee down on the coffee table how appropriate how appropriate—
It might be money, I always expect money this time of month. This week there should be a check to live on to help live on to have to cash to use—
Oh gosh—the coffee didn’t help. My God, shake me! I am waking, again. And it’s probably your fault, you let me fall asleep—you’re sitting right there. Tell me, tell me; have I missed the mailman? You would have seen her coming. You would have heard the tap of the mailbox lid—I don’t have a dog to let me know but you could have barked, because different monies come different times of the month to live on to help live on to have to cash to use; but other things might come in the mail too. Surprises maybe—maybe some kind of prize—or one surprise—
I leap up! God! You let me fall asleep again! Can I trust you to wake me if the mail comes? I don’t know if I can trust you. You’ve failed me before. You keep on failing me. Do something constructive, won’t you? Why don’t you go make me a cocoa in the Keurig machine? It’s in the cabinet, in the cabinet that opens like the mailbox opens, she will slide the mail in—slide it right in all neat and clean and I can get it. I know with my luck no surprises or any kind of prizes will come in the mail, just junk, multicolored glossy junk will come. Where does it come from? Someone designs it. Someone lays it out. Somebody sends it. It’s important to someone. It’s a shame it all ends up in the recycle bin—or, if I am lazy, in the trash. Just think it’s somebody’s God-damned job to create and send out junk mail—somebody’s bread and butter.
Damn it! I was allowed to fall asleep again! The mailman did not come yet. Or did they? Maybe they did. The mailman may have come while I slept. Let me see. Crane—crane, look—the box looks untouched. The mailman has not come. But I seem to remember something about junk mail. Damn the junk mail. Who needs it? Down I go. I am low. I am low because there has not yet been any mail—is it out there has it come or not come or not. I sink down, down. The mail will never come. It’s three-thirty in the afternoon, and no mail. It will never come. I am touching bottom, bottom. The bottom of the pool is rough on the bare feet, the knees scrape playing in the water. Children have to play in the sun on the water with the children—
Oh my God! Slap my face! The sleep crept up on me like a viscous jelly full of fuzzy shit. It came high, high, higher. It made me forget why I am here—to wait for the mail. To watch and wait and watch some more and wait some more—
The children have all gone home. I sink to the bottom. The bottom. I lay on the bottom and breathed the water at last. Death will take me before this mail comes. On the bottom, the water pressing in. How long can you hold your breath? How long can you hold your breath, I said—where did they say that some movie—
Oh God oh yes, he will stand now to keep from falling asleep, again; he leapt from the couch and went to the window and tapped it, as though this would make the mailman appear but it didn’t so he went to the front door, to go out and check the box, in case he missed the mailman but the damned door is locked he needed a key where were the keys he went for the key—Breath the water yes breath it is was a good feeling he breathed the water and suddenly everything rushed away the need to get the mail rushed away and the need to get the key rushed away rush rush rushing away—He stumbled up the heavily carpeted stairs and he got the key. He nearly fell down the stairs going back to the front door in his socks and he unlocked the front door and threw it open. A wave of cold hit him because it was early March and Canadian air was pushing south, according to the weatherman. He went to the mailbox on the porch and he opened it—and there was nothing on the other side nothing but unknowing of what had gone before, just like before he lived, there seemed to be nothing but had there been another life there or what? He at last was asleep for good unmoving, unfeeling; and the mailman still had not come.